Main Article Content
Children’s supernatural based activities such as M.A.S.H, Bloody Mary, Ouija board experimentation, and “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” comprise a traditional repertoire of paranormal and divinatory rituals to be drawn upon many times throughout a series of friends’ birthday parties or sleepovers. This article investigates the cognitive and ritual functions of such supernatural play as performed by American pre-adolescent girls within the liminal context of the slumber party. Though characterized as children’s play, this is ritual behavior in two senses: in its direct confrontation and thrilling exploration of the supernatural, and in its trance-inducing, ceremonial qualities. Such play is often structured and performed as traditional ritual and can invoke aspects of rites of passage, especially when undertaken cumulatively throughout adolescence. Drawing upon fieldwork in consultation with the collections of University of Oregon’s Mills Northwest Folklore Archive, the Utah State University’s Fife Folklore Archive, and children’s folklore scholarship, this article explores such spiritualistic play as a vernacular process of adolescent individuation.
Materials published in the Children's Folklore Review (CFR) remain the property of their authors. CFR encourages authors to honor the journal with exclusive rights to their work for the period of one year following its initial publication; however, authors may offer their work for reprint as they see fit. Submissions may be withdrawn at any point during the review process. Once the material has been published in CFR, however, it becomes part of the CFR record and cannot be removed.Likewise, CFR may emend the appearance of materials to maintain a consistency of design, but will make only make changes to the text when requested by the author. At the author’s request, and with the agreement of the editor, additions and amendments may be added as separate files to the table of contents.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Derivative License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.
- While CFR adopts the above strategies in line with best practices common to the open access journal community, it urges authors to promote use of this journal (in lieu of subsequent duplicate publication of unaltered papers) and to acknowledge the unpaid investments made during the publication process by peer-reviewers, editors, copy editors, programmers, layout editors and others involved in supporting the work of the journal.