Foreword by Ronald Grambo Acknowledgments Introduction: More Than a Simple Building Part One The House and Its Grounds 1 The House and Its Construction 2 The Building 3 The Openings of the House 4 The House Interior Part Two The House Spirits 5 Domestic Spirits in Antiquity and the Middle Ages 6 The Origin of House Spirits 7 The Manifestations of Household Spirits 8 The Purveyor Spirits 9 Haunted Houses Once Upon a Time ... Appendix 1 Sayings and Beliefs Appendix 2 The Alf Appendix 3 A Brief Summa Notes Bibliography Index
Claude Lecouteux is a former professor of mediaeval literature and civilisation at the Sorbonne. He is the author of numerous books on mediaeval and pagan afterlife beliefs, including The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses. He lives in Paris.
"...it is a serious study of the tradition of spirit life within a household. In the end Lecouteux makes the point that as modern families give up their attachment to place, they are also losing powerful ethereal presences that energize not only buildings but also generations of people. It's a very interesting read." Anna Jedriziewski, Inannaworks.com, January 2013 "The chapters are well laid out, well written, and have both clear conclusions and bridges that bring the reader from one chapter to the next. The author seems to be very thorough in his exploration of household spirits as understood in the Middle Ages in France, Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe." Brian Walsh, SpiralNature.com, January 2014 "There is so much lore and information in this book that reading it is like entering another world. It is a world rooted in the past, but relevant to our time." Robert Simmons, Metaguide Magazine/Heaven & Earth Publishing, January 2014 "There is no other author alive who so thoroughly examines the subject as Claude Lecouteux." Rebecca Elson, publisher/writer of The Magical Buffet website "Lecouteux provides plenty of historical accounts and stories that exemplify the various beliefs discussed, and his detailed and thoroughly researched writing remains accessible despite the academic tone evident in this translation. Readers with an interest in folklore, superstitions, or fairy tales will find it enlightening, especially regarding the traces of these beliefs that still exist in modern consciousness, either in lingering cultural traditions or from the folk and fairy tales we continue to pass down over generations." Rachel Hoover, Library Journal, October 2013