Changelings, ferals, monstrous newborns—the evil child appears in a variety of forms and haunts a range of popular works, from novels to music videos, photography to video games. Focusing on narratives with supernatural components, Evil Children in the Popular Imagination argues that the recent proliferation of stories about evil children demonstrates not a declining faith in the innocence of childhood but a desire to preserve its purity. Each subtype of evil child offers a particular explanation for the problem of the “evil” child, shifting over time and space to adapt to changing historical circumstances and ideologies.

Table of Contents (click a chapter title for an abstract)

1. Introduction
2. Monstrous Births
3. Gifted Children
4. Ghost Children
5. Possessed Children
6. Ferals
7. Changelings