Edited by 25-year haunt veteran J. Michael Roddy, HAUNTER’S TALE is a collection of short stories, true tales, photos, and artwork by some of the industries’ top haunters.
From razor-wielding psychos to monsters under the bed, this book is filled with bite-sized treats of terror in as many styles as there pumpkins in a patch. Many of the contributions have been the inspiration for haunts around the world and the creatures lurking within.
Some standout pieces include “Benjamin” by Chris Durmick, a brilliant poem about a young boy, paired with the painting that inspired the piece. I loved David Cook’s “Zombie Activity Pages,” which includes a bullet-through-the-brain maze.
“8” by Karen White was a lovely look at the mind of a killer, and Kim Gromoll’s “The Pumpkin Tree” illustration filled me with the Samhain spirit.
There are also several first-person accounts of real-life brushes with the supernatural, including one by Nightmarish Counjurings owner, Shannon McGrew, that gave me a good shiver.
In addition to the creative works, Roddy has included a short interview with each contributor where they answer questions about their inspirations, their haunt work, and even their favorite Halloween treat. It’s always nice to learn about fellow Halloween heads, and these interviews were a cool peek into of some of horror’s most devoted practitioners.
The most fascinating thing about the interviews was the way common themes developed between the contributor’s answers. These haunters love Stephen King and are devoted to John Carpenter’s The Thing (not surprising when you think about the amount of SFX folks are featured in this book). They also love the crunch of fall leaves and have more than a passing affinity for Almond Joy candy.
HAUNTERS TALE is a fun exploration of the inspirations that create the modern haunt. Check it out if you want a closer look into the minds behind the madness.
HAUNTER’S TALE is now available for purchase HERE.