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
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.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. Elijah Wald. Harper Collins. 2012.

The 10 Wildest Led Zeppelin Legends, Fact-Checked. Andy Greene. Rolling Stone. 2012.

Bob Dylan Admits He Sold His Soul to the Devil. YouTube.

Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons. John Carter. Feral House. 2005.

The Modern Movement to Exonerate a Notorious Medieval Serial Killer. Sonya Vatomsky. Atlas Obscura. 2017.

Giuseppe Tartini. Wikipedia.

Joan of Arc. History Collection. August 2, 2016

What the Myth of Faust Can Teach Us. Benjamin Ramm. BBC. 2017.

A Book of New England Legends and Folklore in Prose and Poetry. Samuel Adams Drake. Robert Brothers. 1884.

Witch Hunts in Europe and America: An Encyclopedia. William E. Burns. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2003.

Sex, Drugs, and Broomsticks: The Origins of the Iconic Witch. Dylan Thuras. Atlas Obscura. 2013.

Salem Witch Trials. History.com.

The First Salem Witch Trial Execution. History Collection. June 11, 2016

William Stoughton Was the Ultimate Hanging Judge at the Salem Witch Trials. History Collection. January 29, 2018

Lives of the Necromancers. William Godwin. 1834.

A Case of Witchcraft: The Trial of Urbain Grandier. Robert Rapley. Manchester University Press. 1998.

A Violinist And The Devil. Melissa. TodayIFoundOut.com

Culture and Society in France 1789-1848. F.W.J. Hemmings. A&C Black. 2011

Three Books of Occult Philosophy Or Magic, Volume 1. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

Theophilus of Adana. Wikipedia.

The Legend of How Bluesman Robert Johnson Sold His Soul to the Devil at the Crossroads. Open Culture. October 30th, 2020

From The Grateful Dead to Tom Waits: Bob Dylan’s favorite songs about the Devil. Far Out Magazine. Jack Whatley.

The Occult History Behind NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. SuperCluster. NOVEMBER 10, 2020

The Time A Town Killed A Priest: A Lesson In Hysteria. The Wisdom Daily. August 09, 2017

Fame, Fortune, Fire and Brimstone: The Legend of Jonathan Moulton. New England Historic Society. 2020

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