Absolute Horror Wiki

Conjure Wife cover.jpg

Conjure Wife (1943) is a supernatural horror novel by Fritz Leiber. Its premise is that witchcraft flourishes as an open secret among women. The story is told from the point of view of a small-town college professor who discovers that his wife is a witch.

This novel was the first by Fritz Leiber. It is said to have been the inspiration for at least three films: Weird Woman, Night of the Eagle (aka Burn, Witch, Burn!) (1962), and Witches' Brew (aka Which Witch is Which?) (1980).


Tansy Saylor is the wife of an up-and-coming young sociology professor at a small, conservative American college. She is also a witch. Her husband, Norman, discovers this one day while rummaging through her dressing table: he finds vials of graveyard dirt, packets of hair and fingernail clippings from their acquaintances, and other evidence of her witchcraft. He confronts Tansy, and manages to convince her that her faith in magic is a result of superstition and neurosis.

Tansy burns her charms; and Norman's luck immediately goes sour. He realizes that he had been protected, up til now, by Tansy's charms, and that as a result of his meddling, they are both now powerless to counteract the spells and charms of the other witches all around them.