No phenomenon reveals the otherness, the alien quality of early modern culture as dramatically as reputed cases of demonic possession. Previously a rare and rather marginal phenomenon, demonic possession became a new plague in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Physically the affliction manifested itself in recurrent fits, convulsions, foaming at the mouth, difficulty eating and drinking, bug-eyes, and extreme contortions of the body. Verbally demoniacs sometimes ranted incoherently; other times, their words were offensively clear to those around them. Speaking with the supposed voice of the devil, demoniacs uttered blasphemies and obscenities, denied fundamental Christian dogmas, and mocked figures of authority.