Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt
Reviewed by Morgan K. Tanner
Small towns are generally pretty creepy places in fiction, well, the kind of fiction I read anyway. There’s something about that close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else’s business that works so well in horror stories. Halloween Fiend features the small town of Strang, a place plagued by a mysterious creature that comes out at night. To feeeed!
This creature, named Halloween, stalks the streets of this weird place after dark when the residents are forced inside their homes by the town’s strict curfew. The beast is left offerings of small animals on the doorsteps to keep its vicious appetite at bay.
But every year on October 31st, the nightcrawler requires a feast a bit more, you know, walks-on-two-legs. One of the denizens of the town is offered up to Halloween, and everyone seems well onboard for this strange sacrificial ritual.
Barry is a man who’s grown tired of this life. But he can’t leave this town, no one can. He goes about the evening routine of leaving an alive snack outside his door, just like everyone else does. He lives with his dad who’s a right grumpy bastard it has to be said. His mother is gone, taken by none other than Halloween.
This year, for the town’s celebrations, they organise a wonderful carnival and fairground to enjoy the festivities. The only problem is this brings ‘outsiders’ to their secretive little town. Barry is given the job of providing two of them with a place to stay – his place. Can he keep the secret of Halloween or will he spill the beans and put the whole town in jeopardy?
This story was as much fun as it was creepy. The monster is scary enough, while the whole premise seems so bizarre it could be considered possibly a bit silly, although I’m sure that’s the idea. But that didn’t detract from the enjoyment I got from reading. It’s a short novella with emphasis placed on plot instead of setting the scene. The details of the town are hinted at throughout and before you know it, you’ve got a great understanding of their practices, if not an understanding of why.
I recently read Cockblock by C.V. Hunt and felt that was equal parts funny and horrific. This is kind of similar, where a dark sense of humour describes a terrifying situation.
It’s definitely worth checking out, but I’d read it on a warm summer’s evening, and not around Halloween.
About Morgan K. Tanner
Morgan K Tanner is a writer, drummer, and golfist currently residing in the English countryside. The idyllic surroundings make it an ideal place to write, drum, and hide the bodies. The busy sound of the typewriter is perfect to drown out the hum of the antiquated torture equipment.
When he’s not writing or inflicting pain and suffering on his numerous victims, he indulges himself in all things horror and metal.