Margaret Willow has never met an eleven-year-old as dangerous as Natalie Glasgow. Natalie spends her days comatose, but a...

Review || The Possession of Natalie Glasgow by Hailey Piper

Margaret Willow has never met an eleven-year-old as dangerous as Natalie Glasgow. Natalie spends her days comatose, but at night she prowls her mother’s home, unnaturally strong and insatiably carnivorous. With doctors baffled, Natalie’s mother reaches out to Margaret, an expert in the supernatural. But even Margaret is mystified and terrified by Natalie’s condition. She’s dying, and before she dies, she might kill someone. Has a demon clawed its way inside an eleven-year-old girl? Or does the source of this nightmare lie with Natalie’s dead father?

A tight, tense novella, THE POSSESSION OF NATALIE GLASGOW twists the exorcism tale at every turn down to its final grave confrontation.

"Whatever set foot out there and made those heavy steps had to be far stronger and heavier than any eleven-year-old girl in the world.

And each step brought it closer."

In this horror novella, Natalie's mother, Heather, having exhausted medical reasoning for her daughter's strange nocturnal behavior and stuporous daylight affection, consults paranormal expert, Margaret. Natalie starts stalking the hallways of her home, a strange nightly occurrence of a child that is comatose during the daylight hours. Her mother, understandably, locks herself in her bedroom each night while Natalie, if it even is Natalie,  roams in search of sustenance: Red meat, the rarer the better. Margaret confronts her during one of these dark nights, trying to determine exactly what is hiding inside Natalie's skin. 

When the blurb describes this as a "tight, tense novella", they aren't kidding. The tension is elevated from the first few pages and it continues throughout. Within five minutes of starting to read, the hackles on the back of my neck stood up. There's real fear experienced in The Possession of Natalie Glasgow and the author commands it to rise off the pages and wrap itself around you, coating you in anxiety and unease. 

It's not often that I'm taken unawares by horror, whether it's a book or a movie. I'm the person that usually spoils it for everyone else by going "Oh, I bet..." (and I'm almost always correct-le sigh). When you love horror like I do, especially paranormal horror, there's not much that you haven't seen done before. This novella managed to surprise me. In hindsight, it should have been obvious. There were signs all over the place pointing in the direction of exactly what is haunting Natalie Glasgow, but I didn't see any of them until it was too late. Not only did I not anticipate the ending, but I was also completely unprepared for the poignancy of it. When I turned the last page, I couldn't vocalize exactly what the reading had impressed upon me, only that it did.

If you are looking for a quick, frightening read that touches on the primal fear within us all, this is your story. The Possession of Natalie Glasgow takes the typical exorcism tale and turns it on its head, with the lesson that sometimes karma comes back to bite you...and those you love.