Witch Hazel by Jeffrey Ford

Image result for book cover haunted nights ellen datlow

Title: Witch Hazel
Author: Jeffrey Ford
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror
Dates read: 24th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Blumhouse
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: He’d drink and talk, and I’d listen.

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We wear sprigs of hazel to honour the souls on All Hallows Eve. But where does that practice originally come from?


So I’ve never heard of the practice of wearing a sprig of hazel on All Hallows Eve. Although, I don’t really know all that much about All Hallows Eve (or Halloween) since it is not within my normal experiences. Regardless, I liked this kind of origins story to such a practice. It took a practice that seems cute and folksy… and then turns it into a horrifying mess that makes you cringe. A lot.

The image of a beautiful young woman covered in blood, running around with a Hachette in a forest is pretty much what nightmares are made of. The fact that she kills her dog just expands on the horrors of this. Certainly not an image that I can get out of my head. And the fact that it’s all because there is some weird disease going around? Creepy, creepy, creepy. And blood everywhere.

I did really enjoyed the fact that this story also plays on the superstitions which tend to surround twins. The idea that there is something a little bit evil about twins (sorry to my twin-friends out there). The haunting that they perform and the twist at the end makes me not want to see one of my very good friends for a little while… being that she’s a twin who loves blood and all (she’s a nurse, nothing weird here).

 <- A Flicker of Light on Devil’s Night ReviewNos Galan Gaeaf Review ->

Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “Witch Hazel by Jeffrey Ford

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