From John's contradictory answers it seems possible that fairies and familiars were not clearly differentiated within the minds of ordinary people.
These examples, coupled with the numerous uses in many witchcraft pamphlets of the word 'spirit' to mean 'familiar' would suggest that, despite one man's confusion between fairies and familiars, the more mainstream view was that familiars were linked in some way to the devilish imps of the Middle Ages.
30) Also, whereas in the Middle Ages, magicians were believed to conjure spirits for their own purposes, in sixteenth-century witchcraft pamphlets familiars often sought out witches without being invited.
Robin Briggs claims that 'the animal familiars or imps which appear in almost every well documented case [of witchcraft] quite clearly performed the role of the Devil'.
In this pamphlet, two of the three witches reported were deceived by their familiars.
47) This example highlights that familiars not only deceived their mistresses, but were also vindictive towards those who refused to concede to their demands.
53) This pamphlet is very clear in identifying familiars (or 'impes') as agents of a Devil keen to deceive mankind.
80) It would seem that devils, familiars and Spaniards had become one - at least in the cosmology of Seberina Candelaria and her village.
According to this mode of analysis, the events that take place in Obando can certainly be interpreted as representative of a latent hostility against a colonial order sustained behind the facade of Christianity: devils, familiars and Spaniards are, after all, one in Seberina's consciousness.
She is a young woman aged twenty-two, otherwise historically unremarkable, illiterate, from a largely insignificant rural community, Obando, north of Malabon and west of Polo, in the province of Bulacan on the archipelago's principal island of Luzon, who, in 1808, is arraigned before an ecclesiastical court accused of associating with the Devil who appears to her in the form of a demonic familiar.
Charges accusing Seberina of consorting with a duende or demon familiar were laid before the vicario foraneo, the bishop's representative at the district level and the lowest level of the judicial structure in ecclesiastical matters, in the casa parroquial of Obando on 4 June 1808.
After this, he appeared most days at sunset, telling her that he was a demon familiar and that his name was Isac.
When Seberina returned to Obando, the familiar followed.
Many apparently believed the familiar had the power to move things, asking him to return missing goods from whence they had come.