Brocken Tryst

views updated

Brocken Tryst

A celebrated experiment in magical transformation performed by psychical researcher Harry Price in June 1932 in the Hartz Mountains, Germany, during the Goethe centenary. The Brocken is the highest peak of the Hartz range.

Price claimed that a fifteenth-century manuscript of a magic ritual for changing a goat into a beautiful youth was delivered mysteriously in his National Laboratory of Psychic Research, London, and he decided to test whether the magic worked. This "Blocksberg Manuscript" detailed a ritual from the High German Black Book, a classic manual of black magic, and required a magic circle drawn on top of the Brocken on a night of full moon, a fire of pinewood, a goat with a silver cord, and a maiden pure in heart. Price undertook this ritual before scores of pressmen, photographers, and a film cameraman. In fact, the goat was not metamorphosed after all, but Price achieved his objective of securing publicity for paranormal investigation, and magic and psychic phenomena became a talking point in the stifled atmosphere of the 1930s.


Price, Harry. Confessions of a Ghost Hunter. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1936. Reprint, New York: Causeway Books, 1974.

About this article

Brocken Tryst

Updated About content Print Article