After her father's gruesome murder, Jenn needed a place to get away from it all with some friends, to take her mind off her sorrow. The empty seaside cottage she inherited seemed perfect. Jenn didn't know that the cottage held arcane secrets, mysteries long hidden and best left alone. She didn't realize until it was too late that the old books and Ouija board she found there really do hold great power. And it was only after her friend's headless body was discovered that she knew the legend of the local bogeyman was no mere legend at all. An evil has been unleashed, a terrifying figure previously only spoken of in whispers. But now the whispers will become screams. Beware...The Pumpkin Man.
John Everson’s Pumpkin man is the perfect read for the October season. Everson succeeds in creating an amazing supernatural horror story, and is so good he even gets some genuine chills out of a Ouija board.
The plot revolves mainly around Jenn the inheriting an old house that once belonged to her aunt, and investigating her family’s history of witchcraft in a small coastal town in California. Her aunt’s house is so perfectly realized it becomes its own character, adding a haunted house element to a supernatural slasher.
A horror staple, Everson creates some very imaginative sequences with pumpkins and jack o’ lanterns making it a perfect October read. The main cast of Jenn and her friends while not incredibly deep are easy to like, and thus aren’t set up merely as fodder for the well concealed slasher.
At the end of the book, when the mystery is fully revealed, I felt a tad cheated. Not that it didn’t make sense; but that the reader wasn’t given enough information to put it all together before the final reveal. There were also a few times when people began to have sex against all sense and reason, but they were also cut away scenes so I am unsure exactly what purpose they were meant to serve.
These minor gripes aside, Pumpkin Man is a solid horror read. Everson is clearly a fan of the horror genre and he gives fans what they want, without ever being condescending or uninspired.
In the End;
John Everson’s Pumpkin Man is a perfect October read for horror fans, with all the elements that could make a perfect Halloween movie.