1. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Plausible to hunt 'demons' in the 60s or late 50s?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by DeathandGrim, Nov 14, 2013.

    I'm planning to write an origin tale for one of my characters who as a child is labeled a demon child and hunted. Thing is the incident that takes place around her early childhood when she's 7-8 (1962-1963)

    I want to know is this a stretch? Did people worry about witches and demons in the 60s?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    I suddenly feel so very, very old, and I restrain myself from assuring you that we had electricity and cars. :) OK, it's not technically 'we', because I wasn't quite in existence in 1963, but I was pretty close.

    I would say that people in the 1960s wouldn't be significantly more likely to worry about witches and demons than people now. In fact, it's entirely possible that they worry *more* about them now than then. I have no proof of that, other than a vague perception that people fussing about "Demonic influences on our chilllllldren!" is something that started to kick in 15-20 years ago.

    Edited to add: Which is not to say that you couldn't create such a situation, but I think that it would be about as difficult then, as now.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    Goodness, when do you suppose the Salem witch hunts occurred?

    As for movies that reflected thinking of the day:
    The Exorcist - 1973
    Rosemary's Baby - 1968​

    HORROR MOVIE NIGHT- Witchy, satanic and cultish collection
     
  4. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Wow, I'm spot on. I just had a niggling thought that it was more of an 1800s kind of thing.

    This actually provides authenticity and back story!

    Thanks for the help

    They DID? :eek: lol :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  5. Simpson17866
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    Even today, there are children being labelled as evil by the likes of Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, etc… whose parents then send them to camps where they are convinced to kill themselves. You're talking about something happening less then 10 years after McCarthy's Crusade had reached it's peak of paranoia? Yeah, I'd believe it.
     
  6. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Jinkies. I'm not surprised Westboro is doing something morally reprehensible but still that's pretty damn bad.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    people somewhere and some people everywhere have worried about such things ever since there have been people!

    what would make you think they haven't?
     
  8. DeathandGrim
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    The fact that I've lived in Virginia for 12 years now. Not a single exciting event.
     
  9. Fitzroy Zeph
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    When did Wizard of Oz come out? 1939. Salem witch trials? 1692. Wizardry and sorcery spans multiple cultures through eons, so unless something weird happened over a decade or two in the 50s 60s, I'd say go with it. 1959 , the song Love Potion #9, 1956 I Put a Spell on You...
     
  10. Cogito
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    The novel Rosemary's Baby was published in 1967. The TV series Thriller ran from 1960-62, and often had a demonic theme. I'm sure there are plentu of examples from the 1940s and 1950s as well - I've definitely heard radio plays from those times with demon story lines.

    The real question is can you write it in a way that the reader will accept it. Plausibility comes from skillful writing.
     
  11. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I heard a legend where one guy on my mom's road had an indoor toilet way way back in the 70s...
     
  12. Man in the Box
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    Lol one of the biggest horror hits of the 1970s was "The Omen" which is exactly about a child who is the incarnation of the devil. To me, it's all fair game.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The 1970s also gave us The Exorcist. But D&G was asking about the 1950s and 1960s.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    go to www.imdb.com and do a character/key word search for 'demons' and you'll see how far back movies with such themes went... the classic 'nosferatu' [subtitled ' symphony of horror'] was one of the earliest silent flicks...
     
  15. Thomas Kitchen
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    1900, if you're talking about when the book was published.
     
  16. Fitzroy Zeph
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    That's amazing as they are still making new films based on it. I guess you could call that a successful book.
     
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  17. ChickenFreak
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    I'm confused.

    I assumed that the question was whether the sixties were far enough into the past for people to be seriously worried about the idea of witchcraft, demons, etc. Is everyone else assuming that the question is whether the sixties were modern enough to have formed those ideas?

    That seems to be the general consensus, which confuses me, because those ideas are certainly not new. But witchcraft, etc., also hasn't been a prosecutable offense for a very, very long time, so unless you go back to, I'd say, the 1700's or so you'd have to create a very odd and isolated community or organization to have someone actually hunting a child as a demon. (I do see that the newest prosecution for witchcraft in the UK was in *1944*, but I assume that that was a pretty isolated situation.) And that's perfectly doable in a novel, but I think that the sixties aren't significantly different from today, in creating that situation.

    In general, my brain hurts.
     
  18. edamame
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    Considering how early the idea of demons came about...I think you have a large time period you can set your story in. If Abraham Lincoln can be a vampire hunter, I don't see how someone in 20th century couldn't. ;)
     
  19. Flashfire07
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    Well before answering your question I believe a little bit of context is required. Are you setting this in the relatively 'modern' Western nations or elsewhere on the globe? If so I can believe someones family attempting to harm their child as they believe she is a witch or demon (I read about it far too often in the news), but a whole community... that would require something very strange to happen.
     
  20. live2write
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    Omg you have never seen American Horror Story Season 2!
     
  21. DeathandGrim
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    Laina Fierce, a young African American orphan, is born with a the reincarnation of the God of darkness ( named Nala by Laina) inside of her. since she's bullied by the other orphans she develops a relationship with the God, believing it is her favorite doll and not a deity.

    one day when Laina is bullied by her main bully, Madeline, and gets her favorite doll broken as a result Evelyn has a breakdown and cries and then wishes Madeline would die and everyone would just go away ( in her head). Nala,
    not wishing to see it's owner be sad, fulfills this desire by erupting in an explosion of darkness, killing Madeline and completely destroying the orphanage leaving several others wounded. And because Laina is the only one that's left standing at the scene of the crime because Nala retreats inside of her, she's branded a demon child by those who discover her. AND THE HUNT BEGINS.
     
  22. Leigh Silvester
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    I would say absolutely not.
    They would read Dennis Wheatley and know it was a load of cobblers.
    They would watch Hammer films in the hope of spotting an Ingrid Pitt moment.

    In the 60s a demon child was more likely to inducted into a biker gang (I speak from knowledge!) or adopted by a bunch of hippies.

    However, if your audience isn't old farts like me then yeah, make the sixties a bit like the middle ages.
     
  23. Flashfire07
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    Hmmm... great concept I must admit. But I'm not 100% sure where it is being set, I assume it would be somewhere in America (I apologise if that is an incorrect assumption) and thus is unlikely to be persecuted based on being a 'demon' but is far more likely to face trouble because of her ethnicity at that time. Of course if it is set in the generic and backwards Deep South we so often see presented to us I see no reason they wouldn't use the disaster as an excuse to persecute her even more.
     
  24. DrWhozit
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    http://www.bing.com/search?q=demonic+possession+in+early+1900%27s&qs=n&form=QBLH&pq=demonic+possession+in+early+1900%27s&sc=0-24&sp=-1&sk=&ghc=1&cvid=fd736618d52c440cb7ff864a7a06d703

    The above Bing search produced quite a few articles.

    http://livescifi.tv/2013/02/axe-murders-of-the-1900s-do-you-believe/

    This one looks promising.

    It depends a lot on your setting, but I'd say it's a wide open venue for the macabre audience. Have you looked at old Twilight Zone episodes and Inner Sanctum radio broadcasts? Science Fiction Theater? I think it was 1969 when Anon LeVay started the 1st Church of Satan. You might go back even further to the late 1800's or the Salem Witch trials to start your research, but there's nothing to say you can't just let your imagination run wild and write about a haunted WW1 Spad or Sopwith Camel that kills the passengers then returns to normal, like Stephen King's "Christine," told a different way.
     
  25. DeathandGrim
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    It's in America. Baltimore, Maryland to be specific.
     

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