The eel is believed to hold all kinds of virtues and powers. For example, if it is left to die outside of water, doused in vinegar and vulture's blood then once placed beneath a dunghill it was said to have the power to raise anything from the dead. It was also believed that anyone who consumed the warm heart of an eel would accept the spirit of prophecy and the gift of predicting the future. The eel was worshipped in Egypt, and only priests were allowed to eat it.
During the eighteenth century, magic eels were created using mutton juice and flour. According to William of Malmesbury, a dean of the church of Elgin in Scotlan would not cede his church to a group of pious monks and he was transformed into an eel and made into a stew.