Horror Guide to Northern New England
David Goudsward, Scott Goudsward
Post Mortem Press
April 13, 2017
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale
I have the utmost respect for the Goudsward brothers, especially when it comes to their guide books. Their meticulous cataloging of the macabre soothes my type A obsessiveness. As a life-long horror/urban legend/fable aficionado, I always dive into the guides earnestly. Since I moved to New England many, many moons ago to study horror, I was thrilled to be given the chance to read through the Horror Guide to Northern New England: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I honestly believe the Goudswards have captured every film or story or legend or horrific thought that has taken place in the region.
You may be asking, “Why do we need a separate Massachusetts and Northern New England guide?” The answer is simple: there is no way, humanly possible, to cram all of the haunted houses, creepy graveyards, UFO abductions, monsters and mayhem that take place across the states into one book.
If anything, Maine could have its own book dedicated to Stephen King’s imprint alone.
Horror Guide to Northern New England is not all about Stephen King, but he does appear on many of the pages. What is most interesting and valuable for King fans is the way the writers untangle the many intersections of his stories. For example, they manage to keep track of Gates Falls which appears in–I lost count of the intersections–or the controversial Haven which keeps changing locations.
Try as I might I could find no omissions. I am thoroughly impressed with the amount of detailed information. While the guide is fully a research project, it does contain some subjectivity. For example, when discussing Dark Shadows, it is noted that there was “a 2012 comedy with Johnny Depp futilely attempting to replace Jonathan Frid as the vampire Barnabas Collins.” When I encountered those moments, they were good for a snarky snort or chuckle (much to the chagrin of my fellow commuters). The subjectivity keeps the guide fun, and can be truly trusted coming from two horror experts (and yes, Depp did struggle in the role).
Horror Guide to Northern New England reunites readers with stories that may have been forgotten. I have picked up a few movie titles to put on my watch list, and I am ashamed to admit that the guide reminded me of the wonder that was Rick Hautala (how could I have forgotten?). Horror Guide to Northern New England should be on every horror enthusiast’s shelf. To be honest, I am sort of pining for a Deep South version or maybe Appalachia guide next (hint, hint). If you love horror, go out and get all of the guides.