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David E. Jones (Author) See More

$14.95 USD
Square One Publishers
6 X 9 in
248 pg

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Evil in Our Midst provides a chilling glimpse of fifty dark angels, each of which represents a culture’s greatest fears. Every chapter opens with a story that shares the legend of a demon, and then offers fascinating information on the culture that, in many cases, perpetuates this belief. For those who believe in these creatures, this book gives reason to fear the unknown. For those who do not believe in demons, it provides terrifying reading for a stormy night.

David E. Jones
Author Bio

David E. Jones received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, and his master’s and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. As a field anthropologist, Dr. Jones has spent decades studying the folklore of native people throughout the world.

Table of contents



Pronunciation of Demon Names 


            . Demons of North America   


Cherokee of North Carolina Tennessee and Oklahoma

Tsi Sgili  

Cherokee of North Carolina Tennessee and Oklahoma


Comanche of Oklahoma


Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands

La Malogra  

Hispanic New Mexico


Inuit of Alaska


Inuit of Alaska

La Llorona  


Mai Tso  

Navaho of New Mexico and Arizona


Ojibwa of Canada


Oglala of South Dakota


Quiche of Mexico


Seneca of New York

Water Babies  

Washo of Lake Tahoe

                        . Demons of South America


Andean Highlands


Apinaye of Brazil


Baniwa of Brazil


Bororo of Brazil


Iquitos of the Peruvian Amazon

Kwifi Oto  

Kalapalo of Central Brazil




Macusi of British Guiana


Warao of Venezuela and British Guiana


Yanomamo of Venezuela and Brazil


Yuqui of Central Bolivia

            . Demons of the West Indies  




Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

La Diablesse  

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Mama Dlo  

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago


Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

            . Demons of Africa     


Kapsiki of Northern Cameroon


Lango of Uganda


Lugbara of Africa


Mende of Sierra Leone

            . Demons of Asia        


Ainu of Sakhalin

Huli Jing  



Dusun of Borneo




Javanese of Modjokuto

Rai Na’in  

Tetum of Eastern Timor

                        . Demons of the Pacific


Gururumba of New Guinea


Kapauku of New Guinea


Kunimaipa of New Guinea


Maori of New Zealand


Maori of New Zealand


Maori of New Zealand


New Hebrides Islands


Trobriand Islands of Melanesia

Rawa Tukump  

Tsembaga of New Guinea


Ulithi of Micronesia




Introduction or preface


Recently, while waiting at the airport for a flight to California where I was scheduled to speak at an anthropology symposium, I came across the article “If You Liked the Movie . . .” by David Van Biema in Time magazine. Undoubtedly inspired by the re-release of the 1973 classic movie The Exorcist, the topic of the article was exorcism—an ancient religious practice of expelling evil spirits from a human host, which, not all that surprisingly, is still regularly performed today. In his article, Van Biema notes that in the early 1990s, New York’s Cardinal John O’Conner appointed four exorcists to the archdiocese. Each year, this group of “demon fighters” investigates an average of 350 cases of possession and performs ten to fifteen exorcisms. Is this proof that demons are alive and well in the third millennium, some of them even walking the streets of New York City? As recently as l999, the Vatican reviewed the Catholic Rite of Exorcism and made some mod­ifications, one of which eliminated the physical description of Satan. This was an apt decision, since, as you will read, evil shrouds itself in many disguises—not just in the form of a horned, red-skinned monster with cloven hooves and pointed tail, wielding a pitchfork.

            In many cultures, people know and vividly experience demons—collective images of ultimate evil. They know how evil incarnate looks and exactly what to expect from an encounter with one of these demons. Their most terrifying imaginings have been named and endowed with predictable, though horrifying, characteristics. These people often live in fear, expecting the worst on a moonlit night or a cold, rainy afternoon. . . .

            What is the most terrifying being you can imagine? Perhaps you’ll come across it in the pages to follow. But make no mistake. This is not a book of fairy tales. Nor is this book about bogeymen—the imaginary creatures that have terrorized children throughout the ages. This book explores the evil inour midst as it can be found in a myriad of cultures—past and present. The accounts you’ll find here present images of ultimate evil that are often very real to the adults and elders of a particular society.

            Demons seem to evolve along with the communities in which they are found and rarely cross cultural boundaries. A poor, white Alabama farmer would probably never encounter Ghede of Haiti while plowing his field, nor would a Mongol sheepherder be tempted by the powers of Nia’ gwai’he’gowa—the Bear Monster of the Seneca. Demons seem to fit the perceived realities of those who nurture them, and they shift as external forces change the social reality in which they exist.

            When considering that demons are found in every culture and in every age, many interesting questions arise: Why do people create these monsters, breathe perpetual life into them, and transmit them to the next generation? Why do people seem to need the threat of demons in their lives? Why don’t demons go out of style? Perhaps after you’ve read the ­series of vignettes in this book, along with the related cultural background, you can draw your own conclusions, or maybe you already have some of your own ideas. As you read, consider these possibilities: demons are triumphs of the religious imagination; demons are reflections of the nature of mental illness in a particular society; demons represent the collected spiritual insight into the negative traits and tendencies that lead to social or psychological chaos; demons are a rationale for deviant or criminal behavior; demons are a reflection of some alternate reality; or demons are ­totally, indisputably real and are waiting just around the corner for their next victim. . . .

            You’ll notice that this book does not focus on the demonic beliefs among adherents of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, since such lore is rampant in Western books, television, and movies. Rather, described in these pages are the more esoteric religious ideas of subarctic Inuits, Melanesians, tribes of the Amazonian Rainforest, and more. Each vignette details the usually gruesome, unfortunate outcome of an encounter with a particular demon. Informational background follows each story to give you some knowledge of the culture that, in many cases, perpetuates the belief in its demons. What you are about to read is neither ancient mythology nor mere folklore. It is a portal into the contemporary reality of living in a world of demons.