A truly scary collection of contemporary horror tales set in a 1980’s shore town where nothing is quite as it seems, The Witches of Wildwood, delivers on all cylinders.
In this delightful collection of short horror fiction, author Mark Wesley Curran recounts original tales of mystery, imagination and terror – all set uniquely in and around Cape May, New Jersey From an an abrasive radio talk show host stalked by an angry werewolf in ‘Werewolves of Dennis’, to a boardwalk worker who falls under the spell of a strange attic dwelling girl in ‘The Girl In The Attic’, these chilling stories resonate with the reader long after the book is closed.
Contemporary modern horror, whether it be in the vein of a Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Joe Hill, must emphasise the plight of its characters in a manner that allows the reader to identify strongly with its protagonists. This collection does just that in highly readable prose that works appropriately with both younger as well as adult readers.
Among our personal favourites are ‘Night of the Wildwood Dead’ about an ancient sailing ship filled with bloodthirsty zombies as it crashes into the Jersey Shore and ‘The Fortune Teller Machine,’ about a haunted boardwalk fortune teller machine that stalks the first-person narrator with deadly precision.
The cornerstone the collection, however, is its namesake novella.
The Witches of Wildwood is a harrowing and suspenseful tale following Billy Wilkes, a witch-hunting preacher hell-bent on killing four teenage sisters determined to destroy the world from their Wildwood boarding house.
Suspenseful, masterful, at times humorous, Curran is able to effectively evoke a sense of modern dread while delivering an enjoyable dynamic journey for the reader.
Words: Joshua Brylsteen