Halloween! Strange things are going to happen and every year, while loving the holiday, members of the Krewe of Hunters also dread it.

Something somewhere is bound to happen.

And it does.

Krewe member Jon Dickson’s fiancée Kylie Connelly is contacted by an old friend who has just moved to Salem, Massachusetts, when the unimaginable happens as the holiday approaches.

Jenny Auger has just managed to buy the historic home of her dreams. But it comes with far more history than she ever imagined—the skeletal remains of seven victims interred in the old walls of the house years and years before—along with a threatening curse.

And strange things are happening in the city. Bizarre attacks…murders that mimic days of old.

With Halloween on the way.

Kylie has a history with the city of Salem, and her strange talent for being within the minds of those under attack—first realized in the city—remains sharp.

But the situation is far more dire than what they have discovered, with strange events and attacks occurring.

And with all their talent for crime solving—with help from the living and the dead—it still remains to be seen if they can solve the murders of the past before Halloween, and the bloodbath that just might occur if the sins of a time gone by cannot be brought to light.

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.

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Excerpt: Haunted House
By Heather Graham

Excerpt: Haunted House

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham comes a new Halloween story in her Krewe of Hunters series. HAUNTED HOUSE is out tomorrow, but you can read a sneak peek below!

The thing seemed to stare at her.

Of course, it couldn’t stare. There was nothing but stygian emptiness where the eyes should have been. The soft tissue had long ago decomposed. And still…

She knew she was in Salem, Massachusetts, renowned for tragic history and ghost stories. And it was almost Halloween. October. Haunted Happenings was coming into full swing, filled with scary fun and delight and…

This.

Dear Lord, it was something straight out of a horror movie. Except that…

It was real!

She was dreaming. Somehow, Kylie Connelly Dickson knew she was dreaming. She also knew that, somehow, the dream was real.

And she knew where she was and what was going on—as if she had entered the very soul of another human being.

She was in an old house. One known for its tragic history, curses, hauntings, and all that came with such a place.

Once, Kylie hadn’t understood. Now, since she’d met Jon, she knew something about her unique talent—enough to know that she was seeing, feeling, and knowing things as another person.

And she knew the circumstances because she had the memories and information of the soul she had entered.

She was another person at the moment.

She even knew who she was this time…her friend, Brenda Riley.

And she knew that she had just purchased the home. She knew what Brenda did because, in a very strange way, she was Brenda. She saw with her eyes, felt her emotions. Knew her thoughts.

Which told her that the electricity wouldn’t be on until later. Unfortunately, the realtor handling the sale hadn’t thought she’d be able to get into the home until tomorrow. But, as it turned out, she had signed the last papers today.

It had been a lifelong dream to buy the amazingly historic home in the city she loved so very much. Mandy Nichols, the realtor for the absentee seller, had been wonderful, hurrying things along as best she could, knowing how much Brenda loved the house.

But this…

She was amazed that she hadn’t screamed. Maybe because—in the Halloween season—all kinds of pranks and shenanigans went on. Or perhaps, more likely, it was because all her breath was gone, and she had nearly passed out.  And though her flashlight reflected off the white gleam of the skull and other skeletal remains stuffed behind the deteriorating false wall, she still hadn’t moved.

Because she was frozen stiff with shock and fear.

The house that had stood before had belonged to a woman accused of witchcraft. Not one who had been executed, but one who had died, nonetheless. Her family had left Salem, cursing the very ground. Sometime after their marriage, it was said that Ezekiel Johnson murdered his wife. And in the 1800s, Priscilla Alcott had, in turn, murdered her husband. And then, in the 1900s, Fisher Smith had been accused by the locals of being a serial killer after citizens of Salem, Peabody, and other nearby towns disappeared. Even in 2001, a ghost tour guide had vanished after pointing out the house, the ghosts of the dead who haunted it, and stating how the land itself had been cursed.

But this…

It had to be a prank.

A prank, a prank, a prank…

But it wasn’t. She had just leaned against the wall, and it had proven to be false with perhaps two feet behind it. And there, shoved against the old brick and structural beams held up by the jagged structure of the real wall, was the skeleton.

People had warned her. Most of them would be laughing as they considered the tales of the Brim House to be nothing but urban legends created with the use of a wee bit of history. A woman had died in the original home that had stood here during the infamous witch trials. She hadn’t been executed, but she had suffered so seriously from malnutrition and disease while being held in the crowded jail that she had just made it home after her relatives painfully scraped together the money to pay her jail fees, only to die shortly after.

Then, there had been the murder. A family member, luring an old enemy to the house…

So many tales.

Some true. Some purely fabricated.

Well, this—this skull and these bones—they were old. Very old, she thought. Because it was all held together with jagged brick and the remnants of whatever the person had been wearing. She couldn’t even tell if they had been male or female—not even in the strange glaring light and shadow of the flashlight.

She played the light beyond the eerie skull and bone and rotting bits of fabric on the thing and showed that more lay behind it, buried behind what no one had apparently known was a false wall.

The beams were old, lines of time etched into them. Perhaps old building markers, splinters of wood jaggedly sticking here and there on…no. Please, no.

More? Dear God, she could see…flesh.

She wasn’t about to look any further.

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