Man concluded that he was surrounded by a world of supernatural beings, of different powers, attributes, and passions. The sun and moon, the planets and stars, were conceived to be the abodes of spiritual existences ; and the effects caused by those orbs which more immediately influence our earth, were considered as the indications of the powers of their respective deities. So also the air, its clouds and currents ; the ocean, with its mighty progeny of lakes and rivers ; and the earth, its hills, dales, and organic forms, were peopled with incorporeal beings. Every object of beauty shadowed forth the operations of a beneficent Spirit; while devastating storms, barren places and deserts, and the convulsions of nature, betokened the malignancy of daemons or fiends. According as a country's surface is harsh, rugged, barren, and storm-tossed, or clothed with lovely verdure and basking in the rays of a fervid sun, so do we find the principal characters of its mythology ; stern, gigantic, and fierce gods or daemons, or spirits more kind towards man, and full of beauty and grace. The passions and affections of man, for the same reasons, were considered to be under the sway of supernatural beings ; in short, every operation of nature in the organic or inorganic, in the mental or physical worlds, was deemed an indication of the existence of a supernatural being who was in charge of it.


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Fiends, Ghosts and Sprites - J Netten Radcliffe