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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Simon Magus (Simon the Magician) The Bible mentions the Samaritan magician Simon in Acts 8:10, saying that he used sorcery to bewitch the people of Samaria. His teacher was said to be Dositheus, and he was believed to have many magical powers, among them invisibility, being able to pass through fire, the ability to cure the sick and to raise the dead, and the ability to fly.
      Simon Peter (Saint Peter) followed him around, outmiracling him at every opportunity and finally encountering him in Rome. In desperation, Simon Magus announced that he would fly to heaven from a specially erected tower in the Campus Martius. Despite his claims to flight, he fell from the tower when Saint Peter prayed to have him fail in his attempt. Simon broke both legs and subsequently died of his injuries.
      In Irish folklore, Simon Magus appears associated with Druidic practices and is referred to there as Simon the Druid.

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