Back in 1486 when this book was first published it caused quite the sensation. It influenced witch hunting for the next 200 years. It was said to be the most important and wisest book written, after the Bible. Also, the weightiest and the next in the number of sales as compared to the Bible, with fourteen editions.
Written by two Dominican Inquisitors to prosecute witches in Northern Germany based on the biblical pronouncement;
"Thou shall not suffer a witch to live"Exodus 22:18
They believed God would never permit an innocent person to be convicted of witchcraft. Thousands of innocent people suffered horrific torture and death.
God acknowledged there was such a thing as witchcraft, and to doubt witchcraft would be heresy.
further reading: Witches, Witchcraft & Wicca