The Bedeviled by Thomas Cullinan (Avon, 1978)


Upon arriving at the house in the country they inherited from an aunt, a family starts experiencing weird changes. The 16-year-old son, Duff, becomes obsessed with a Civil War general ancestor. This General was a Satanist and remains a central figure for a local cult that keeps digging up his remains to use in rituals. Duff becomes possessed by the general and tries to molest his sister and urinates in a church. He slyly taunts his mother and keeps a diary (in another handwriting) about being the general, and even starts appearing as him. His mother (the narrator) is the only one who sees what’s going on and everyone thinks she’s the crazy one, especially after Duff passes a psychological test. Then the mother gets possessed by the general’s wife, and incest, insanity, and death start plaguing the family. It’s not a bad horror novel — the writing is good and there are some creepy moments. 3 stars


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