Savage man lived in a world which was all alive. Rocks, trees, the sea, Woman, wine, wind, each had a soul, personal, conscious, willful and animated, which may or may not be propitiated. He would think nothing of speaking to a rock.
Modern man lives in a world where even his food comes dead on a styrofoam tray, his acquaintance is no more than a particular chance collection of countless chemical reactions. He would be afraid he might be committed for speaking to a rock. There are no souls.
Elizabeth Knap lived in between. People no longer spoke to rocks; but God was still alive, Evil was still alive, the two still battled, and she got caught in the crossfire.
Elizabeth Knap of Groton was possessed by the Devil.
The observer who brings us her tale is no Puritan nitwit. He is a thoughtful, compassionate, skeptical man. But he lived in a world where souls, at least the souls of people, still were real, and still mattered.
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