wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Spirit World Encounters in Mormon Utah

The Devil Sat on My Bed
Cover: Oxford University Press, Author Photo: Teresa Danna-Douglas
Oxford University Press
The Devil Sat on My Bed

Growing up in Northern Utah, the scholar Erin Stiles often heard stories from her Mormon friends about visits from spiritual beings. In a new book, she explores just how common these experiences happen to be.

In her research, Stiles uncovered a trove of tales from Latter-day Saints about their spiritual encounters. They range the gamut from run-ins with the Devil to life-saving visitations from deceased ancestors and encounters with pre-mortal children. Indeed, literally everyone she approached while researching her book in Cache Valley had a spiritual encounter story of their own or could share one told to them by friends or family. Stiles joins us to explore how these tales reflect the LDS faith’s rich cosmology and what they can tell us about the culture that inspires them.


  • Erin Stiles | Professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her latest book is “The Devil Sat On My Bed: Encounters with the Spirit World in Mormon Utah." [Amazon | Bookshop

Air date: Feb. 14, 2024 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.