1The Voynich Manuscript
Cryptographers, mathematicians and linguists have been unable to decipher this book. Despite its arcane nature, scholars maintain it was written during the medieval years of 1404 and 1438. Its name comes from antique book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who bought the book second-hand in Italy in 1912.
2The Munich Manual of Demonic Magic
The Manual contains the three major kinds of magick found in grimoires: Illusionist, Psychological, and Divinatory. Illusionist spells are meant to fool people into seeing things like castles or armies. Psychological spells are meant to leverage emotional or political power over people. Divinatory actions are intended to extract information from the future or past.
The Munich Manual contains passages that describe sacrificing mythological creatures, but the most eerie component of this book is that it completely ignores angel folklore and focuses exclusively on black magick and descriptions of classical exorcisms.
The Codex Seraphinianus is similar to the Voynich in its largely unintelligible, syntax-less text and fascination with fauna and floral specimen. It also features “trucks with human heads, skeletons getting fitted for new bodies, and weird animals that don't exist.”
This book was published in the early 80s, which probably added to its pop lore - it's a book that went viral before viral was even a thing.
4Heptameron (‘Seven Days')
I can't help but imagine a man accused of atheism wasting away in prison, trying to summon strength from cosmic forces we didn't even yet know existed. (Source | Photo)
5On the Writing of the Insane
He was asked to abandon this writing style, to which he replied: “Dear Doctor, to write or not to write, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to follow the visit of the great ‘Fulbourn' with ‘chronic melancholy' expressions of regret (withheld when he was here) that, as the Fates would have it, we were so little prepared to receive him, and to evince my humble desire to do honour to his visit. My Fulbourn star, but an instant seen, like a meteor's flash, a blank when gone. The dust of ages covering my little sanctum parlour room, the available drapery to greet the Doctor, stowed away through the midst of the regenerating (water and scrubbing – cleanliness next to godliness, political and spiritual) cleansing of a little world. The Great Physician walked, bedimmed by the ‘dark ages' the long passage of Western Enterprise, leading to the curvatures of rising Eastern morn. The rounded configuration of Lunar (tics) garden's lives an o'ershadowment on Britannia's vortex…”
Sadly, he later drowned himself in public.
(Source | Photo)
6The Picatrix/The Aim of the Sage
It also describes "confections" composed of blood, brains and urine. (Source | Photo)
7The Oera Linda Book
(Source | Photo)
8The Story of the Vivian Girls
After his death in 1973, it was discovered that reclusive American writer Henry Darger had penned a 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, In What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.
The book contains graphic color illustrations and ranges in content from floral landscapes to child torture.
Please note: Darger usually depicts his girls as having little penises. (Source)
9The Red Dragon/Grand Grimoire
The 4-part book is owned by the Roman Catholic Church and is kept in the Vatican Secret Archives, where it remains unavailable to the public. How do we know it exists? The Church claims official ownership of it.
The legend of the Red Dragon is that the manuscript was based on writings by the apocryphal Honorius of Thebes, who many claimed was possessed by Satan. The book is said to contain proof of demonic evocation and occult spells as well as the process whereby newly elected popes are slowly won over by Satan's greatness.
Unsurprisingly, The Grand Grimoire is still used widely by practitioners of voodoo, especially in Haiti, where it is called Le Veritable Dragon Rouge.
Oh, the book is also rumored to be impervious to fire.