Series 1 Episode 3
First Broadcast: 8PM Sat 10 December 2011

Instead of blaming bacteria, viruses or failing organs, our ancestors blamed disease and illness on demons, sprites and God. They sought cures not in pills or plasters, but in prayer, potions and the paranormal.

Disease was supernatural and was associated with evil; the body was a battleground between the forces of good and evil.

Tony's journey back into this world begins in Saxon times 1400 years ago. He discovers how relics from a bygone culture led people to believe that ailments such as strokes and angina were caused by mischievous elves.

Looking back to the Stone Age, Tony attempts to recreate a horrifying surgical procedure pioneered 6000 years ago, which involved cutting through a skull to expose the brain. The hole in the head provided an escape route for the evil spirits that had invaded the victim's body.

Warding off sickness might just mean using heavenly fragrances but if your sickness was a divine punishment, treatment meant penance, flagellation, prayer and fasting.

The bold might try passing their sickness onto a body already destined for hell. If evil could be removed from the body, could goodness and health be transferred in? Our ancestors believed it could.

Tony is immersed in a pit filled with the blood and viscera of a herd of slaughtered cattle. Could this lead to miraculous recovery?

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Tony Robinson's Gods and Monsters on Channel4.com

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Tony Robinson reveals a terrifying world of walking corpses and evil spirits - the world that our ancestors thought they lived in