Necromancy and the Lazarus Effect: Miracles or Witchcraft?

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Hello and welcome to my spooky paper! Although October is over there is nothing more chilling than the practice of bringing something once deceased back to the living world. There are two terms for this phenomenon one being necromancy and the other known as the Lazarus effect. Although both practices being extremely unlikely to actually bring someone from the underworld, one of them may have brought you to where you were trying to bring that person from if you were practicing this in the 1600’s. Studies show that in the 1600’s through the mid 1800’s there was a high rate in the practice of necromancy, many because people thought the dead could bring them answers to a fruitful life but they were terribly wrong.

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“Necromancy and the Lazarus Effect: Miracles or Witchcraft?”

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Necromancy is the practice of reanimating the dead but for the benefit of the person who summons that person, whether it be telling the future, bringing forth hidden knowledge, or just for the simplicity of wanting that certain person to be there for you, but it might not work in that persons favor. The reason many people were put to death because of this is because it is a form of witchcraft, although depicted in many ways the most famous is in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when Victor took body parts from different people creating the infamous Daemon who is a product of necromancy; though he was depicted as a product of science the under shadow of necromancy subtly shines through. Being recognized as witchcraft makes it easily common for various cultures, although there are many different names for it the summoning processes are ultimately the same within every version of the practice of necromancy.

The Lazarus effect is however the complete opposite of necromancy it is still the concept of bringing someone and or something back from the dead. The Lazarus effect is a biblical analogy for the resurrection of a man Lazarus in the Christian bible, the bible states that Jesus was the cause for the resurrection of Lazarus. The term has been used throughout western literature to reference someone or something being brought back from the dead or even being lost and then found again. Despite all of the movies made of the term many people have claimed to have had an out of body experience or have met deaths door just for it to be slammed in their face. The best depiction of this is the movie “Flatliners” where a group of people are curious to what happens after death but are not exactly pleased with what they find. It is said that the Lazarus effect is supposed to be a miracle but to some it was the opposite; many have said when they thought they had come to an end they realized the fate they were supposed to be meeting was the opposite of what they thought they were going to get prior to having that experience, many even saying they went to hell, something like that can either leave you afraid for the rest of your life or maybe change you for the better. One man claims to have gone to hell for what seemed like an eternity, but he was only dead for approximately up to three minutes.

Within Necromancy and the Lazarus effect there is a very obvious difference between them, but the big question is when they each came to be the concepts they are today. Necromancy is a compound word although of Latin origin was derived from the Greek word nekros meaning ‘dead’ and manteia meaning deviation. The dark practice originated in ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome, but was most popular during the middle ages of Europe and is exceedingly rare today. A quite common form is to summon the spirit of the corpse by sacrifices and incantations but the most common for is the attempt to raise the body to life once more. The practice is said to be most effective between midnight and one in the morning and or the official witching hours of the night, ending at 5 am presumably when night ends and dawn begins. There are many historical forms of necromancy, a famous necromancer depicted in the bible by the name of Endor who summoned the spirit Emanuel to answer Saul’s questions. My last point about necromancy’s history is the condemnation of necromancy by the catholic church because it was seen as sinister although it was depicted in the bible; it was also outlawed by the witchcraft act of 1604 in Elizabethan England for its sinister ways.

The history of the Lazarus effect is quite different yet somehow it seems to tie into why necromancy became what it is. Although not being outlawed it is said to have been common throughout history in many different ways and places. The Lazarus effect was initially introduced in the bible when Jesus resurrected Lazarus, this is where the name of the condition came from. Many people of the 1600’s through the 1800’s claimed to have been graced with this so called ‘gift’ but they don’t and or didn’t know how dangerous it actually was. These diseases of those time were especially deadly because of the lack of medicines and antibiotics, and many people were dropping like flies but for some reason near the last stages of life many people’s bodies seemed to have a complete relapse in their systems which was believed to have been the effects of the Lazarus effect. Unfortunately for many their fate was sealed regardless because they were buried alive as they were thought to be dead but just like everyone else they had a relapse, for most when it was realized what was happening they would dig up the person to find them without fingernails because they tried to claw their out which I can imagine is very traumatizing for the people who found them that way. The Lazarus effect being biblical is still very misleading, many sources have said that the person or people effected is very likely not to be them themselves; because they have crossed over to the ‘other side’ there is a very good chance that another spirit is occupying and or clinging to the body of that person. When one is affected you must realize that although it looks and sounds like that person does not necessarily mean it is the person you are expecting. All in all the history of this could have been adapted from other cultures because of its depiction throughout places like ancient Greece and ancient Egypt; this shouldn’t be surprising considering these places were known for having many gods in which had the same purposes and did the same things but with different descriptions and names, who knows maybe they’re leading us closer to the truth and or further history of the Lazarus effect.

I know what you’re thinking “well what’s the difference between them anyway?” well there is actually a huge difference between the two. Because of the way the media and movies twists practically everything then you should not be surprised to find out that the two are complete opposites, but it is because of their portrayal that there is the assumption that they both have equal effects, outcomes, and consequences. Movies mentioned earlier like the 2017 remake of ‘Flatliners’ and the 2016 movie ‘Ouija’ which is depicts a form of necromancy, however, there are many exaggerations and truths to be told about the consequences and not only darkness’s but the good that might come with your risky outcome. Obviously, the biggest difference is the representation of the two, one being biblical, and the other being seen as sinister almost devilish, but there is more than to it that many do not know about and or understand. Because of the numerous references and depictions of them many people may think that the two either connect, bring the same outcomes, or are just flat out the same, but there are actually way too many to count.

Though I already told you the differences between the histories the processes are apart of a completely different range of differences. Necromancy stemming from Greek words has been practiced throughout the centuries and has been normalized for many cultures. An example of necromancy many are familiar with is the practice of performing it with a Ouija board. Many think this is a harmless party game but it is actually a really common form of necromancy.

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Necromancy and The Lazarus Effect: Miracles or Witchcraft?. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved October 1, 2022 , from
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