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Literature / The Manitou

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Graham Masterton's most memorable horror novel - The Manitou. The first half of the book is chillingly mysterious as the main characters are introduced, and the strange occurences surrounding the female lead and her bizarre ailment start to happen and gradually cascade faster and faster. While it may start slow, the pace of the book constantly grows until it comes to a massively chaotic and terrifying conclusion.

Masterton based this book on extensive research into Native American mythology and folklore. Written in 1975, the novel was filmed in 1978 starring Tony Curtis and Susan Strasbourg.

There have been a total of five sequels.


This book either gave un-natural birth to, or else foully nurtures and sustains, the following tropes:

  • Indian Burial Ground: to Misquamacus, the whole of North America is one continuous indian burial ground and as such is holy soil from which the sacrilegious and defiling white man must be extirpated. And the black man. And the Asian man. And the Jew. And everything they have brought with them - cars, trains, aircraft, non-native animals. A later sequel sees Apocalypse, with cities, farms, and whole herds of cattle and sheep, being dragged into the Netherworld as Misquamacus puts out his power to cleanse the land of foreign influences.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Misquamacus tries to return to the human world by hijacking newly conceived foetuses (foetii?) or else as an un-natural "conjoined twin"-like growth.
  • Womb Horror: Misquamacus chooses to re-enter the world as a monstrous foetus attached to an external womb on the back of a human host.

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