Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpen...

Review of The House by the Cemetary

Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead... she doesn’t intend to stay that way.

The House by the Cemetary leads you to believe that this is yet another haunted house story. The creepy cover combined with the bump in the night blurb might make you think that this is a simple haunting. 

It's so much more. 

When Mike is asked to shore up a decrepit old house with a dark history, to make way for a Halloween haunted house attraction, he's a little trepid. He'll be working the house all summer by himself to get it ready in time for the opening. Mike needs the work though and sets himself to the task. When strange events start happening at the house, well, Mike isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. I can't say too much about the storyline without giving pertinent information away, but Mike is a big ol dummy, mkay? 

 I found it somewhat predictable in the way that watchers of horror movies always know what is happening before the characters figure it out. You want to yell into the book at Mike to open his eyes and stop being such an idiot, but of course, he can't hear you and keeps on dancing his merry way to doom.

While the suspense and characterization are all superbly done, I prefer my horror to be more subtle. I'm not a big slasher trope fan and that's where The House by the Cemetery quickly takes you. 

What starts out as a haunted house promptly disintegrates into Hell House. The implied spooks give way to in your face murder and mayhem. With plenty of grotesque, violent and gritty moments, The House by the Cemetary is reminiscent of classic slasher films concluding with an unbelievably obscene body count. 

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3.5 Paws Up!


About the Author

John Everson
John Everson is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Covenant, Sacrifice, The 13th, Siren and The Pumpkin Man, all released by Dorchester/Leisure Books in paperback and by Delirium, Necro and Bad Moon Books in limited hardcover. His sixth novel, NightWhere, was a 2012 Bram Stoker Award Finalist. The Family TreeNightWhere and Violet Eyes, his "creepy spider novel" were released from Samhain Publishing. In January 2017, Redemption, the long-awaited sequel to his novels Covenant and Sacrifice was released. His 10th novel, The House By The Cemetery will be released in October 2018 from Flame Tree Press.

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.