Clive Barker and a story for Bonfire Night

The Forbidden – Clive Barker

It seems to me there are a million and one short stories in the horror/ fantasy genre written around Halloween. I’ve written a few myself – including a couple for my young nephews just last week…(but that’s a whole other story about ‘acting like an adult’ and ‘why did you think it was okay to tell an 8 year old about beating a clown to death…?’)

There seems to be much, much less written around Bonfire Night/ Guy Fawke’s Night, however you want to call it. Of course, there are books, both fact and fiction based around the plot itself, but general stories around the event? I can’t think of many other than The Forbidden by Clive Barker.

Now, as you may have guessed from this site, I’m a big fan of Clive Barker and have posted about his work previously

and his Books of Blood series were a huge influence on my writing as a teenager, while his work since has always been something I go to for reading. So, as a short post I thought I’d mention his pretty fantastic short story The Forbidden.

The story, from Barker’s Books of Blood series, features a university student named Helen who, while writing a thesis on graffiti, visits a run-down estate in Liverpool. There, on bonfire night she encounters the urban legend the locals are so terrified of: the Candyman.

And if you’re wondering? Yes, THAT Candyman – Bernard Rose took the story and, with Barker’s blessing transposed the location, and pretty much all of the tale other than the movie’s titular character into the US based movie. There are some fascinating articles and comments from Barker himself on his website regarding the story/ movie process and his thoughts on both.

So if you’re one of us who feel Halloween comes and goes way too slowly, and you want something more scary than a few bangs and flashing lights, why not treat yourself to a spooky story this November 5th:

As I’ve said numerous times, I don’t tend to link to pirate copies of any author’s work, but as far as I can see, this particular story is apparently openly available from Hachette: 

You can read the story here

But seriously, if you haven’t read Books of Blood…go out and buy the whole series now…

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