A small demon, often kept inside a bottle or ring
and used for magical purposes. Imps are evoked and
commanded to carry out tasks and spells.
Witches were said to keep imps that assumed different
forms, such as toads, rodents and especially flies, spiders
and other insects. When accused witches were imprisoned,
they were watched closely for any appearances of
their imps. Prisons were full of insects and rodents, so it
was rare that a cell would not have such visitors. Guards
would pounce on them, and if they were killed, it meant
they were harmless animals or bugs. But if a fly or spider
escaped, it was taken as a sure sign of the witch’s imp.
Witches were accused of using imps to carry out evil
deeds upon innocent people, such as bewitchment, ill
fortune, accidents and even death. In return, the witches
suckled the imps with their own blood, using their
fingers or protuberances on the body. Witch hunters
searched bodies for witch’s marks, usually warts, discolored
skin, and unnatural lumps believed to serve as
teats or paps.
In some witch trials, the term “imp” was used interchangeably