Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Human Sacrifice

A Ritual in which a human being is offered in Sacrifice, almost invariably to a supernatural being, who may be literally present (in some Horror texts and movies) or who may be represented by a mortal stand-in (a circumstance more commonly found in Supernatural Fiction). When a protagonist is the putative offering, the HS may serve as a Plot Device to further the action in adventures like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (see Indiana Jones). In The Wicker Man (1973) the HS of the protagonist is actually carried out. [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.