The Terror That Comes in the Night
An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions
David J. Hufford
304 pages | 6 x 9
Paper 1989 | ISBN 978-0-8122-1305-8 | $24.95s | £16.50 | Add to cart
Ebook 2015 | ISBN 978-0-8122-9259-6 | $24.95s | £16.50 | About | Add to cart
A volume in the Publications of the American Folklore Society series
View table of contents
"A provocative exploratory work."—Los Angeles Times
"A brilliant and exciting look at a misunderstood phenomenon."—Western Folklore
"Fascinating, original, and convincing, The Terror That Comes in the Night is one of the most significant books on the paranormal. . . . A classic."—Fate
"Anyone interested in folklore or dream research or bizarre and unexplained phenomena, which are here examined carefully and rationally, will enjoy this volume."—American Rationalist
David Hufford's work exploring the experiential basis for belief in the supernatural, focusing here on the so-called Old Hag experience, a psychologically disturbing event in which a victim claims to have encountered some form of malign entity while dreaming (or awake). Sufferers report feeling suffocated, held down by some "force," paralyzed, and extremely afraid.
The experience is surprisingly common: the author estimates that approximately 15 percent of people undergo this event at some point in their lives. Various cultures have their own name for the phenomenon and have constructed their own mythology around it; the supernatural tenor of many Old Hag stories is unavoidable. Hufford, as a folklorist, is well-placed to investigate this puzzling occurrence.
David J. Hufford is Professor and Director at the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine (Hershey), where he has appointments in Medical Humanities, Behavioral Science, and Family and Community Medicine. He is Adjunct Professor in the Program of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.