The benandanti were an agrarian fertility cult in Northern Italy in the 16th-17th centuries who claimed they would leave their bodies and fight witches 4 times each year.
Witches are practitioners of magic who can allegedly call upon the supernatural to perform spells or curses. In Early Modern Europe, witchcraft associated with consorting with the Devil, leading to witch hunts in Protestant Europe and later in America. Modern witchcraft is associated with the Wiccan movement. Read articles about witches below.
The Vatican has made the news again with their university level course on Satanism, black magic and exorcism.
Here are a couple of recent articles here that show that the belief in witchcraft is still prominent in certain parts of the world.
Europe underwent a number of political shifts and social transformations between 1000-1700 leading to the Protestant Reformation and the witch craze.
Profiles of four sorcerers and magicians from antiquity.