Black Ash Swamp has given birth to a new or perhaps very ancient legacy; a curse that has befallen upon a small town in Connecticut: The Hookman of Black Ash Swamp. A curse dating back to the ancient Indians and early pioneer explorers… The Hookman is a mythical swamp creature with a very unique power. When he hooks people, they don’t just simply die. Anyone who encounters The Hookman vanishes completely, so no trace of their life is left. Anything they’ve ever owned, anything they’ve ever written, anything they’ve ever done, disappears and no one knows they’ve ever existed. Not even their own parents… Zachary Hartman is a popular boy in the sixth grade. Even though he is a year older than Lynn, they become fast friends when he rescues her from being eaten by a huge snapping turtle. Yet Lynn is unable to save him when The Hookman emerges from the water and scratches Zachary’s arm. The wound is far more serious than it appears. Zachary keeps vanishing from sight against his will. He and Lynn are in a race against time to confront The Hookman and kill him before Zachary is gone and forgotten completely…
Remember the Hookman? The first time I ever heard a variant of this story, it was a foggy night, and my parents and I were sitting in traffic on a two lane highway. There was an accident up ahead, and it was damn hard for emergency services to get out there to clear the road. My mom decided that this was the perfect moment to tell her seven year old creepy stories. It’s one of those memories that really sticks. I’m not the only one — the Hookman has long since been an urban legend (it was even featured in the movie Urban Legend — Joshua Jackson’s character died a grisly death), and Sam and Dean of Supernatural have gone up against them.
The Hookman Legacy takes advantage of the popularity of the modern day fairy tale. It’s deceptively slow at the beginning. Bernard takes her time weaving a creepy story based on a legend most people know. The heroine is a child poised to become a teenager, thus almost ready to leave behind any odd fears of that which goes bump in the night — almost ready, but not quite. I read this in one afternoon on a rainy day, and it’s an excellent way to spend a quiet afternoon.
Hayley Bernard lives in Philadelphia, where she writes and paints. The Hookman Legacy was published by SNM Publishing.