From the book Bloody Mary by Carolly Erickson
If children were taught to fear the consequences of disobedience, they were kept in terror of the uncontrollable world of the occult. They were told to "double the thumb" - to enclose their thumb under their clenched fingers - in the presence of danger, for this shape of the hand resembled the Hebrew name of God. Their imaginations were opened to the invisible troupe of menacing beings which wandered the night or waited in th forest. The list of these unseen tormentors was enormous" spirits, witches, hags,satyrs, pans,sylens, tritons, centaurs, dwarfs, giants, imps,calcars, nymphs, incubi, hobgoblins, Robin Goodfellow, the spoorn, the terrifying "Boneless". Ruling them all was the ultimate horror, compounded of all the animals children fear most: the Devil, "having horns on his head, fire in his mouth, and a tail in his breech, eyes like a Bason, fangs like a Dog, claws like a Boar, a skin like a Niger, and a voice roaring like a Lion, whereby we start and are afraid when we hear on cry Bough!"
And children are still being frightened by the overlord of evil - Satan, yes the Devil himself. So sad to think of the nightmares of such horrid and terrifying and seemingly evil world would give a child. As we have seen in our own lives or in the interactions we have had with exChristians, the image presented of demons and devils and Satan cause no end of fear for people. These superstitions have not been overcome even in our modern times. At least not in many Christian homes. May reason prevail for the sake of mental health in our nation.
I so feel for this little girl. What a scary world to live in.