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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Terror that comes whenever you happen to be reading this, 6 Jan 2004
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This review is from: The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions: Experience-centred Study of Supernatural Assault ... of The American Folklore Society) (Paperback)
This is a stringent investigation into the folkloric phenomenon of 'The Night Hag', particularly as it manifests in Newfoundland. Mr Hufford thoroughly explains his investigative methods, and although necessary for his purposes, this can be a little frustrating when you're just waiting for the bits where the hairs on the back of your neck start to rise. And they do.
The fact that Mr Hufford approaches his subject so rationally makes the phenomenon his interviewees have encountered all the more frightening; as does the conversational tone in which the horrors are recounted.
This book was recommended to me by a friend, who, like me, is not easily scared. (In fact, for middle-aged men we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find art that frightens.) You find yourself staring uncomfortably at open doorways, and checking your body for signs of incipient paralysis. If you want the extra frisson of reading it just before sleep, you get to enjoy a newfound reluctance in turning out the light. Then you lie there, convinced that your breath is not coming as easily as usual, and half-expecting a presence to coalesce from the waiting dark.
Mr Hufford maintains an admirable open-mindedness throughout, and his soberly delivered conclusion does little to comfort. As an incidental bonus, you also learn why mermaids are no longer seen.
Buy it, and wait for the night.
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