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The Pumpkin Man

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  228 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
After her father’s gruesome murder, Jenn needed a place to get away from it all with some friends, to take her mind off her grief. The empty seaside cottage she inherited seemed perfect. Jenn didn’t know that the cottage held arcane secrets, mysteries long hidden and best left alone. She didn’t realize until it was too late that the old books and Ouija board she finds ther ...more
Hardcover, signed limited to 150 numbered copies, 354 pages
Published June 2011 by Delirium Books (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 500)
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When an author the likes of Jonathan Maberry gives a novel like this praise, you’d better pay heed. He was right in commenting, “This is a deliciously creepy novel”.
On the offset of the story I was hooked and under the spell of the Pumpkin man Its been a while since I have read a good creepy gory novel. The writing flows well and really keeps you on he edge of your seat. Everson is an author that I had not yet sampled and I am glad that I did his novels have either been nominated or won a Bram s
Sep 15, 2011 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read more of my reviews at BookGasmic.

Being a big fan of horror novels in general, i jumped at the chance to read an ARC of this book. Unfortunately, this book was nothing short of a hot mess.

The basic plot of the book involves a man who was brutally murdered and decapitated, being brought back from the dead to seek vengeance against those who did him wrong. A grieving daughter seeks refuge in an empty cabin, and all kinds of supposedly spooky things ensue. The first third of the book had promis
Oct 18, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pumpkin Man finds a young woman, reeling from the death of her father, moves into her distant aunt's house half way across the country. She soon finds that there's a while lot going on in the house - witchcraft, a serial killer, and a bunch of family secrets.

Everson's brand of small town horror is entertaining, well written, and sufficiently spooky. The characters are likable, the pacing is sound, and the horror is satisfying. The author knows how to write broadly appealing horror without resort
Nov 29, 2011 Karen rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Garcia
Oct 18, 2013 Matt Garcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice, quick, and entertaining read. Perfect for the Halloween season. This novel reminded me of watching a horror movie and that is a pretty great thing in my opinion. I was expecting to be entertained and this book delivered. The book moves at a fast pace and I did enjoy the journal entries and slight historical background of the accursed family. If you're looking to be put in the Halloween mood, like I was, then the pumpkin man will do that for you. Just go into it expecting to have fun and no ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Erin rated it liked it
First reviewed at

This book started off so scary, it gave me the creeps!! I was reading it at night before bed, and I was sure someone was going to pop out of my closet at any moment and get me. Unfortunately however, the excitement reached a crescendo and then died down.

Jenn inherits her aunt's house in California after her father is murdered and decapitated. Strangely and ironically, not long after this happens, Jenn and her roommate Kirsten both lose their jobs
Nov 21, 2011 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first John Everson novel I’ve had the privilege to read, folks. I’m currently kicking my butt for waiting so damn long. With The Pumpkin Man, John Everson has created a new urban legend, one I really like.

When the decapitated bodies of missing children start being found scattered throughout a little northern California town, all hell breaks loose. People have no idea what to do until someone notices something really odd. Carved into the pumpkins at a local man's roadside pumpkin sta
Annette Gisby
Oct 16, 2011 Annette Gisby rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Uminsky
Jun 24, 2011 Benjamin Uminsky rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
While I have never read John Everson before, I have definitely heard positive reviews of his other works... in fact, he won a Stoker award for one of his earlier novels. Needless to say, I had pretty high expectations for PUMPKIN MAN. I can't say that I was really dissapointed with this piece, but I was overwhelmingly underwhelmed by this story.

Without sounding overly flippant, I think the blurb about this book on did a better job of captivating my attention than the story itself
Gina Covarrubias
Oct 21, 2014 Gina Covarrubias rated it liked it
Okay, the writing was terrible enough that I'm giving it three stars, but reading it was truly a guilty pleasure. It was the literary equivalent of enjoying a bad movie. I loved the story. I really did, despite its freakily and overly descriptive bathroom scenes. Did we really need to know in which order someone wiped and flushed? God, maybe I did! If you are a fan of Ruby Jean Jensen or pretty much of anything in the horror genre from the good ol' days of the creepy cut-out covers, you should b ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
After the sudden death of her father, and the loss of her teaching job, Jennica Murphy decides to leave Chicago for the coastal seaside town of River's End, near San Francisco, where she's inherited her deceased aunt's house. But Meredith Perenais was no ordinary citizen, and many viewed her as a powerful witch, heir to a legacy of dark magic going back centuries. Her husband, George, was talented with carving knives, and back in the '80's had carved pumpkins that looked like real people...too r ...more
I wanted to really, really like this, but I couldn't suspend belief well enough to give this higher than a 3 rating. I didn't think the main characters were believable; they seem pretty stereotyped. And they all bought into the supernatural aspects of the story too easily, in my opinion... plus falling in love during such a time of crisis, fear, and mortal danger after only knowing each other a couple of days? Not buying it, sorry.

On the other hand, the gruesome descriptions of the Pumpkin Man's
Nov 05, 2014 Brendan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Horror fans deserve better than this.

I don't blame the author. In my opinion, this is one round of edits from being a pretty good book. Which is what really frustrates me here. You've got a good, creepy setup, some great horrifying settings, and a plot that moves along at a decent clip, but the characters don't work at all.

It's fine to emulate a classic slasher movie, but in those movies, we believe the characters are real people because they are portrayed by actual humans. In a book, you've go
. I’m not a huge horror fan so I was kind of dreading reading it. This is definitely an over 18 book, because of the nature of some of the rituals involved. That said, I really liked the main character and her friends as well as John Everson’s writing style. It ended up being a novel I couldn’t put down! Read the rest of my review at
May 09, 2016 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story! A cut above his other book The 13th.
Mar 22, 2016 Kit rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mortem Soma
Oct 03, 2015 Mortem Soma rated it it was ok
If you like generic Teen-Kill horror movies, you’ll like this book.

Pumpkin Man himself was a great concept and had potential to be another iconic villain, but I was frustrated by the predictable story and idiotic things some of the hollow characters said and did.
That said, it’s nice to be able to kick back, relax and enjoy the cliches you know so well.
Throw in some mumbo-jumbo almost-believable occult rituals and a healthy amount of gore and you’ve got yourself a fun distraction for a few days
Kathy Jackson
Oct 17, 2011 Kathy Jackson rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Let me begin with how Barnes and Nobel describes the book:

After her father’s gruesome murder, Jenn needed a place to get away from it all with some friends, to take her mind off her grief. The empty seaside cottage she inherited seemed perfect. Jenn didn’t know that the cottage held arcane secrets, mysteries long hidden and best left alone. She didn’t realize until it was too late that the old books and Ouija board she found there really do hold great power. And it was only after her friend’s he
If you're familiar with the pulp horror books of the 80s and 90s, you'll be well prepared for this book. If you're not, then the best I can equate them to are the equally campy-yet-fun movies of that era. (Think 976-EVIL style camp.)

After her father’s gruesome murder, Jenn needed a place to get away from it all with some friends, to take her mind off her grief. The empty seaside cottage she inherited seemed perfect. Jenn didn’t know that the cottage held arcane secrets, mysteries long hidden and
Veronica Morfi
Rating: 3/5

The first time I read The Pumpkin Man's blurb I though it sounded a lot like all those "Cabin in the Woods" kind of movies I love to watch. A group of friends visit an old house/cabin/camp etc. and they awake the spirits of the house and something sinister comes after them. That's basically the storyline of hundreds of horror movies, and even though it's a common idea, I love it.

Anyways, this book started like those movies, Jenn inherits her aunt's house after her father is murdered.
Aug 10, 2013 Vickie rated it did not like it
It should have been called The Squash...
This book was bought based on great reviews, and although its a good gauge of the success of the book, there is always a chance of disappointment. Sadly, in this instance, I was very disappointed and bored. I expected a creepy horror story and instead got a two dimensional story with bad dialogue and shallow characters. The main protagonist, Jennica, is a shy bookish girl found typically in B-rated horror flicks. Instead of dying a horrible death, she unbe
Julie Witt
Oct 26, 2011 Julie Witt rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
I received a copy of this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

When I saw this book listed, at Halloween no less, I just had to request it! I haven't read a good horror book in a while and this sounded like it would fit the bill. Alas, it didn't. It started out good, with nice spooky clues and weird things happening with no explanation, but it seemed to peak about halfway through and then kind of got lost along the way.

From Goodreads: "After her father’s gruesome
After Jenn's father is murdered and decapitated, and she loses her job, she decides to take a break with her roommate, traveling to the California seaside cottage left to her by her recently deceased aunt. What she finds is a strange house full of her aunt's witchcraft supplies, hidden rooms, human bones, and a tucked away witchboard. The townsfolk shun Jenn, because her uncle was known as the Pumpkin Man, a serial killer who went after the kids of the town, leaving only a pumpkin carved in thei ...more
Elizabeth B
Sep 01, 2011 Elizabeth B rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Once the mystery starts going, the plot starts off promising, creepy goings on and details that will send shivers up your spine. The back story of the town and family is the most interesting part of the book but less time is given to that than it should be. Instead, we are given an unlikeable main character that reacts in unrealistic ways to events for the majority of the novel. Her life has been turned upside down, the people she meets are all disappearing or being brutally hacked to death and, ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
To be fair, I purchased this book on my Kindle due to it's low cost and my need for a quick read. It was alright for what I bought it for. The plot was decent and the book did not lag, so it was easy to keep turning the page. The book was nothing or great consequence, but I do not feel like it was a waste of time either. I recommend it as a filler book (beach read, for a long car ride, running on the treadmill) if thrillers and horror are your cup of tea.
Ryan Rice
Dec 03, 2013 Ryan Rice rated it liked it
This seems a story with great potential. I get that people love their monsters, but this one lacks any real terrifying creature. The fact is that the characters lack any real depth, and I just don't care that much about them.

Jenna is no Victor Frankenstein. I don't feel sorry for her at all; when faced with tragedy, she really doesn't seem devastated.

For me, true horror lies in the realm of the psyche of an individual. The terror created by taking an ordinary world and subjecting the characters
Oct 28, 2011 Naomi rated it liked it
I must admit that I liked this book. Not for its' fine writing though (it was written well though). I liked the "no brainedness" of this book. This book is the written version of a Grade B horror film. You know the type that you roll your eyes at and sigh why you just paid $10 for seeing it because its goofiness factor, with the loose women, gratuitous and stupid sexual decision making and goofy slasher scenes. This is the type of book that you don't seek out except for when you have been readin ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Suzanne rated it it was ok
I liked the idea behind this book. A supernatural killer named The Pumpkin Man is a great premise for a horror novel. However, the characters' reactions to many situations are unrealistic, and the writing is too matter-of-fact to create any real chills.
Fonda G. Thomas
Mar 31, 2014 Fonda G. Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read!

I really enjoyed this book. There were a lot at twist and turns that made the story one that I could hardly put down. I look forward to reading more from this author!!
Sep 27, 2011 SenoraG rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, arc, netgalley, 2011
I really wanted to like this book. The plot line sounded great and it also sounded pretty darn creepy and sicko at the same time. (Yes, right up my alley!) It started off pretty good but really didn't go anywhere for me. The gore was over the top which is usually ok by me but it just didn't work for me this time. Oh well, all books can't be fantastic and what doesn't work for me will for sure work for someone else. That is the beauty of books. If you want a Halloween read, give this one a go, yo ...more
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John Everson is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Covenant, Sacrifice, The 13th, Siren and The Pumpkin Man, all released by Dorchester/Leisure Books in paperback and by Delirium, Necro and Bad Moon Books in limited hardcover. His sixth novel, NightWhere, was a 2012 Bram Stoker Award Finalist. The Family Tree, NightWhere and Violet Eyes, his "creepy spider novel" were released from ...more
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