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Puppet Graveyard

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Five months after her sister Gloria disappeared, Kitty Seevers receives a lock of Gloria's hair in the mail. No return address. Just a cryptic message that brings Kitty to the Bamboo Lounge and into the twisted realm of ventriloquist Ronny McBane and his dummy, Piggy.

Kitty descends into a haunted place where reality is frayed, where the puppetmaster and puppet seem to hav
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Delirium Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Clockwork Dolls by William MeikleWhen We Join Jesus In Hell by Lee  ThompsonThe Rain Dancers by Greg F. GifuneThe Mourning House by Ronald MalfiFear Me by Tim Curran
DarkFuse Novella Ranking
7th out of 43 books — 29 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHell's Gate by Benjamin DanielsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenInsurgent by Veronica Roth
My Favorite Books of 2012
281st out of 464 books — 492 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 447)
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This novella ROCKED!
I've always had a slight fear of dolls, puppets and the always scary ventriloquist dummies. Ever since I saw the movie Magic as a child these dummies creep me out. This novella featured the creepiest dummy EVER!

The story starts with a young woman named Kitty who is thinking about her sister who disappeared shortly after joining on with a ventriloquism act. Kitty wants to find out what happened because her sister would never just take off like that without at least a phone ca
May 05, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it
I am wavering between 4 and 5 stars with this one. Tim Curran is fast becoming one of my all time favorite authors. The dude can flat out write with some of the best descriptive prose in the business.

Ventriloquist dummies are freaky to begin with and Tim bumps up the creepy factor with Puppet Graveyard. A young women goes missing and her sister desperately tries to find out what has happened. As she searches for answers she uncovers some dark secrets that that will test her beliefs and her sani
Jul 05, 2012 Gatorman rated it it was ok
Another disapppointing effort from Curran, who has very good concepts but just can't seem to execute them successfully. This story of a disturbed ventriloquist and his possessed dummy Piggy sort of plods along for a while, creating just enough interest to want you to reach the conclusion, which is rather muddled, illogical and anticlimactic, considering the set-up Curran creates for just how powerful and evil Piggy is supposed to be. Curran again overdoes his descriptions of imagery as he did in ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Bill rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I read this one because it was included in the novella collection with The Underdwelling.

It was okay, but didn't really do a whole lot for me. But a good slant on the ventriloquist-dummy-taking-over thing.
Paul Nelson
Kitty’s sister disappeared 6 months ago and they wait till now to callously send a lock of her hair, what do they want, Kitty is determined to find out and she won’t let her sister go.
Gloria was last seen working for a ventriloquist called Ronny McBane and this is where her investigation starts. As she watches the ventriloquist and Piggy his dummy, she realises something just isn’t right, they are almost too good, the dummy almost too lifelike and things just get creepier from there. Her first
Ms. Nikki
A solid 4 star read that I really enjoyed. Tim has a real gift with words; metaphors in particular. This read flowed so well, it was over before I knew it. Kitty, the main character, who wants to find out what happened to her sister who disappeared while working with Ronny and his dummy Piggy was what knocked this read down for me. The author constantly told me, the reader, why Kitty was doing this and why she was doing that, taking away the suspense, or the surprise me factor. Still...A recomme ...more
Todd Russell
Ever since seeing that episode of the original Twilight Zone with Telly Savalas and that creepy doll, Talky Tina ("My name is Talky Tina and I'm going to kill you!"), I have been weirded out by ventriloquist dummies. In Puppet Graveyard, my uneasiness is further accentuated, like drilling on a tooth with an exposed nerve. With 1,417 Kindle locations, Curran details the world of Pippy the vent dummy and his master. When Pippy moves without his master, I felt some hair rise on the back of my neck. ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it

There's something inherently creepy about puppets and Piggy is no exception to this. He is a nasty, foul mouthed puppet who is the property of ventriloquist, Roddy McBane although you could seriously question who is controlling who!

Kitty is looking for her sister who has been missing for the last few months and her investigations take her to The Bamboo Lounge, where Roddy and Piggy stage their act.

As Kitty digs deeper she finds some disturbing information regarding Roddy, his family and their ho
Mar 07, 2016 Buttons rated it it was amazing
Good creepy and spooky read!!!
Dec 30, 2014 Doug rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, novella
A lot of the reviews of this novella seem to focus on what it does well—creepy puppet imagery, hints at even worse things behind closed doors—and overlook what it does poorly—build a story without exposition dumps, realize that it's attempts at building up suspense are largely non-existent, resist the urge to go for easy shocks, maintain a consistent world-view. For the former half, the "does-well", I enjoyed it immensely. I liked the creepy puppet. I liked the uncomfortable dialogue. I was most ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it
Puppets are unquestionably hands down creepy. But don't just take my word for it, take a whole bunch of words, a whole novella's worth by the ever terrifying Tim Curran, who definitely knows a thing or two about it. This was freaky, eerie, unsettling, creepy and very scary, all the things a good horror story ought to be. Thanks so much for this one, Kimberly. With his novellas Curran seems to find a subject that's already somewhat unsettling and take it to a whole new level. And this one is pret ...more
May 05, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
I love Tim Curran. Just some good old fashioned twisted creepiness. He always delivers.
Mar 31, 2014 Natasa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Loved this creepy novella. Very disturbing rape scene...can't get it out of my yes, it was good :)

Thanks Brenda for lending it to me! I was chasing the deadline today with 2 books, but I managed...this is a lesson well learned, in the future I will not be so greedy and download all books straight away but use the period of 7 days delay...:)
Dave Thomas
Jun 05, 2012 Dave Thomas rated it really liked it
"Puppet Graveyard" is a classic, action-packed romp through occultism, witchcraft, and reanimation that brought back fond memories of watching horror movies in the mid to late '80s...and being scared to turn off the light in my bedroom for fear that some monster or doll (or puppet, in this case) was waiting for me beneath the sheets.

A tight story rife with family tragedy, a strong and fearless protagonist on the trail of her missing sister, and one seriously creepy ventriloquist doll named Piggy
Feb 05, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it
Tim Curran takes the tried and true horror of the haunted ventriloquist doll and adds his own chapter, merging in elements slightly reminiscent of Robert Bloch's "Psycho" and maybe even a little bit Stephen King's "It". The result is a fast-paced and creepy novella.

Aug 24, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
RE-read proves that this is still a book to remain on the favorites shelf! :)
Feb 21, 2014 Larry rated it it was amazing
what great creep novella. i loved it
Daniel Schuldt
Jan 14, 2016 Daniel Schuldt rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, novellas
My first novel by Tim Curran was "Dead Sea" and while it definitely had its moments, it was flawed in many departments and nearly all of these flaws can be found in "Puppet Graveyard" as well.

First of all, just like "Dead Sea", this novella feels as if it has never seen a (decent) editor. Besides the obvious mistakes (the main protagonist's last name constantly changing in its spelling while in one chapter her fist name all over sudden turns from Kitty to Lisa) which already smells of sloppy or
May 18, 2016 Rush rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, forced

Ventriloquist's dummies freak me the hell out. I know I'm not alone on this. But once upon a time, I didn't feel that way. Here's a little backstory...

I was a strange and unusual child. Ah,who the hell am I kidding? I'm a strange and unusual adult, too. But as a child, imagination runs free. Especially for me. I have always been introverted so most of my time was spent alone, playing alone, making things come alive. So I thought it was the coolest thing when I saw a ventriloquist for the first t
Jeremy Maddux
May 25, 2014 Jeremy Maddux rated it it was amazing
Tim Curran channels some intense visuals in the final act. It was a new level of intense. It becomes about something more than just creepy puppets. It hints at not just puppeteers outside of space and time, but possibly progenitors.

A brief excerpt to show the feverish beauty that comes through as the story finds its voice. It goes without saying, but ****SPOILER WARNING**** below:

"And then he was telling her things, as she wildly debated whether to shoot the dummy or its master or the dragging c
Jun 29, 2013 Addy rated it really liked it
This was a very good story. Kind of sick and disturbing in some aspects, but come on, that's what kept me reading! Piggy is so demented. Would have loved this to have been longer. Dummies have always creeped me out and this sure puts the icing on the cake!
Nisha Malik
Dec 30, 2014 Nisha Malik rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book. It was creepy and horrific as I wanted it to be. But, the writing wasn't the best. Maybe it was just the version I read (I read the first edition, on ibooks) but there were errors such as the name of the main character, Kitty. Sometimes the author would use the name Kitty but other times the author switched her name was Lisa. The first time this happened I was confused and was saying who is Lisa? But then there were three other times where Kitty's name was switched so I figur ...more
Chuck Rios
Jul 04, 2012 Chuck Rios rated it really liked it
Tim Curran has been a favorite of mine ever since I read his novel The Corpse King, and that book was sweet, so, when I was given Puppet Graveyard to review I knew I was in for a treat.
Now don't start thinking Goosebumps dummy horror with its wacky zany shenanigans.
Nope, this one is strictly for the adults and is different from similar themed stories.
It's about a puppet named Piggy who more than lives up to his name. The dummy is crude, mean spirited and downright evil. His controller, a weak a
Kim (Wistfulskimmies Book Reviews)
This is the story of Kitty. One day she receives a letter that contains a lock of hair - she knows it's her sisters and sets out to find out what has happened to her. She knows she worked for a ventriloquist so she starts her search there. Soon she learns secrets she wishes she hadn't and things take a very sinister turn.....

This was brilliant! It was scary and atmospheric and creepy and did I mention scary? So much so that I had to step away from it for a bit as it was freaking me out a little.
William M.
Nov 20, 2012 William M. rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Tim Curran continues to write delightfully grotesque works of horror that cement him as one of the brightest stars in modern horror. Puppet Graveyard is an addictive journey into the blackest of evils and corrupted souls. There is no doubt about Curran’s love for macabre and disturbing fiction. Nearly every page oozes with his almost giddy Lovecraftian descriptions. For new readers, this is a great book to get a taste of the author’s sensibilities. Due to the shorter length than his other books, ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing
You can always count on the good people over at Darkfuse to put out good, solid horror fiction and folks, they’ve got another winner on their hands because this is one helluva spooky book. This gritty horror noir instantly pulls you in and begins to creepily unfold before you before you can even say boo.

A word of advice though, do not read this book if thought of demon-possessed, biting, raping, murderous ventriloquist dummy living in an old rambling, dark house with an even darker attic might e
Dec 07, 2012 Grimgirl rated it really liked it
Okay, so yes… ventriloquists and their dummies have always been creepy, but Curran rachets it up to amazingly grotesque and horrific levels with Piggy.

Ronny McBane and his dummy, Piggy are one twisted act. But it's not just an act and Kitty - chasing after the mystery of her sisters disappearance - soon finds out first hand what horrors are held by the puppetmaster and puppet. Gross, edgy, and scary - I didn't want to put this story down once I started reading it if only because I didn't want t
Jul 19, 2012 Stewie rated it it was amazing
I give this a 4.5/5 on the review on my site, but Goodreads doesn't allow half-stars, so I bumped it to five here.

(I only put that disclaimer should someone notice the difference.)

That said, this is creepy as hell and I highly recommend it. You can read my full review at
Oct 24, 2012 Brett rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
This was my first experience with a Tim Curran book. Wow! What a ride. Curran's Piggie cracks one-liners while seriously creeping you out. Not an easy task to do. A lot of fun. Give it a shot.
Jul 04, 2012 K.E. rated it did not like it
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Tim Curran lives in Michigan and is the author of the novels Skin Medicine, Hive, Dead Sea, Resurrection, The Devil Next Door, and Biohazard, as well as the novella The Corpse King. His short stories have appeared in such magazines as City Slab, Flesh&Blood, Book of Dark Wisdom, and Inhuman, and anthologies such as Shivers IV, High Seas Cthulhu, and Vile Things.

For DarkFuse and its imprints, h
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