The Pumpkin Carver by C.J. Oatis
The girl that carved pumpkins was known to the rural New England town of New Haven as a healer of many ailments, but no one ever spoke of what happens inside the walls of her cottage.
When Connor’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, his father went to her home and returned with his nipple sliced off.
All seems well enough when his mother’s cancer goes into remission, but when they both die mysteriously Connor decides he must venture back to New Haven to uncover the truth behind his hometown’s strange relationship with the girl that carves pumpkins.
The Pumpkin Carver is, I want to say, Old School Horror, although I do not quite know what I mean by that. It has a classic feel to it, like Bradbury or even Steinbeck, and the writing has a bit of a M. Night Shyamalan quality to it. Chris Oatis wears a library of influences on his sleeve, from Louis, Clark, and Bruce Banner, Captain America, and Stephen King. For me, The Pumkin Carver was the perfect book to kick off the Halloween season.
This story was brimming with spine-chilling imagery, unsettling suspense, and quality horror prose. C.J. Oatis somehow manages weave a witch, an abundance of jack-o-lanterns, and a gory bit of vehicular manslaughter into an impactful statement about the binary nature of modern day discourse. I didn't know what to expect from such a small ebook, but I'm totally happy I found it and coughed up the 50 cents!
I really liked the idea of this story. Really reminded me of the classic movie Pumpkinhead. Nice job!