Long ago in the 1960s I read a story in a science fiction magazine that was not very much science fiction, if at all.

It was justified as sort of a "lost world" story set about 25 miles from New York City among a reclusive mixed blood group, known as the "Jackson whites" or Ramapough Mountain Indians.


It seemed like a perfectly realistic and naturalistic story to me except that I didn't know how accurately the group was depicted.

It was definitely what could be called a "genre bending" story.

I have come to suspect that it might be "The Devil Came to Our Valley", by Fulton T. Grant, Blue Book Magazine Volume 64, # 5, March 1937, Fantastic Stories of Imagination, volume 13, number 4, April 1964.



I remember reading two of the other stories listed in that issue of Fantastic and there is an introduction by Sam Moskowitz to "The Devil Came to Our Valley".

  • 2
    My use of "Lost World" story was a little sarcastic, since that as the editor's justification for publishing it as SF. The group involved is perfectly real -en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… - As I remember an outsider came to the community and there was a tragic ending. Feb 26, 2017 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


As you suspected, it is "The Devil Came to Our Valley" by Fulton T. Grant. The April 1964 issue of Fantastic is available at the Internet Archive.

From the introduction by Sam Moskowitz:

Yet there has been no greater validity in proverb than that found in "Truth is stranger than fiction." The Devil Came to Our Valley is a "lost race" story that takes place less than 12 miles from New York City and within walking distance of Hackensack, N.J. Technically it is not even a fantasy. Remnants of this strange race that Grant writes of probably still linger in what remains of wilderness in the beautiful Ramapo Valley only a short distance from the Hudson River and the strange breed of outcast dog that symbolizes their self-imposed banishment yet survive.

From the story:

"Negroes," you call them? Aye, they're black enough, some of them. And there's Indian blood too. Tuscaroras, driven out of the Carolinas by settling Germans, settling in the Ramapos back in 1770 or thereabouts, and joining the Five Nations of the Iroquois. But what of the three thousand five hundred "white slaves"—women kidnaped and transported from London's slums for the Hessian mercenaries of the British army in the days when George Washington was making this country free from the absurdity of a cloddish George III? When the British were driven out of New York, those poor girls—whatever their morals, may God forgive them—were hounded into the Ramapos, to live as outcasts and to form a colony with the deserting Hessian soldiery, the Tuscaroras and a handful of black slave-girls who had been with them. There's the ancestry; put it frankly. But out of that grim background has grown, through the flux of years, a new race, primitive and strong.

[. . . .]

"Abigail Ness, ye’ll never tell my son another yarn about the hill people, else by God not another day's work from this family will ye get—nor from any other house in the Valley, either, as long as I live. Let you understand that. Ye'll never attempt to frighten the boy into obedience and sow the seed of fear in him, and let that also be understood, woman!

"But take ye note of this: as long as I'm alive, the Jackson White people shall be respected in this house. Strange people they may be. Wild they may be, and fearsome to you. But they're humans. God made them, woman. And likely they're as good as the rest of us. And I’ll have none of your housewives' gossip about them whilst you live here."

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