Book Review: The Root Witch

If you’re in a hurry and want a good scare, this is the creepypasta campfire tale for you.

80s TV journalist Sandra is determined to get her story on Halloween night. Reports of the Root Witch have been flying around and one by one, her crew goes missing. What she does find is a shocking video of the terror in the woods.

This found footage novella makes fantastic use of mixed media — faxes, diary entries, reports, and videos. There’s enough here to expand this 28-page piece into a full novel, but this bite-sized story is just right.

I love the idea of the clone forest being home to a human-hating supernatural presence. My horror-brain understands that concept, so I had no trouble getting invested in the legend of the Root Witch. And after that twisted ending, a reread made the story brand new again.

I did think maybe there was a bit too much focus on the journalism aspect. I was ready to get spooked, but the story gave a lot of details about how tv news is made. That’s cool and all, but I was more attracted to the “Urban Legend” part of the subtitle than “Caught On Tape.”

Half an hour cover to cover and I got chills when I heard the leaves rustling outside. I’d call that a success! Very enjoyable to this Blair Witch fan.

The Root Witch by Debra Castaneda was published March 20, 2021.

Thanks to BookSirens, the publisher, and the author for providing a copy of this title. I am leaving this feedback voluntarily.

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