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‘Maternal Influence and Monsters’

Maternal Influence and Monsters

Maternal Influence and Monsters It was widely believed in the 19th century that whatever a pregnant woman gazed upon would affect her baby. The papers were full of stories of children born with birth defects or phobias ascribed to their mother being frightened by such horrors as a snarling dog, a rat crushed in a trap, a lightning storm, or a ghost. They are disturbing reading for it was an insensitive age and those born deformed were referred to by journalists in terms like rat baby, human frog, infant monster, or “It.” This is a look at some of those maternally influenced monsters.