Strang isn’t the small, quaint town it appears to be. It’s haunted every night by a creature the townsfolk refer to as Halloween. Once the sun sets each day, Halloween emerges to collect its treats: a small, live offering from each household. The residents comply because no one wants to be the target of Halloween’s tricks. But the nightmare of residing in Strang is nothing compared to the yearly ritual Halloween demands of the citizens on All Hallows’ Eve.
Horror After Dark Review
HALLOWEEN FIEND, by C.V. Hunt was the perfect book to start October off with. Although only novella length, this one really packed a punch. In the town of Strang, the residents had a secret that they somehow managed to hide from outsiders. They had to–or the repercussions to the others and themselves would be swift and dire.
. . . Only a sadist would intentionally inflict the dreadful things we lived through every day onto innocent people.”
A . . . creature . . . they call “Halloween” comes to their homes each night. If there isn’t a live “treat” left out for it, he’ll go in and take one.
The writing really impressed me, especially considering how “difficult” you would think this type of secret would be to keep. Yet Hunt managed to convey the how these residents continued on, and why everyone didn’t just get up and leave.
“. . . When you lived a certain way day in and day out you became desensitized to it and complacent . . . “
Combined with images of some of the residents’ lives, you can almost see getting lulled into that routine–no matter how obscene it may be.
This one felt like a twist on a familiar tale, yet Hunt contorted and magnified the appetites on this creature so that it stood out on its own–more persistent and permanent than any story I’d heard before. Even the description didn’t give much away in terms of detail, making it all the more dreadful–what you can’t understand and visualize is infinitely more frightening than something “understood”.
“. . . It confused the mind to look directly at it. The shadow was what you had to pay attention to.”
I only got a feel for a couple of the characters, but I believe that was the author’s intention. We’re not really being told the story of the town, but of one man’s lifelong existence in it. Again, the routine and apathy come into play in a big way here. When you walk the same rut day by day, you get to where you can’t see beyond it if you tried.
The only thing I wasn’t satisfied with was the lack of backstory to this town’s predicament. Was it necessary?
This was simply a personal preference of mine, to get some sort of insight into the how and why, for myself–irregardless of the characters’ given knowledge.
“. . . Sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t play by the rules.”
Overall, a great Halloween novella, full of mystery, suspense, gore, supernatural, and human evil. This was a great way to start off October, and I really enjoyed Hunt’s writing style.
About The Author
About C. V. Hunt
C.V. Hunt lives in Dayton, Ohio. Sometimes she writes. She is the author of several unpopular books.