ABSTRACT

The New England demonic possession narrative, “A Confession of a Boy at Tocutt,” remains conspicuously absent from the rich scholarship on diabolic affliction in seventeenth-century North America. Appearing in Cotton Mather’s 1689 Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions, this narrative details the torments of one settler, known only as “The Boy of Tocutt,” in Branford Connecticut (ca. 1645–1666). While incomplete, this account is marked by a unique emphasis on the demonic pact and offers a valuable insight into the development of this demonological concept in New England. Through a close reading of “A Confession of a Boy at Tocutt” in the context of Protestant demonic covenant theology, this article establishes the demonological and narrative function of the pact in New England diabolical literature. In doing so, it reconciles this possession narrative with succeeding cases and establishes the versality of the demonic pact in New England demonology.

You do not currently have access to this content.