John Backman wins the lottery on the night his wife dies. Instead of going crazy with the money, he retires from a job he hates and uses the money to cover the living expenses for himself and his young daughter, Jessica. However, because John grieves his loss and is also diagnosed with anxiety disorder, his sister-in-law, Eve, chips in to help the small family keep the vultures away, get their finances in order and just survive day to day. John indulges his interest in the paranormal by setting up a paranormal web site about ghost/UFO sightings and experiences, and this is how he is contacted by Judas, a man in Shida, Alaska who tells him about strange, frightening experiences he had while cleaning an empty house. A house where a family had mysteriously disappeared. Intrigued, John decides to investigate this case, and that means moving Jessica, Eve and Eve's infant son, Liam, into the house while he works. This very decision will be John's undoing, because the horror that awaits him and his family in that house is unlike any other he would have ever imagined.
Forest of Shadows by debut author Hunter Shea was one of the best ghost stories I have ever read. With some ghost stories, you don't get that much happening. An object moves, there are disembodied voices and nothing much really happens. That is not what goes down in this novel. Here, the scare factor is way off the grid, with ghosts actually appearing as people, scary shadow figures terrorizing anyone who comes near the haunted house that John lives in and strange lights floating around. The ghosts are real. The terror is real. And what they can do to people is especially very real.
So is the house actually haunted? John sets up his equipment to find out, and even as he gets EVP evidence that there are ghosts, his equipment pales in comparison to what John sees, hears and feels with his own senses. Something is terrorizing whoever lives in this house. Something evil. And John must decide if it's worth sticking around to find out what it is.
Forest of Shadows is a frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a good, creepy ghost story I won't soon forget.
The dead still hate!
John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.