Historic Bibliographies and Reference Aids
American Snake-Handling Sects: A Selected Bibliography
Compiled by: Marsha Maguire
Publication Date: September 23, 1980
Books and Articles
Alther, Lisa. "They shall take up serpents." New
York times magazine, June 6, 1976; 18-20, 28, 35.
Interview with minister of a Holiness church in Carson Springs,
Tenn., and two members of his congregation.
Ambrose, Kenneth P. Survey of the snake-handling
cult in West Virginia. 1970.
Master's thesis—Marshall University, Huntington, W. Va.
Carden, Karen W., and Robert W. Pelton. The
South Brunsick, A. S.
Barnes, 1969. 188p.
Clements, William M. "The Jolo serpent handlers." Journal
of American folklore, v. 92, Jan./Mar. 1979; 127-128.
Clements, William M. Review essay: snake handlers
on film. Journal of American folklore, v.90, Oct./Dec. 1977:
GR1.J8, v. 90
Daugherty, Mary L. Serpent-handling as
sacrament. Theology today, v. 33, Oct. 1976: 232-243.
Dickinson, Eleanor, and Barbara Benzinger. They shall take up
serpents. In their Revival. New York, Harper & Row 
Dorough, C. Dwight. Sensationalism and excesses. In
Bible Belt mystique. Philadelphia, Westminster Press  p.
Gerrard, Nathan L. The serpent-handling religions of West Virginia.
Transaction, v. 5, May 1968: 22-28.
H1.T72, v. 5
Holliday, Robert K. Tests of faith. Oakhill, W. Va., Fayette
Tribune, 1966. 104 p.
Kane, Steven M. Aspects of the Holy Ghost religion: the snake
handling sect of the American Southeast. 1973.
Master's Thesis—University of North Carolina.
Kane, Steven M. Holy Ghost people: the snake handlers of Southern
Appalachia. Appalachian journal, v. 1, spring 1974: 255-262.
F216.2A66, v. 1
Kane, Steven M. Ritual possession in a Southern Appalachian
religious sect. Journal of American folklore. v. 87, Oct./Dec.
GR1.J8, v. 87
Kerman, Keith. Rattlesnake religion. In Jones, Lealon N., ed.
Eve's step-children: a collection of folk Americana. Caldwell,
Idaho, Caxton Printers, 1942. p. 93-102.
La Barre, Weston. The snake-handling cult of the American Southeast.
In Goodenough, Ward H., ed. Explorations in cultural
anthropology; essays in honor of George Peter Murdock. New York,
McGraw-Hill Book Co.  p. 309-333.
La Barre, Weston. They shall take up serpents; psychology of
the Southern snake-handling cult. New York, Schoken Books 
Reprint of the 1962 ed., with a new introd. by the author.
Pelton, Robert W. and Karen W. Carden. Snake-handlers: God-fearers?
Or, fanatics? Nashville, T. Nelson, 1974. 110,  p.
Schwarz, Berthold E. Ordeal by serpents, fire and strychnine;
a study of some provocative psychosomatic phenomena. Psychiatric
quarterly, v. 34, July 1960: 405-429.
RC321.N52, v. 34
That old time religion: a catalog from the exhibit, That old
time religion, a documentation of Protestant revivalism, by Eleanor
Dickinson. [Oakland, Calif.] Oakland Museum, History Dept., 1979.
Thomas, Jeannette B. New Light. In her Blue Ridge Country. New
York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce  p. 164-167.
Wigginton, B. Elliot, et al. [Snake-handling] Foxfire, v. 7,
spring 1973: 2-87.
PS1.F68, v. 7
Special issue chiefly describing activities of a mountain church
whose members practice snake-handling.
Wilson, Bryan R. Thaumaturgic sects—healers and snake
handlers. In his Religious sects: a sociological study. New York,
McGraw-Hill Book Co.  (World university library) p. 174-176.
The Holy Ghost people. Blair Boyd. Released by Contemporary
Films/McGraw-Hill, 1968. 53 min., sd., b&w, 16 mm.
The Jolo serpent-handlers. New York, Karen Kramer Films, 1977.
40 min., sd., col., 16 mm.
The People who take up serpents. G. Robinson Productions, 1974.
53 min., sd., col., 16 mm.
They shall take up serpents. WKYC-TV, 1973. 24 min., sd., col.,
16 mm. (Montage)
Background Sources on Revivalism in America
Boisen, Anton T. Religion in crisis and custom; a sociological
and psychological study. New York, Harper  271 p.
Clark, Elmer T. The small sects in America. Rev. ed. New York,
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press  256 p.
Cobb, Alice L. Sect religion and social change in an isolated
rural community of Southern Appalachia. 1965.
Thesis (Ph.D.)—Boston University
Dayton, Donald W. The American Holiness movement; a bibliographic
introduction. Wilmore, Ky., B. L. Fisher Library, Asbury Theological
Seminary, 1971. 59 p. (Occasional bibliographic papers in the
B. L. Fisher Library)
Gerrard, Nathan L. Churches of the stationary poor in Southern
Appalachia. In Photiadis, John D., and Harry K. Schwarzweller,
eds. Change in rural Appalachia; implications for action programs.
Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970. p. 99-114.
Hollenweger, Walter J. The Pentecostals. London, S.C.M. Press,
1972. xx, 572 p.
BX8763. H613 1972b
Translation of Enthusiastisches Christentum.
Holt, John B. Holiness religion: cultural shock and social reorganization.
American sociological review, v. 5, Oct. 1940: 740-747.
HM1.A75, v. 5
Jones, Charles E. A guide to the study of the Holiness movement.
Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow Press, 1974. xxviii, 918 p. (ATLA bibliography
series, no. 1)
Z7845.H6J65 no. 1
Jones, Charles E. Perfectionist persuasion: the Holiness movement
and Amerian Methodism, 1867-1936, Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow Press,
1974. xxviii. 918 p. (ATLA bibliography series, no. 1)
Jones, Charles E. Perfectionist persuasion: the Holiness movement
and American Methodism, 1867-1936. Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow
Press, 1974. xx, 242p., 242 p. (ATLA bibliography series, no.
Kendrick, Klaude. The promise fulfilled; a history of the modern
Pentecostal movement. Springfield, Mo., Gospel Pub. House 
Based on the author's PH.D. dissertation.
Synan, Vinson. The Holiness-Pentecostal movement in the United
States. Grand Rapids, Mich., W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.  248
Weatherford, Willis D. and Earl D. C. Brewer. Life and religion
in Southern Appalachia; an interpretation of selected data from
the Southern Appalachian studies. New York, Friendshp Press 
Weisberger, Bernard A. They gathered at the river: the story
of the great revivalists and their impact upon religion in American.
Boston, Little, Brown  345 p.
Weller, Jack E. Yesterday's people; life in contemporary Appalachia.
[Lexington] University of Kentucky Press  xx, 163 p.
Wood, William W. Culture and personality aspects of the Pentecostal
Holiness religion. The Hague, Mouton, 1965. 125 p.
There are numerous journalistic accounts of snake-handling in
the United States, particularly in relation to legal problems
and deaths resulting from the practice. These may be located
by consulting popular literature indexes such as Readers' Guide
and the New York Times Index from 1938 to date under the headings
SNAKE CULTS, SNAKE-HANDLING, and SERPENT HANDLING.