Humans are creative beings, and it can be argued that perhaps our most supernatural power is our imagination. Using that power, we’ve ascribed magic to things we couldn’t understand. And, so we, present a list of historical ‘wizards,’ from mathematicians to rabbis to alchemists to healers who definitely walked among us, even if the facts regarding them are cloaked in mythology. Although their magic may not (okay, definitely wasn't) real, the actual humans were. And some, like Nicholas Flamel and Rasputin, because fictional characters themselves, which isn't helping us sort out fact from fiction any easier.

In the Middle Ages, it seems scientists used “magic” to help justify science, especially among religious leaders. Throughout history, claiming magical ability also helped people born in poverty rise up through social classes. After death, the myth of magic was often used to villainize or heroize a historical figure. Most recently, people studied the occult, often as a response against the dominant religion. 

Grigori Rasputin

GRIGORI RASPUTIN Rasputin was supposedly the only person who could alleviate the suffering of Russian Emperor Nicholas' only son Alexei, who had hemophilia. The Imperial couple took his advice as a holy man, even though he had a reputation of drunkenness and promiscuity that scandalized the Russian elite. CRACKED

Source: Smithsonian

Judah Loew

JUDAH LOEW The 17th century rabbi of Prague was said to have made a golem out of clay to protect Jewish people from persecution. This story didn't start until over two hundred years after his death, often overshadowing his philosophical contributions to Judaism. CRACKED

Source: New York Times

Nicholas Flamel

NICHOLAS FLAMEL The French scribe and manuscript seller from the Middle Ages isn't just a character from the Harry Potter books. Although he was a very real person with a very real tombstone, rumors started after his death that he discovered the Philospher's Stone and was immortal. CRACKED

Source: BBC

Dion Fortune

DION FORTUNE Dion Fortune was an occult novelist and medium who lived in the early 1900s. She founded the magical organization the Fraternity of the Inner Light, which saw Jesus Christ as a prophet like a Orpheus or Mithra. CRACKED

Source: Encyclopedia

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