It was supposed to be a simple publicity stunt: four best-selling horror authors spending Halloween night in one of the country’s most legendary haunted houses. But as the hours tick by, the writers suspect that the house is studying them, listening to their conversations, peering into their souls. One year later, these authors’ worlds are turned upside down when they discover that they are slaves to an ominous entity that is forcing them to write the exact same book. Now the only way to stop this infestation of evil is by returning to the house that started it all. These very different men have devoted their lives to the macabre; yet nothing they have written can prepare them for what waits at Kill Creek.
KILL CREEK is a novel of supernatural suspense that builds to a horrifically violent climax. Like the house at its center, the novel studies the strengths and weaknesses of its four protagonists, forcing them into a final, terrifying confrontation.
I am the co-creator and Executive Producer of Disney Channel’s Best Friends Whenever and Disney XD’s Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja. I’ve written TV movies and teleplays for various networks including MTV, VH1, CMT, Nickelodeon and ABC Family, and I was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for my work on R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour. I’ve loved horror my whole life; every one of my birthday cakes in grade school had a haunted house on it. KILL CREEK blends two of my favorite types of horror: slow-burn supernatural creepiness with all-out visceral terror.
The Tracking Board’s 2016 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition
Gossip is mischievous, light and easy to raise, but grievous to bear
and hard to get rid of. No gossip ever dies away entirely, if many
people voice it; it too is a kind of divinity. -- Hesiod
Only the silent, sleepy, staring houses in the backwoods can tell all
that has lain hidden since the early days… Sometimes one feels it
would be merciful to tear down these houses, for they must often
dream. --H.P. Lovecraft
No house is born bad. Most are thought of fondly, even lovingly. In the beginning, the house on Kill Creek was no exception.
The house was made from nothing more fantastic than wood and nails, mortar and stone. It was not built on unholy ground. It was not home to a witch or a warlock. In 1859, a solitary man constructed it with his own two hands and the occasional help from friends in the nearby settlement of Lawrence, Kansas. For a few good years, the rooms within this house were filled with a passionate love, albeit one shared in secret, like a whisper between two hearts.
But as with most places that are rumored to be haunted, a tragedy befell the house on Kill Creek. The man who built it was murdered, mere feet from the woman he loved. His outstretched hands attempted to span that mockingly short distance between them, to touch her dark skin, to caress her hair, his mind insisting that if he could just hold her, they would both be saved.
They were not. His love’s body was taken from beside his own and hung from the only tree in the front yard. She was already dead, and yet they strung her up in one final insult. The bodies became as cool as the steamy August night would allow, the silence of the house and grounds laying over them like a death shroud. They would remain undisturbed for several weeks, forgotten as the town of Lawrence endured its own tragedy. As dusk fell, the horizon to the southwest flickered with the orange glow of flame. Lawrence was burning.
A house stained by spilled blood cannot escape the harsh sentence passed by rumor. The townspeople, traveling the quiet dirt path to Kansas City, began to speak of the house as if it were alive. How badly they felt for this poor, sad place, orphaned as so many children had been during the bloody border battles preceding the Civil War. It is impossible to say what happened within that empty house on long, dark winter nights when the wind cut through the barren forest to rattle its window panes. But on more than one occasion, a traveler gave his horse a swift kick to speed it along as he passed Kill Creek Road.
Because of its size and grand architecture, the house did not remain empty forever. A few tried to call it home. Yet no one felt completely welcome in the house, and most moved out within a year. They could not explain why they were compelled to abandon it. It was as if the walls refused to absorb their warmth. Even in the middle of summer, the temperature dropped a good ten degrees as one...