Utdrag ur introduktionen
No commonly accepted term exists in modern English for the experience that is the subject of this book. This unusual situation of language is an object of, as well as a complication in, my research. The use of such folk terms as incubus, nightmare, and witch riding, for example, has led to mistaken conclusions about the distribution of the experience that lies behind the associated beliefs. Such problems in terminology have made it necessary to investigate the academic study of belief along with the beliefs themselves. In the absence of a precise name, I have chosen a title for this book that conveys the feeling characteristic of what some have considered to be most frightening event ever experienced by humans - the terror that comes in the night.
When I began this project I expected it to take only a few months and to result in a single article. Instead I have taken almost ten years to reach the point, and I cannot claim that the investigation is complete even now.