Summers, Montague

DEMONOLOGIST , AUTHOR, EDITOR (ENGLAND)
BORN 10 Apr 1880, Clifton (near Bristol) - DIED 10 Aug 1948, Richmond, Surrey
REAL NAME Summers, Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague
GRAVE LOCATION Richmond, Greater London: Richmond Cemetery, Grove Road (Section 11, grave 10818)

Montague Summers was the youngest of the seven children of a baker. He family was Anglican, but later he converted to Catholicis. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford and at Litchfield Theological College. In 1909 he became a Roman Catholic priest and he was known as Reverend Summers, but it seems he never held a position in the church. His whereabouts between 1910 and 1920 are unknown, allthough he claimed to have travelled the continent.

Summers literature taught at schools and he studied witchcraft, demonology and vampirism on which he published extensively. He was an opponent of all this, but he was acquainted with Aleister Crowley when they both lived in Richmond. He was known as an eccentric and he dressed like an eighteenth century cleric. He was once accused of having intercourse with a boy, but he was acquitted.

He reviewed old books written by demonologists and translated works in English, among them "Malleus Maleficarum" (1486) by Heinrich Keamer and James Sprenger. He was also interested in the theatre of the seventeenth century and he edited many plays from that period. In 1926 he published "The History of Witchcraft and Demonology". During the thirties he edited collections of ghost stories in "The Supernatural Omnibus" and these collections were reprinted during the 1970s.

He died in 1948 and was buried at Richmond Cemetery. His autobiography "The Galanty Show" was published in 1980 but much of his life remains a mystery and most of his papers were lost. On 26 Nov 1988 a stone was erected on his grave that had been unmarked until then. It has the inscription "Tell me strange things", usually Summers' first words when people visited him. His friend Hector Stuart-Forbes was buried beside him.

Work: "The Vampire: His Kith and Kin" (1928); "The Vampire in Europe" (1929); "The Gothic Quest: a History of the Gothic Novel" (1938); "Witchcraft and Black Magic" (1946); "The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism" (1947).

Related persons
• admired Lee, Vernon

Sources
Montague Summers
Wikipedia (English)
Montague Summers: A Short Biography

Images

The grave of Montague Summers at Richmond Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (27 Jun 2009)

 


Susskind, David

Published: 5 Jul 2009
Last update: 13 Mar 2011