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The Forbidden

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Set in the late 70s, in and around a high rise council estate rife with urban myths and legends, this story later went on to be the inspiration for Bernard Rose’s ‘Candyman’ film. A short story by the celebrated author Clive Barker.
Kindle Edition, 51 pages
Published November 21st 2013 by Comma Press
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Himanshu Karmacharya
The Forbidden is a short horror story revolving around the urban legend of "The Candyman". Though the story doesn't scare the wit out of you, it is still captivating enough that it just hooks you in. ...more
Sep 26, 2021 rated it it was ok
A coworker wanted me to read this, knowing I’m quite the fan of the film Candyman. Alas, the original story captures the despair of a Thatcher era Liverpool housing estate and not the horrors of the Cabrini-Green projects in Chicago. Such is an important distinction, one largely maintained by the racial charge of the film. I felt that the apparition’s need for an oral tradition to maintain itself was but a pale totem (no pun intended), one which could stir but likely not terrify.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Candyman is one of my favorite movies, so my reading of this story is long overdue. Trying to review it on its own merit, I would say it's a compelling and enjoyable short story. It's difficult not to compare it to the movie, which is more fleshed out and has Tony Todd, so I would definitely say the movie is better, but if you're already a fan, I recommend taking in this source material. ...more
David's Book Reviews
Aug 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a short story from The Books of Blood, volume five. The movie Candyman is based on this story. I found it very creepy and atmospheric, with intriguing characters and an excellent villain.

This story focuses on Helen who has come to the Spector Street Estate, to photograph and study graffiti, for her local university. While there she interacts with numerous residents, who keep to themselves and crime is a daily accruance. Helen discovers that several murders have happened on the estate and
Sep 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the short story that the movie Candyman is based on. I found it very creepy and atmospheric, with intriguing characters and an excellent villain. The unsettled feeling I had reading is exactly what I want when I read a horror story. It is a chilling story told with eerie perfection. The scene Barker paints with words is much more vivid than what was in the second 2021 movie (never seen the original 1992 movie).
Khian  Reaux
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The creation of the story we call " The Candyman". I think this short story was much more scary than watching the movie. Found the free PDF online and could not stop reading it. ...more
Luke Elliott
Aug 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, Barker continues to amaze me. Watched Candyman (1992) for the first time right after and I got to compare the two on the Ink to Film Podcast!

Episode available wherever podcasts are 📲, or:
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Clive Barker's books are astoundingly terrorizing! I got to where I was too afraid to keep on reading but, too scared to put it down! 100% better then even Stephen King!!!! ...more
Courtney Schafer
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read. The unsettled feeling I had reading is exactly what I want when I read a horror story.

I know the movie Candyman is based off this story and it is a very good adaption.
Feb 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, lovely little story. Not quite what you'd expect if you watch Candyman first, which I did but I've found that I'm more forgiving of movies if I read the book after. ...more
Gloria Cook
Aug 25, 2021 rated it liked it
A really interesting companion piece to 'Candyman' the film. In its shorter form, the story feels more honed in on many of the core ideas without the distractions of the film's second half detour into insanity and murder or even the gang plotlines in the first half. It's a stronger whole work but also feels incomplete both narratively in its only brief inclusion of the Candyman character and mythology but also thematically with how the film's focus on race is mostly implied here with more subtle ...more
Lavon Youins
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was driven to read the inspiration for "Candyman" after the trailer for Jordan Peele's sequel dropped yesterday.
Holy $***!
The film shares the same elements and trajectory of the short story (although the story takes place in the UK and the physical description of Candyman is subtly different), but it's the prose that really sets it apart ftom the film. Whereas there's an elegance about the film, in large part because of the score and Tony Todd's portrayal, the story has a certain perverse, Shi
Peter Wright
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Chilling story told with eerie perfection. The scene Barker paints with words is much more vivid than what was in the film. Though the Candyman's backstory was not in this originating short story, the depth and creepiness of the character is no less satisfying! ...more
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
I don’t say this often because I have the attention span of that dog from Up, but I almost wish this short story was.....more. Longer, expanded upon, perhaps. But given more thought, too much of a sweet thing can be cloying - so maybe Clive Barker knew better than I and left well enough alone.
Jul 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
There are almost no differences between the story and the film. Only when reading this story in writing I realized that the final scene was unnecessary. I mean why did Candyman let Helen survive If he would end her life in less than 5 pages later anyway?

Yeap. Sorry for the spoiler.
Nov 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the short story as much as the movie. Although Candyman's arrival isn't based on saying his name in a mirror, his appearance is just as good. His legend lives on. Sweets to the sweet. ...more
Aug 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, horror
2021 reread from the Books of Blood collection. This is the short story the Candyman movie (1992) was based on.
Nov 01, 2022 rated it liked it
The whole set up and tension building was absolutely fantastic and had me invested into the story. Unfortunately the ending felt very rushed and the Candyman himself was boring and anticlimactic.
Tracy Hollen
Nov 06, 2022 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Deyth Banger
It's a fast throwback, ain't sure when Did I started it or finished... but the movie showed a common concept... so ain't gonna be long here in my opinion.

If you ask me... Clive Barker and Stephen King show both of them that with reading a lot of books... watching a lot of movies.... series... you can create the most fucked up shit ever saw. To be honest... I sometimes imagine killings... but not as horrific as Clive Barker Shows them or even Stephen King.


Here can be detected... high level vo
Mark Abrams
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was scary and graphic, but not for no reason, as some authors use blood and splayed blood merely for shock value, he does have reason to make it somewhat graphic. This was a well written tale about the "Candy Man" who lived only through his legend. I was very impressed by this creepy tale and its author!

I would definitely recommend this to horror fans especially those who, like me, have (for some reason) never read this author before!
From BBC Radio 4 - Friday Drama:
A run down housing estate fizzes with supernatural forces.

The Forbidden is a chilling, urban horror dramatised for radio by Duncan MacMillan. It's adapted from
Clive Barker's original novella, first published in 1985 and the inspiration for the cult 1992 horror film, Candyman.
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Early Candyman inspiring horror story.
Ruth Bradley
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Not as good as the film but really interesting to read this again
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice little horror tale!
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mariana Raimundo
Perhaps not Barker's best work but it's kind of worth the time ...more
Ulysses Mier
Was alright did enjoy the last 10pgs of it though. Movie was better.
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The Ink to Film B...: The Forbidden / Candyman DISCUSSION 3 8 Nov 10, 2021 09:12PM  

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Clive Barker was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Joan Rubie (née Revill), a painter and school welfare officer, and Leonard Barker, a personnel director for an industrial relations firm. Educated at Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School, he studied English and Philosophy at Liverpool University and his picture now hangs in the entrance hallway to the Philosophy Department. It ...more

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