The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show” — Revealing T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you…

We’re excited to share the cover for The Twisted Ones, a horror novel by T. Kingfisher (the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author also known as Ursula Vernon), inspired in part by the author’s childhood love of ghost stories and unexplained mysteries. Check out the full design and learn more about the novel below!

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is packed to the gills with useless garbage. That would be horrors enough, but there’s more. Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be the ravings of a broken mind.

Until she encounters some of the terrifying things he described herself. Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse has to confront a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

Cover design by Greg Stadnyk


When Ursula Vernon tweeted a description of her next project as “The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show“, Navah Wolfe—Senior Editor at Saga Press—had to know more:

I messaged her and asked if it was adult, novel length, and if it had a home. She told me it was adult, was novel length, didn’t have a home yet, and was 60% of the way done, did I want to read it? I said sure, as long as she didn’t need a quick response, busy swamped editor, etc. And then I dipped into it on my commute home, just because I was curious. SEVEN HOURS LATER, I was still reading, alone in my house while everyone else was asleep, absolutely terrified and convinced that every noise I heard was an eldritch horror coming to get me. I made an offer that week!


When asked why she wrote The Twisted Ones, Ursula replied:

When I was a kid, I had a book of American ghost stories and unexplained mysteries. It had Bigfoot and the Jersey Devil and Mothman.

(To this day, I am still afraid of Mothman.)

It also had an entry for the Devil’s Tramping Ground, a mysterious circle in North Carolina where the devil supposedly goes to pace back and forth and contemplate wickedness.

Decades later, I would move to Chatham County, North Carolina and one day, pulling up a map, I realized that I lived just off Devil’s Tramping Ground Road. The real one. The one that ends, somewhere a few dozen miles away, in the actual spot where Satan supposedly wanders around.

I would like to say that it is impressively eerie, but it’s just a sort of overgrown and a lot of litter. But still! It had gotten a mention in That Book I Read As A Kid, the greatest authority on ghost stories that I knew! And now I was living right by it!

Why weren’t horror novels being set all over North Carolina? Why weren’t we hip-deep in mysterious found manuscripts and cattle mutilations?

Did people just think it wasn’t scary enough? What did Maine have that we didn’t? We had woods! Better woods than The Blair Witch Project, anyway, where you got the impression that if the actors had just followed the river far enough, they’d come out in a Wal-mart parking lot.

Filled with sudden fervor and a desire to prove that my adopted home could be just as terrifying as anywhere else in the country, armed with Arthur Machen and strong opinions about local humidity, I set out to write a book filled with both the things that I loved and the things that scared me. Sometimes they turned out to be one and the same.


T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones publishes in Fall 2019 with Saga Press.


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