What Hell May Come by Rex Hurst
Based on the untrue writings of the Satanic Panic.
The Satanic Panic was a moral outcry in the United States over supposed “satanic” influence in media that were warping the youth of America. Claims that playing an elf in Dungeons and Dragons could lead to demonic possession, that playing heavy metal music backwards would reveal satanic messages, and that therapists could uncover repressed memories of satanic ritual abuse, were all too common.
Volumes and volumes of material were produced on this fake subject. These texts lead to What Hell May Come, which takes a look at what the world would actually be like if all of the claims of the satanic panic were true.
Set in 1986, Jon St. Fond’s life is a living Hell. Deliberately abused and neglected by his parents, the only joy he has in life is an escape into a fantasy land of role playing games. Soon he discovers that his parents are part of a secret occult religion with hidden ties all across the world.
As Jon and his friends dig, they learn more of the secret history of the world and discover the power of making deals with creatures from Beyond. However, power has its price, as Jon and his friends quickly discover. One-by-one they begin to become consumed by their own desires and hatreds.
Jon learns there is method behind the madness of his life, as his Father begins to bring him closer and closer into the ways of the cult. Ultimately, Jon must make a choice between all the pleasures of the earth and the future of his soul.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the author:
What makes this Horror novel so special?
It’s taken from sources which claim that all of events and ideas in What Hell May Come are true. All of them have been proven false, but I believe that the book, besides having an interesting story and characters, represents the religious paranoia of the time. Ideas of demonic possession and supernatural visitations were still very much believed by a certain segment of the population, but this has not been explored much in literature.
Tell us more about your lead character.
Jon is a sixteen-year-old trapped in an abusive situation at home. He can’t leave because life on the streets would be worse, but soon learns that his home life is a ruse for a deeper conspiracy. His parents have dark plans for him, whether for Satan or some other occult reason is unknown. So Jon must take to the dark arts to defend himself from those who are supposed to be protecting him.
Why should readers give this book or your work a try?
Normally horror novels were the target of the Satanic Panic, not the topic of it. I think the work adds a different look at the situation and decodes the religious jargon used at the time to blacklist artistic endeavors. While it eschews the slasher horror and body horror trends of the ‘80s, it combines the reality of the personal horror for the main character while up against supernatural forces, similar to the types mastered by Stephen King and Clive Barker.