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The Remaking

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,671 ratings  ·  445 reviews
Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results.

Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately,
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Quirk Books
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Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,671 ratings  ·  445 reviews

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Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jun 11, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: horror
look at the cover!!!

it's a danger noodle

but it could be a nope rope

who's to say

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Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman is a horror story I was prepared to enjoy but, unfortunately, I found it to be stagnant and boring. This is the story of Ella Louise Ford and her daughter Jessica who were burned at the stake under suspicion of being witches. This crime was committed by some of the townspeople of Pilot’s Creek in Virginia who subsequently met their end in grim fashion. Twenty years later, an ambitious director comes to town to make a movie about the unfortunate mother and chil ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
"These woods whisper...the woods know what the people of Pilot's Creek have done." The residents of Pilot's Creek, Virginia, a superstitious town, felt that Ella Louise Ford was "touched". As a child, she made dolls that looked like totems. (like effigies) Shunned by the populace, disowned by her parents, she raised her daughter Jessica, supporting the family of two, with Ella's Apothecary Shop nestled in the woods. There were"...miracle cures...roots and leaves and fungi of all kinds." Unfortun ...more
...for fans of horror and true crime...

Side Note: The Book Snake continues her reign...
I was hooked by the concept of The Remaking. It tracks the evolution of a local ghost story about a 'little witch girl' through several decades. We hear the original 1930s campfire tale first: a suspected witch, Ella Louise Ford, was hounded out of the town of Pilot's Creek after bringing disgrace upon her family. She lived in the woods, helping desperate locals with herbal remedies, until she was accused of causing a woman's miscarriage and became the subject of a literal witch-hunt. Ella Louis ...more
Amy Imogene Reads
1.5 stars

The Remaking had all of the ingredients to make a hit—a ghost story, a spooky film myth, and the Groundhog Day-type concept of repeated actions. (But I hated it.)

Concept: ★★★★
Writing: ★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★

Alright, so the setup is this: A urban legend about a woman named Ella Louise and her daughter, Jessica, is told around the campfire to young boys. Ella Louise and Jessica were burned alive one night by a group of scared men and they haunt the woods still. Spooky.

There's power in the tellin
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
1930's Pilot's Creek, Virginia

Odd Ella Louise lives in a cabin in the woods with her even stranger daughter, Jessica. Ella Louise runs an apothecary from her home that the towns folks visit secretly as no one wants to be seen visiting them in fear of being ostracized by the town. When a pregnant woman in terrible pain visits Elle Louise in need of help the tincture that she is given ends up killing her and the baby. The town is in an uproar and they demand death to the witches. Five men stal
Mae Crowe
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
*Received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, as run by Quirk Books. Thank you!

The Remaking... Where do I start with The Remaking?

I suppose I should say right up front that I'm extremely conflicted about this book. It's this odd mixture of a poignant theme and an underwhelming story that I usually only find in classic literature. That is to say, I could write essays on this book and thoroughly enjoy exploring the implications, but the reading experience itself was somewhat lacking. As a result,
I've been watching The Haunting of Hill House and it reminded me how much I utterly love horror/ghost stories. It used to be my "go to" genre of choice. I thought I had left it behind, but it's back: my craving for a good, well told ghost story. The Remaking is a fantastic tale, the type you tell around a campfire to scare the heebie-jeebies out of everyone else. From the very first line in the story until the very last, I was captivated, enthralled with the story and the method the author used ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this as a goodreads giveaway. Thank you Quirk Books and Penguin Random House.

After you read the book make sure you study the cover on the dust wrapper.

Once I got into it, the story was a fast read. And while reading it I kept thinking about all of the off kilter 1970’s horror flicks that I have seen. Especially “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”.

I see this book as an homage to the horror film genre and good set piece for the fall season.
Schizanthus Nerd
If you get too close to this urban legend, you risk becoming part of it.

The residents of Pilot’s Creek always knew there was something strange about Ella Louise Ford. Rumoured to be a witch, she became an outcast, but that didn’t stop the townsfolk from visiting Ella Louise’s apothecary shop to seek cures for what ailed them. Naturally, Ella Louise pays the price for being different.
Tonight, they were going to burn a witch.
Ella Louise is buried in an unmarked grave. Her daughter, Jessica, w
Frank Phillips
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
3.4 Stars is about right. I was really liking this, especially the formatting and the way it was written, but then the ending happened and it just didn't really make sense to me. Maybe I need to re-read it a couple of times, but I just didn't understand the last chapter. Overall it had a pretty solid creepy vibe throughout, loved the cemetery setting, and I really enjoyed it as a horror novel, but overall felt like it was just an average read. Didn't really connect with any of the characters at ...more
Oct 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It was horror but yet not horror. Creepy would best describe it but I don’t believe that is a genre. If sitting around a camp fire telling ghost stories is something you like...or have ever liked to do... then this book is diffidently written just for you. Some of the facts in the story are true...and yes...I asked “Mr. Google.” I learned that it is based on an unsettling horror story and does contain true events that took place in 1931 in Pilot’s Creek, Virginia. The t ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway, horror
*Received via NetGalley for review*

(view spoiler)

The Remaking focuses on the titular remaking of an ur
Lisa Wolf
Are you ready for a ghost story? How about a ghost story within a ghost story within a ghost story?

Welcome to the weird and chilling world of The Remaking, now out in paperback, in which an urban legend refuses to die, no matter how many times the story is retold.

In 1931 in the lumber-rich town of Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, a mother and her nine-year-old daughter are burned at the stake by vengeful townspeople (men, of course). For years, it’s been an open secret that Ella Louise Ford can cure wha
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ghosts, horror
This book was so deeply unpleasant to read and not at all in the way the author probably intended.

1. The writing style is diabolical.

I think the author once heard that repetition can be used for dramatic effect and decided that he could just beat that horse into the ground. An example of a standard paragraph in this book:

'The woods were cold. She walked on. It was cold. So cold. The woods were cold. She thought of her mother, who was cold, and how they had walked these woods. The cold woods.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Remaking is told in 4 chapters, a chronological story that follows an urban legend about a woman, Ella Louise, and her daughter, Jessica, in the small town of Pilots Creek, Virginia. It starts with a man at a campfire, who requires a bottle of booze as his payment for a story about the tale of the two witches. He tells his tale in a reminiscent way - talking about the mother and daughter and how they were not only sought out for their cures but also outcast from society and eventually, burne ...more
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A good ghost story gets told...and retold. It's in the telling where the tale takes on a life of its own. A ghost story grows. It exists on the breath of those who tell it."


I had so much fun reading The Remaking! This book has so many things I love - horror movies, ghost stories, true crime podcasts, and a spooky setting. The cover is eye-catching, and I was hooked on the story immediately.

This story is told in 4 different sections - the original ghost story, the filming of the movie about
The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman is an odd duck to try to describe. I thought it got off to an amazing and creepy start, and there are some really great parts, but there was still just something off for me that left me not loving it. I thought it could be a bit repetitive at times, and the style in which it is written definitely took some getting used to, but it seemed to fit the overall vibe of the book. I loved the storyline and the idea of the plot, but the execution was not quite there fo ...more
Missy (myweereads)
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
“No. You’re not here for any of those stories. You want to hear about Jessica don’t you? Course you do. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Tonight of all nights…Twenty years ago on this very evening. October 16, 1931”

The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapmen It’s the horrifying supernatural story about Ella Louise who lived in the woods surrounding Pilot Creek, Virginia. Her and her daughter Jessica are publicly shunned by the locals and privately seeked out for her herbal medicine to help them. When s
Audra (ouija.reads)
I absolutely love the concept for this book. It’s the reiteration of a scary tale from the true story to the urban legend to a movie to a meta remake to a podcast that wants to uncover the truth about it all.

It is instantly intriguing, right? If you're into horror movies at all, I know this one is making your Spidey senses tingle. The remake concept is not really applied to books—it is weird when you think about it. It feels like it would be a violation to re-write someone else’s book, and yet
Harpies in the Trees
If you love film, especially horror film, especially the lore that can surround the making of a film and you dig quiet horror, you will like this.

This book opens really well with a campfire and some old dude recounting a story from back in the day about a horrible crime that happened to a young mother and her daughter. Accused of witchcraft. Then slowly, the story creeps around in the shadows, through time and film and even inside people.

I appreciated the utilization of the art of film and the
Lady H
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I actually had no issues with the pacing in this book, as I devoured it in two sittings, and I think it's an interesting meditation on urban legends, remakes, storytelling, and the horror genre, but it never truly delves into any of those things fully, only touches on them. There's really no solid conclusion at the end, which is fine, that's not the point, but it did leave me feeling a bit unsatisfied. I did think this was creepy in some parts, so that was a win.

I wasn't a fan of the melodramati
Dec 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I love horror movies, anything scary and I'm in, which is why I was intrigued by The Remaking.

Sadly, The Remaking didn't meet my standards, but then I do have high standards.

Except, when a book is billed as horror or scary I want to feel a tingle, or something in that emotional realm.

Instead, I got a book that was 20% story, and 60% about movie-making and the rest about horror movie mythology, horror cons and how obsessed horror movie fans can get, like any genre fan.

It was as if the aut
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction, witchy
A fun take on the horror genre that utilizes an immersive and fresh concept to accomplish what it sets out to do.

There are nods to all the great horror cliches and tropes, and even some examination of them, and there is definitely an underlying nuance of the residual effects of appropriating someone else's story to make it our own for our own gain. In this case, the book examines the urban legend of a mother and daughter burned at the stake by their town's men after being accused of witchcraft (
Kasey Ashton
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed parts I & II of this book, was mostly just irritated during part III, and just ready to be done by part IV...

I was super intrigued by the premise of this book and the pacing of the first two sections felt really good and I was absolutely rooting for Amber, the child actor. Adult Amber, however, made me roll my eyes completely and the writing became overwrought & incredibly repetitive. If the author's goal was to make me despise the main character, he succeeded. Mostly, I was jus
Melissa Chung
First, I want to thank Quirk books for sending this book to me for an honest review.

I saw this book was coming out and of course the cover drew me in. I’m all about the creepy, and graveyards are a great way to hook me. The blurb at the bottom that said it was like...The Shining by Stephen King... that got me even more. Yes please!!! I’ve never read this author before so I was excited to take the plunge. (P.S. it’s nothing like the Shining... but that’s okay. It’s its own tale.)

I started with th
Keith Chawgo
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The remaking is an interesting novel which is told over a span of a hundred years at around 20 year intervals. We have the legend, the film, the remake and the podcast – with each written in different styles. Does this work within the confines of the novel, yes and no but I’ll get to that a bit later.

The opening of the novel we have the legend of the little ghost witch was excellently done. The origin story is frightful and horrible which is steeped in legend. Chapman develops this mythos excel
Sarah Anna
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Remaking begins with a campfire story - the type of story you'll have heard before: a small town tragedy that has developed over the years into an urban legend, a ghost story. Every single town in the world has one - my own town has one, not altogether dissimilar to the one depicted in the novel - witches, innocent women, persecuted due to ignorance, fear and mania.

After this introduction we are thrust into the 1970s and the pulp horror of the time. The two perspectives of this time setting,
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
The perfect book for anyone who sighs when their favorite horror movie is remade and also anyone who loves witchy tropes and final girl stories with spookiness.

An ideal book to start October with! The story follows the urban legend of the little witch girl as it's made into a slasher in the 70's, and a remake in the 90's each time with weird things happening on set- especially to the girl cast as the witch.
The original movie girl tries to figure out if she's haunted and goes on a popular true c
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