In folklore, silver is an effective metal with magical powers for dealing with the supernatural. Silver protects against Vampires, bogies, werewolves, giants, persons who lead charmed lives, sorcerers and witches, and the familiar spirits of sorcerers and witches. Silver also protects against bewitchment, the Evil Eye, negative influences and evil spirits. Since ancient times, it has been used in amulets to protect people, homes and buildings. Silver nails in a coffin prevent the spirit of the corpse from escaping. Some occultists believe the metal enhances psychic faculties.

Silver’s power against the supernatural may have to do with its associations with the Moon, an abode of the dead in folklore and myth, the silvery glow of which powers the creatures and beings of the night and the Otherworld. The Inca considered silver to be not a metal but a divine quality, and associated it with the luster of moonlight; they called it the tears of the moon. Alchemists call silver Luna or Diana, after the Roman goddess of the moon. In Chinese lore, the moon is called the silver candle.



  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. New York: Facts On File, 1999.
  • Leach, Maria, and Jerome Fried, eds. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley  – September 1, 2007


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