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Literature / The Events at Poroth Farm

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Though my name is Jeremy, derived from Jeremiah, I'd hate to be a prophet in the wilderness. I'd much rather be a harmless crank.
But I believe we're in for trouble.
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The Events at Poroth Farm is a 1972 horror novella written by T.E.D Klein, in which Jeremy, a college lecturer, takes a summer vacation in Gilead, New Jersey, to read and prepare for a course on Gothic literature he'll be teaching in the upcoming semester. He rents an outbuilding from Mennonite couple Sarr and Deborah Poroth, and at first his holiday is happy and productive.

But then odd things begin to happen. There are noises in the woods at night. And Bwada, the Poroths' eldest cat, starts acting very strangely...


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This work provides examples of:

  • Body Surf: The thing possessing Bwada attacks Deborah and takes her over, then when Sarr confronts her on the last day presumably does the same thing to him. Of course, that's assuming there's only one of these things...
  • Bug Buzz: Living out in the countryside means that Jeremy constantly has to put up with the sound of insects while he's trying to sleep. Which makes it very unnerving when, one night, the crickets just stop for a second, and then continue again out of rhythm for a moment - "as if a hand had jarred the record or there'd been some kind of momentary break in the natural flow..."
  • Cats Are Mean: Bwada is hostile to just about everything except Sarr; Jeremy theorizes that it's because she's been spayed. She or the thing controlling her body becomes downright demonic once things start to go wrong.
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  • Daylight Horror: There are things that go bump in the night aplenty, but a lot of the really creepy stuff happens during the daytime.
  • Downer Ending: Deborah's dead; Sarr's body has yet to be found; Jeremy, under suspicion of Deborah's murder, is unable to leave the local area and thus is at the mercy of the creature, wherever - or whoever - it might be now; and a possible Eldritch Abomination has been let loose on the world.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Jeremy theorizes that the creature is this, having managed to squeeze in from another reality.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since Jeremy writes about the Poroths in the past tense during his affidavit at the start of the novella, it's pretty clear they're already dead or missing.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: The Poroths have seven cats, whom they adore. When Bwada kills two of them, they bury them as if they had been their own children.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Jeremy develops a theory that, when he climbed up a tree and made strange faces and movements with his body one night, he somehow opened a rift to let something in...
  • Wham Line: "Sometimes we forget to blink."
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