Assumptions about the Sabbath The article interprets the witches' sabbath as a cultural compromise between a learned stereotype and a popular one. The former was centered on a mythical conspiracy against society, subsequently ascribed to different marginal groups (lepers, Jews, witches). The latter was centered on a much older myth: the journey into the world of the dead, performed in a state of ecstasy by various figures of European folklore (benandanti, taltos etc.), strongly reminiscent of Euroasiatic shamans. The two trends coalesced in the Western Alps, around 1350. Later on, the new stereotype was spread by demonologists, inquisitors, lay judges and preachers all around Europe.