August 31, 2016 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
As part of my Internet roamings for all things Lovecraftian, New England-y, curious, and otherwise useful to Keepers, I spotted a listing for a work I wasn’t familiar with: “Supernatural Folklore in Rhode Island” (1956) by Eidola Jean Bourgaize.
A little digging soon revealed this was a dissertation as part of a Masters degree in English from the University of Rhode Island from 1956; in other words, the only copy was to be found at URI. Since part of what I’m doing with the Sentinel Hill Press Patreon is purchasing resources for the SHP library, I emailed URI and asked about ordering a copy of the dissertation. Most unexpectedly the school said they would scan the original and add it to their public files. Thanks!
So, for you entertainment, here is Supernatural Folklore of Rhode Island:
(If you don’t want to download it here, you can also get a copy directly from URI.)
The dissertation consists of six chapters, the subjects of which are mostly self-explanatory:
- “The Three Races” (a short survey of Native, English, and African folklore)
- “The Devil in New England”
- “Witches and Fortune Tellers”
- “Ghosts and Apparitions”
- “Sea Tales and Traditions”
- “The Natural and Supernatural”
I’ve only read the ‘Witches’ chapter (surprise surprise) so far, but it is an interesting read, at least as well-written as most professionally published books on similar topics. I’m sure I’ll pull out some of the more interesting and/or lesser-known tales for future use.
(A little looking finds a journal article or two by Ms. Bourgaize and a pair of books – More Fun in the Water: Games for Swimmers and Non-Swimmers and One-pot Cookery.)
In case you were wondering, I’ll post part 2 of “Let’s Make a Cult” later today…