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  • Writer's pictureClay Anderson

Review of All Hallows by Christopher Golden

Updated: Jun 23

Christopher Golden's All Hallows is a gripping horror novel that masterfully blends 1980s nostalgia with supernatural terror, set against the backdrop of a suburban Halloween night in 1984. The story unfolds in Coventry, Massachusetts, where the residents of Parmenter Road are preparing for Halloween festivities, unaware of the lurking evil that will soon disrupt their lives.


The novel centers around two families, the Barbosas and the Sweeneys, whose lives are unraveling amidst personal secrets and suburban drama. As the children of the neighborhood go trick-or-treating, they encounter four mysterious children in vintage costumes who beg for protection from a malevolent entity known as The Cunning Man. This sinister figure, along with a newly appeared blackthorn tree and a clearing in the woods, sets the stage for a night of horror and suspense.


Golden excels in creating a vivid Halloween atmosphere, evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of an autumn night filled with costumed children and eerie decorations. The novel is a love letter to Halloween, capturing the essence of the holiday while intertwining it with a chilling narrative. The 1980s setting adds a layer of nostalgia, reminiscent of "Stranger Things," which enhances the reader's immersion into the story.


The characters in All Hallows are well-developed, with Golden skillfully juggling multiple Christopher Golden's All Hallows is a gripping horror novel that masterfully blends 1980s nostalgia with supernatural terror, set against the backdrop of a suburban Halloween night in 1984. The story unfolds in Coventry, Massachusetts, where the residents of Parmenter Road are preparing for Halloween festivities, unaware of the lurking evil that will soon disrupt their lives.


The horror in All Hallows is both psychological and supernatural. The Cunning Man, a towering figure with flaming eyes, embodies the terror that haunts the children and the neighborhood. Golden's ability to balance the mundane horrors of suburban life—infidelities, financial troubles, and personal betrayals—with the supernatural threat creates a compelling and unsettling read. The novel's pacing builds tension effectively, leading to a climax that is both satisfying and terrifying.


All Hallows by Christopher Golden is a standout addition to the horror genre, particularly for those who cherish Halloween and 1980s nostalgia. Its blend of suburban drama and supernatural terror, coupled with Golden's evocative writing, makes it a compelling read that captures the spirit of Halloween. Whether you're a longtime fan of Golden or new to his work, All Hallows is a novel that promises to send chills down your spine and keep you turning the pages long into the night.


For those who enjoy a slow-burn horror with rich character development and a nostalgic setting, All Hallows is a must-read. Just be prepared to keep the lights on and perhaps avoid the woods for a while.

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