Deal with the Devil: 18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil

Shannon Quinn - September 28, 2018

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
Urbain Grandier was executed by being burned alive. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

7. Urbain Grandier

Father Urbain Grandier was a French Catholic Priest in the 1600s. He began to go to tons of exorcisms in order to cast the devil out of someone who had been possessed. Normally, a priest was alone with the possessed person during the ceremony. We now know that demonic possessions were usually mental and physical diseases. If the exorcism did not work, they thought it was because of a particularly strong demon, and not because of a persistent illness.

According to records, there was a strangely high number of demonic possessions in the town surrounding the St. Pierre Du Marche monastery, and Father Grandier was assigned to take care of them. At the monastery, a nun picked up a bouquet of roses, smelled them, and then collapsed and started convulsing as if she was having a seizure. The mother superior picked them up and did the same exact thing.

Instead of realizing that the roses had been sprinkled with some sort of poison or neurotoxin, the priests believed that the nuns had fallen under a spell. One of the nuns was acting full-on possessed, and a priest named Father Mignon did an exorcism with two helpers at his side as witnesses. He asked the demon for its name, and she said, “Astaroth.” When he asked how it was possible that the demon got into such a holy place, it replied that it was through the roses, and that Father Urbain Grandier let him in.

The truth behind this incredible story was that Urbain Grandier was corrupt, but not with the Devil. He refused to take a vow of celibacy, and he would seduce the nuns into having sex with him. It is very possible that this nun agreed to pretend to be possessed by a demon in order to get revenge on Urbain Grandier for rape, or because her own reputation had been threatened. Grandier was found guilty of witchcraft, and burned at the stake. From then on, the Catholic Church no longer allowed priests to do exorcisms alone, for fear that they were inviting more demons down to Earth, instead of expelling them.

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
This portrait of Gilles de Rais shows him in his full glory. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

6. Gilles de Rais

Gilles de Rais was a knight who fought alongside Joan of Arc to help fight against the English and win a battle for France. The two became good friends, and Gilles de Rais was rewarded for his work by being given the title of “Marshal of France”. However, Joan of Arc was kidnapped and brought to the English. They called her a witch, and burned her at the stake.

Gilles de Rais was so upset by the injustice, that some say he began to dabble in alchemy in order to find the key to eternal life. At this point, he was the richest man in France, and the Catholic Church wanted a piece of the pie. Instead of giving his money to the church, he decided to put on an elaborate play, unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. He paid local actors, costume designers, and set builders to reenact his glory days of battle.

The church officials were so appalled by how he was throwing good money down the drain, so they decided to accuse him of being a serial killer who practiced alchemy and worshiped Satan. He was put to death, and when he died, the Catholic Church took custody of all of his money, castles, and land.

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
This illustration of Guiseppe Tartini usually goes along with the song he wrote inspired by the Devil. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5. Giuseppi Tartini

Giuseppe Tartini was an Italian violinist and composer. In the 1700s, He composed a song called “The Devil’s Trill Sonata“. He claimed that he woke up one night to find Satan himself sitting at the edge of his bed, playing the violin. After this visit from the Devil, he was able to play complicated trills that are usually impossible for most violinists to achieve. Even today, many modern musicians are not talented enough to play “The Devil’s Trill Sonata”. Some people speculated that Tartini may have had 6 fingers on one hand, and that is how he could play those complicated notes.

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
Portrait of Dr. Johann Georg Faust. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

4. Johann Georg Faust

As the legend goes, Doctor Johann Georg Faust was an alchemist and astrologer who lived in Germany during the early 1500s. He wanted to be the smartest man in the world, and enjoy as many earthly pleasures as he possibly could while he was still alive. He made a deal with a demon called Mephistopheles.

According to records, he sodomized some of his male students, and was generally abusive and mean towards everyone. As a professor, he looked down on everyone else, because he believed that he was far superior. Local priests believed that he was in cahoots with the devil and that his pet dog was actually a demon who could transform in and out of canine form and into a human man servant. It would seem that he truly did believe in magic, because during his lifetime, he published several grimoires, or spell books. In 1540, he was conducting an alchemic experiment, and his laboratory exploded.

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
This wood carving from the 1700’s shows Jonathan Mouton laying in bed while the Devil drank his rum. Credit: New England Folklore

3. Jonathan Moulton

Jonathan Moulton was the early colonial settler in the New World who would earn the nickname “Yankee Faust”. As a young man, he was a poor apprentice to a cabinet maker but ended up completely switching careers, which was uncommon at the time. He became a professional silversmith and making a lot of money trading to England from the colonies. He also served as the Bridigire General for New Hampshire, and lead a battle to victory in King George’s War.

One legend says that Jonathan Moulton was able to afford his silversmith business by making a deal with the Devil. Moulton sat down and drank shots of rum with the Devil, and tried to get him drunk. Moulton said he would sell his soul in exchange for filling up the boots with gold coins on the first day of each month. They shook hands, and went their separate ways. Moulton found the biggest pair of boots in the entire state, where the leather went all the way up to the thighs. On the first of the month, the Devil took notice of how huge these boots were, and he laughed it off. A deal is a deal, after all, and he never specified the size of the boots. He filled them with gold coins.

The next month, Moulton was thrilled that the boots were filled all the way to the brim, but he was greedy. He got the brilliant idea to cut the soles out of the bottom of the shoes, and cut holes under the boots that would go down to his basement. The next month, the boots did not fill until the entire basement was flooded with gold coins. When the Devil realized he had been tricked, he got so angry, he set Moulton’s house on fire. This story was passed down for generations, and eventually written down roughly 100 years later.

In reality, Jonathan Moulton would have earned a veteran’s pension after serving in King George’s War. He would have also made a lot of money selling silverware to rich English families. He became rich so quickly, his neighbors felt as though it happened overnight, and they wondered how Moulton could have possibly made so much money, unless he did a deal with the Devil. He would have also been the kind of person who would have been loyal to the crown even during the Revolutionary War. It’s no surprise that he was unpopular, and that someone set his house on fire, blaming the entire ordeal on the Devil.

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
Since he was an artist, Christop Haizmann was able to paint his own illustration of his tussle with the devil. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2. Christoph Haizmann

In 1677, an artist named Christoph Haizmann from Bavaria was working at a castle in Austria. He was so talented at painting, that he had been invited to completed commissioned work from his noble patrons. When he began have seizures, everyone believed that these were physical symptoms of being possessed by the Devil. People assumed that he must have sold his soul in order to gain all of his talents.

Christoph Haizmann confessed that he did, in fact, make a deal with the Devil 9 years earlier, at the start of his art career. But now, he regretted it very much, and wanted an exorcism. They demanded to know if he was a practicing witch, but the local authorities decided that he was not, but that the Devil had a hold of him. The local Catholic priest felt sorry for him when he saw Haizmann’s sick and weakened physical state. He began performing exorcisms on him. During these exorcisms, Haizmann claims that he had a vision that he came face-to-face with the Devil, who was in the form of a dragon. He was holding the contract to his soul, and he ripped it out of its talons. When he woke up, he was cured. After this, Christoph Haizmann began to paint pictures of the Devil. He painted a story with multiple panels, telling the story of how he sold his soul, and how the Catholic Church helped him get it back.

18 People Who Allegedly Sold Their Soul To Pure Evil
Illustration of the crazy witch trials in Salem. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

1. The Salem “Witches”

Even if you don’t consider yourself a history buff, it almost goes without saying that the famous so-called witches of Salem, Massachusetts were accused of being in cahoots with the Devil. The citizens of Salem believed that the Devil gave those people supernatural powers and that they performed Satanic rituals in the woods. Of course, it was later discovered that the confession that started it all was a lie, and innocent people were killed.


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