Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the abandoned cemetery in the old overgrown forest preserve is haunted by the ghost of a witch. Rumor has it that Satanic rituals are still performed by the light of the moon atop the moldering graves nearby, despite the police's attempts to chain the area in and keep people out. Rumor has it that the ghost of a seductive drowned woman leaves the lake and hitchhikes down the turnpike on certain nights... leaving the drivers without their sight. But when Mike Kostner gets a job offer to fix up that abandoned old house near the abandoned old Bachelor's Grove Cemetery so that it can serve as a haunted house attraction, he ignores those rumors. Mike's spent more time with the bottle than with a hammer of late, so he agrees to take the paycheck and starts shoring up the rotted floors and walls. Along the way he picks up two helpers, Katie and Emery, who he discovers sneaking about the place, anticipating its reopening as a haunted house. He quickly gets a crush on Katie, but is a bit creeped out by Emery, who rarely speaks. Together, they finish the initial work on the house, so that the set designers, Argento and Lucio, and the makeup artists, Jeanie and June, can start really making the old house look haunted. But fresh wood and nails won't keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the house that shouldn't be there. Dead animals in the basement with fresh blood spilled on the floor. And hidden rooms that hold the hints of something far more sinister than the rumors suggest. Because at the end of the day, this house didn't need any help to be haunted. Behind the decades of rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to make sure Mike Kostner and Argento and June and the rest finish their job. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. She has a ritual in mind that requires their blood. A dark, horrible ritual. Because the witch is dead...but she doesn't want to stay that way. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
About the Author
John Everson is a staunch advocate for the culinary joys of the jalapeno and an unabashed fan of 1970s European horror cinema. He is also the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Covenant and its two sequels, Sacrifice and Redemption, as well as six other novels, including the erotic horror tour de force and Bram Stoker Award finalist NightWhere and the seductive backwoods tale of The Family Tree. Other novels include The Pumpkin Man, Siren, The 13th and the spider-driven Violet Eyes. Over the past 25 years, his short fiction has appeared in more than 75 magazines and anthologies and received a number of critical accolades, including frequent Honorable Mentions in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror anthology series. His story "Letting Go" was a Bram Stoker Award finalist in 2007 and "The Pumpkin Man" was included in the anthology All American Horror: The Best of the First Decade of the 21st Century. In addition to his own twisted worlds, he has also written stories in shared universes, including The Vampire Diaries and Jonathan Maberry's V-Wars series, as well as for Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Green Hornet. His short story collections include Cage of Bones & Other Deadly Obsessions, Needles & Sins, Vigilantes of Love and Sacrificing Virgins. To catch up on his blog, join his newsletter or get information on his fiction, art and music, visit John Everson: Dark Arts at www.johneverson.com. AWARDS: Covenant HWA Bram Stoker Award for First Novel, 2005 "Letting Go" - Bram Stoker Award Finalist, Short Fiction, 2007 NightWhere - Bram Stoker Award Finalist, Novel, 2013