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) (> 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.