The Halloween Children
- Author: Freeman & Prentiss
- Artist: Vincent Chong
- Page Count: 216
- Pub. Date: Fall 2017
- ISBN: 978-1-58767-612-3
- Status: Forthcoming: At the Printer Now!
"The Halloween Children goes beyond the creepy kids and paranormal hauntings tropes to deliver a disturbing and thought-provoking look into family dynamics and our own changing imaginations."
— Rue Morgue
The Halloween Children
by Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss
About the Book:
The Halloween Children are watching—they're always watching in this chilling novel of suburban horror from Norman Prentiss and Brian James Freeman...
The accommodations at Stillbrook Apartments aren't exactly glamorous, but they're quiet, affordable, and well-maintained. The handyman is usually available to help with a leak or a broken bulb, his wife and two adorable kids often tagging along. When occasion dictates, the neighbors gather to wish each other well and spread the requisite holiday cheer. Everything's very nice. Very normal.
But as Halloween approaches, strange occurrences are happening all around Stillbrook. The children tell disturbing stories, bizarre noises bleed through the walls, and one abandoned unit is found to be inhabited by something sinister—something that's no longer alive.
For the safety of the tenants, the Halloween party has been canceled. There will be no decorations or masks, no candied apples or witch's brew. But without treats to divert the Halloween Children, they have no choice but to play some very nasty tricks.
Published as a Trade Hardcover Edition:
• Printed on 60# acid-free paper
• Bound in full-cloth with colored head and tail bands
• Featuring hot foil stamping on the front boards and spine
• Printed and bound with full-color endpapers
• Smyth sewn to create a more durable binding
• Wrapped in a full-color dust jacket
• Retail price just $25
"This latest installment in Earthling Publications' annual Halloween series recollects the macabre and gruesome events that befall a suburban apartment. Delivered through a series of journal entries and interview transcripts, The Halloween Children goes beyond the creepy kids and paranormal hauntings tropes to deliver a disturbing and thought-provoking look into family dynamics and our own changing imaginations."
— Rue Morgue issue #149
"This is an unsettling and complex work of fiction… The Halloween Children is a superb celebration of the season, and also offers up a timely reminder not to be a spoilsport or grouch at this time of the year, a reminder pitched in a refreshingly different and entertaining manner."
— Black Static #44
"The Halloween Children is a twisty funhouse ride through the minds of Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss, two enormously talented writers who have created an instant Halloween classic in this, their first collaboration. Much like Norm Partridge's Dark Harvest, The Halloween Children is an expert distillation of the Halloween season, capturing that peculiar mix of excitement, dread and outright fear in its pages… From the great, early slow build of the book to the terrifying, satisfying payoff, The Halloween Children is a complete success. Freeman and Prentiss do a great job in blending their unique styles into one pure voice – like Stephen King and Peter Straub with The Talisman and Black House, you'll try to guess who wrote what, and you'll most likely get it wrong. Reading this was the perfect kickoff to the Halloween season for me, and I have a feeling it will be part of my permanent October rotation for a long time to come."
— October Country
"The Halloween Children is frankly one of the more disturbing books I have ever read. From page to page my opinion of who was the monster behind what was going on changed from husband to wife to the children and then back. I was shocked and startled, grossed out and horrified – and I enjoyed every minute of it. And in the end, I still wasn't sure who was the craziest – myself included. Freeman and Prentiss have created a disturbing tale with images so vivid they leapt from the page into brilliantly colored pictures in the mind. This is one powerful book. Treat yourself to this one for Halloween but be warned – have plenty of candy on hand for The Halloween Children should they come knocking."
— The Baryon Review
"A beautifully-written, scary novel that is as much about the dark side of marriage as it is a savagely disturbing Halloween yarn."
— Horror Drive-In
"The Halloween Children is utterly original and deserves to be given applause on its own merits. This is an everyman's horror story, the best, most relatable kind and holds family close to its dark heart. Freeman and Prentiss are talented, far more than have been recognized by the masses. The storytelling here is near flawless, as is the writing, always a challenge in a collaboration. If this is what they are capable of as a team, I hope that more will be on the way. Able to be read in one sitting, take some time and enjoy it, allowing its effects to take hold. A perfect tale for any holiday. Well, a holiday that includes a fragmented, fragile family, so yes, this is perfect for just about any reader."
"Smouldering novel with a deceptively subtle start before erupting into a charnel house of vivid horror. The Halloween Children is intelligent story-telling for the discerning, and most definitely the stuff of Halloween nightmares."
— Simon Clark, author of Blood Crazy and The Night of the Triffids
"With sledgehammer imagery that hits you right in the subconscious, The Halloween Children takes a good hard look at unconditional parental love and the insidious nature of family."
— Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award winner, author of Slights and Through Splintered Walls
"When we grow up, we forget the strange and frightening world that children can inhabit in their minds… and sometimes we forget it at our peril. Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss have brought this home in a highly convincing horror story for Hallowe'en, told in a chorus of voices that give it an eerily 3-D sense of gradually-mounting dread. One scene in particular is unforgettable…you will never be able to look at a parakeet again without seeing it and even smelling it."
— Graham Masterton, author of The Manitou and Night Warriors
Brian James Freeman is the author of The Painted Darkness, Blue November Storms, Black Fire, The Halloween Children (with Norman Prentiss), More Than Midnight, Weak and Wounded, Dreamlike States, Lost and Lonely, and Seven Stories, an Amazon eBook exclusive short story collection that was the #1 bestselling story collection on Amazon.com in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, and France, and #2 bestseller in Italy, during the first week of February 2012. He is also the editor of Dark Screams (with Richard Chizmar), Detours, The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book (with Bev Vincent), The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book (with Kevin Quigley and Hans-Ake Lilja), and Reading Stephen King.
Bram Stoker Award winning author Norman Prentiss lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and works as an English teacher and part-time editor. Other publications include Four Legs in the Morning, The Fleshless Man, and The Narrator (with Michael McBride), with anthology appearances in Four Halloweens, Dark Fusions, Blood Lite 3, Best Horror of the Year, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, and four editions of the Shivers anthology series.