Carol K. Mack & Dinah Mack,
A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies,
Fallen Angels & Other Subversive Spirits

(Henry Holt & Co., 1998)

A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels & Other Subversive Spirits is the ultimate reference work for demonology. I love this book. It does have an unusual approach to listing the creatures -- it groups them by their region or location. The sections are "Water," "Mountain," "Forest," "Desert," "Domicile" and "Psyche." If you are not certain of the location, you will find the index is thorough and will quickly put your finger on the listing for your creature.

There is a list of the creatures profiled at the beginning of each group that gives the name and the specific location. For example, the creatures of the "desert" group are Surem, Set, Azazel, Iblis, Djinn, Shaitan, Ghoul, Devalpa, Mimi, St. Anthony's Demons, Palis, Mamu, Ahriman, Namarrgon, Ho'ok and Satan. Each has the desert where it is known to exist, from the Sahara to the Sonoran. Each group also has an introduction that tells about the specific qualities of the region and gives a brief historical overview of what kind of creatures came here, how they survive, and how they interact with humanity.

The individual listings are captivating. They are divided into three major sections. In the first section, they give a detailed profile of the creature. It includes their physical description, how they lived, how they interacted with nature and humans, and where they can be found today. The second section provides the folklore about the creature. The stories are intriguing and will send your imagination soaring! The final section tells how to disarm these creatures and protect yourself from their powers. Sometimes it will include information on how to receive their powers for your own use.

While this book is an excellent reference text, it is also a great book to read for pleasure. You will be fascinated at the different folklore and beliefs about these creatures. Many will be new to you.

This is a book that you will enjoy reading over and over for years. It is one of the most valuable references a horror writer can own. I have used mine extensively and expect to continue using it for as long as I write. It is one of my favorite books.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 23 August 2003

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