[[caption-width-right:350:Lovely little town...]]

->'''Wadsworth Zane:''' I'm an ''encyclopedia man'', Dr Angstrom. A man of ''science'', not ''superstition''. I've found ''behaviors'' that improve circumstances in my life! Like a ''scientist'' would!\\
'''Dr. Angstrom:''' And these behaviors protect you from ghosts.\\
'''Wadsworth:''' '''''Yes!'''''

''[[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com Broodhollow]]'' is a webcomic by Kris Straub, creator of ''{{Webcomic/Starslip}}'', ''DarthWiki/CandleCove'', and ''{{Webcomic/Chainsawsuit}}''.

Wadsworth Zane, an Encyclopedia Atlantica salesman in the '30s who suffers from anxiety and compulsive behaviors (many of which are based on Straub's actual superstitions), receives a letter telling him a very distant relative died. He stands to inherit [[TheGreatDepression some much needed money]], but must make a trip to the small town of Broodhollow to learn more about his inheritance.

While there he meets a few citizens of Broodhollow and begins to believe that there is something sinister at work in this town. Important characters include:

[[TheShrink Dr. Klaus Angstrom]]: A psychoanalyst who has befriended Wadsworth and is trying to help him deal with his anxiety issues.

Iris Bellweather: A teenager assisting at her father's law firm. She is familiar with Wadsworth's case and is friendly and helpful to him.

The [[NonIndicativeName Bottlefly]] Boys: A local 'gang' of [[TheBigGuy similarly sized men]] who work at the Bottlefly Mill.

Rutherford Planchett: An obstructive businessman who was waiting to buy Wadsworth's inheritance. He is very abrasive to Wadsworth and believes he is a con-man.

Mayor Ogden Osgood: A pleasant old man who takes an interest in Wadsworth

!!This series provides examples of:
* AbsurdlyIneffectiveBarricade: Zane goes full out with his SuperOCD by [[spoiler: nailing everything in his room shut]] when he believes he's going to be attacked by a ghost. [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive It doesn't work.]]
** Can be seen as an example of GoneHorriblyRight. Zane's efforts to keep his ghostly stalker away were a complete success. The ''problem'' with this was [[spoiler:the ghost's presence was actually ''protecting'' him from something much [[FromBadToWorse worse.]]]]
* ActionGirl: [[spoiler: Iris]] gets a chance to be one. [[BigDamnHeroes Briefly and awesomely]].
* {{Adorkable}}: Wadsworth's crippling neuroses are so gosh darned ''endearing''.
* AgentScully: Angstrom steadfastly refuses to believe [[AgentMulder Zane or Iris]] about the supernatural occurrences around town, trying to explain everything as either some kind of delusion, or as perfectly normal occurrences amplified by fear and panic.
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler: The sequence at the beginning of the second chapter, where we suddenly see Mayor Osgood's face be replaced by a massive gaping hole.]] Fortunately, it just seems to be a nightmare, [[spoiler: until [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/11/29/something-horrible/ he starts seeing it when he's awake.]]]]
** It's implied from his psychotherapy sessions that [[spoiler: these dreams are Zane's subconscious trying to remind him about all the things he's forgotten as a result of the ExtraStrengthMasquerade.]]
* AmbiguousDisorder: Wadsworth definitely has OCD, but that [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness may or may not]] be all that's going wrong in his head.
* AnachronismStew: The [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2015/03/16/eat-at-cubbys/ menu]] at Cubby's, according to the comments.
* AncientConspiracy: The Society of the Skull and Shovels. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in that they wind up being a [[BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats relatively mundane secret society]], made up of various businessmen and community leaders who talk shop, drink and play cards. [[NotSoHarmless Mostly.]]
** The Broodhollow Ladies' Auxiliary is a DistaffCounterpart to the Skull and Shovels, being concerned primarily with organizing the town's many holidays. And if Mrs. Isquith's conversation with Iris is anything to go by, [[spoiler: they all know about, and actively resist, the town's supernatural effects on memory]].
* AnyoneCanDie: Poor [[spoiler: Maris]].
* ArtShift: The comic is drawn utilizing a cartoony style reminiscent of comics like {{Tintin}}. That is, until [[spoiler: the ghosts and monsters show up,]] at least...
* AttackItsWeakPoint: [[spoiler:Zane manages to kill the corpsebug by finding a patch of skin unprotected by chitin (or skeletons) and takes a corkscrew to it.]]
* BatScare: When the townsfolk begin the ritual for Ouster Eve, it scatters some bats that were roosting in the church tower's belfry. [[spoiler: And then they start getting bigger...]]
* BigCreepyCrawlies: [[spoiler:The corpsebug that killed Maris and the visiting author. Also a weird... spider... thing that shows up in an [[SpookyPhotographs odd picture]] in a short story.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Mercy [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/2013/06/12/have-mercy/ dive-bombing the skeleton]], followed shortly afterwards by Iris bursting in and beating the everloving shit out of it with a [[FryingPanOfDoom frying pan]].]] That strip's title? "AND STAY OUT".
* ABoyAndHisX: [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/01/23/another-visitor/ A young man and his adorable bat]]!
* BerserkButton: Do not insult Iris in front of Zane.
* BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats: Well, the Society of the Skull and Shovels seems fairly benign thus far, except for that awful, awful chanting.
* [[CantHoldHisLiquor Can't Hold His Switchwater]]: Zane can't, at least when compared to the Bottlefly Boys. [[spoiler: Which is how he winds up tripping and injuring himself, resulting in him going to the hospital.]]
* ClosedCircle: Circumstances continue to keep Wadsworth in Broodhollow for just one more day. And then another, and another. After the first chapter, Zane decides to run the Antique store. [[spoiler:His motivation for doing so isn't explored, but he ends up with a steady-ish job and friends... in a place that seems to actively cause people to not want to ''leave''.]]
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: People should ''really'' be paying more attention to Zane's stories... although in this case, [[ExtraStrengthMasquerade it's more than justified that they aren't]].
* CobwebJungle: Zane's Antiques was abandoned for about a year after Wadsworth's uncle's death and became this. It, uh, wasn't in the best of shape before that, either.
* ComedicSociopathy: Planchett is hilariously mean to Wadsworth, and it seems that there is little reason for him to treat Wadsworth so badly.
** [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation On the other hand]], Planchett seems to have honestly believed Wadsworth was an out-of-towner con man looking to make a quick hundred dollars selling property that wasn't actually his. Later chapters establish that Planchett is just a bristly guy in general, and he tones down his mistreatment of Wadsworth as they get to know each other.
* CoolOldGuy and CoolOldLady: Mayor Osgood appears to be this, quieting down Planchett and inviting Wadsworth to be a guest of honor at one of the town's many holidays. Later, Ms. Isquith of the Broodhollow Ladies Auxiliary is very friendly and supportive of Iris -- and is more than capable of taking Planchett down a peg.
* CreepyBasement: [[spoiler: Where Zane is taken when he's kidnapped by the ghost of Harker. Worst part is, the ghost's influence [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/06/19/dust/ seems to hide the exit]]]...]]
* CreepyDoll: Pay careful attention to some of the panels showing Wadsworth's uncle's shop.
* DarkIsEvil: Nearly every bad thing that has happened in the comic has happened at night, or in a place with no light. [[spoiler:''Nearly''.]]
* {{Deuteragonist}}: Iris and Zane share the spotlight, each unraveling their own larger mysteries.
* DistressedDude: Wadsworth, at the hands of [[spoiler: Harker]].
* DrunkOnMilk: Because Prohibition is in full effect, people have resorted to drinking a beverage fermented from a local tree called Switchwood. It gets by the Prohibition laws because it's not alcoholic, even though it still causes inebriation.
* EasterEgg: See this page's entry of ShaggyDogStory.
* EmpathyPet: [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/05/06/do-not-go-quietly/ Mercy, for Zane.]]
* EnclosedSpace: Inverted. Zane intentionally closes every door, window and drawer in every room he stays in out of superstition. When he believes he's being chased by a ghost, he goes so far as to [[spoiler: ''nail every door, window and drawer shut.'']]
* EnvironmentalSymbolism: Straub uses this to great effect. Colors have definite shifts whenever something potentially supernatural is happening, usually making the colors [[RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver darker and more red-tinged.]]
* ExtraExtraReadAllAboutIt: A minor recurring character is a newsboy who hits the standard tropes.
* EvilIsNotWellLit: Bad things always seem to happen to Wadsworth at night...
* FramingDevice: The comic starts with Wadsworth on Dr Angstrom's couch, talking about how he came to Broodhollow. [[spoiler:As of now, the events of the comic have caught up to the framing device. Kris mentioned that he was using this trope to "reassure" readers that Zane would be alive and well following the events of the comic. Now that we are past the framing device, anything could happen.]]
* FryingPanOfDoom: Iris has one.
* FunetikAksent: Averted with Dr. Angstrom. He apologizes for his (presumably thick) accent on his introduction, but it's left to the reader's imagination.
* GiantFlyer: [[spoiler:The demonic bats that attack Wadsworth in the first chapter. They may not even be real, considering the Bottlefly Boys only saw normal bats... but then, they couldn't see the corpsebug properly either.]]
* GladIThoughtOfIt: Angstrom doesn't think much of Freud, but his concept of the [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/10/25/on-dreams/ "infrapsyche"]] is pretty much identical to Freud's ideas about the unconscious mind.
* GRatedDrug: Switchwater, the town's substitute for alcohol. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that the comic takes place during the Prohibition Era in America.
** Switchwater is subtly implied to be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol methanol]], also known as wood spirits. [[ShownTheirWork It actually was used as an alcohol substitute during Prohibition]], since it does actually cause intoxication (with the caveat that it's also a ''deadly poison'').
* TheGreatDepression: The setting, which provides Wadsworth with a reason to stay in Broodhollow and run the shop he inherited.
* HeroicBuild: The Bottlefly Boys are all hyper-masculine, overly muscled mill workers that dwarf Wadsworth and make him feel weak by their mere presence. Thankfully, they're also fairly good-natured, and step in to help whenever danger arises.
* HerrDoktor: Angstrom is Austrian, though not much is made of it.
* HistoryRepeats: [[spoiler: Once Zane becomes aware of the fact that his memories have been altered, he plans to use shock and horror to restore his memory. However, he comes across an old journal that shows he already tried it once before... ''and it didn't work.'']]
** Particularly horrifying because [[spoiler: his attempt to restore his memories may be tied to Maris' death.]]
* ImprovisedWeapon: So far, the most deadly objects in the strip have been a frying pan and [[spoiler:a corkscrew]].
* JerkAss: Planchett appears to be this, lording his influence over others while constantly deriding Wadsworth simply because Wadsworth happened to come to Broodhollow just in time to keep his inheritance. He has also been the main antagonist so far, [[TheHollywoodFormula obstructing Wadsworth from collecting his inheritance and leaving again]].
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: [[spoiler:Iris and the townsfolk, at first, have forgotten that her father died a while back... and, at the end of Book One, Zane seems to have forgotten his confrontation with Harker.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: It's been noticed that the light shining from the [[ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes glowing features]] of the ghosts/hallucinations bleed over into previous and subsequent panels. [[WordOfGod Straub has acknowledged that this is not a mistake.]]
* MadnessMantra: "I am just going to close it for you. It's better closed. It '''needs''' to be closed. I need to close it." Wadsworth has some issues with things left half open.
* [[{{Masquerade}} Masquerade]]: Wadsworth believes that Broodhollow has this in effect because no one else notices the strange things happening.
** ExtraStrengthMasquerade: Broodhollowans seem ''incapable of remembering'' certain events, no matter how traumatic and conspicuous. This even includes [[spoiler: Zane]].
* MayorPain: It's not clear what exactly Mayor Osgood's deal is, but something about him is ever so slightly off. He could be an innocent figurehead, but he seems involved in a few too many things to be a [[ProperlyParanoid coincidence]].
* MindScrew: Both for the reader and for Wadsworth. Neither is completely sure what is real and what is in Zane's head.
* NervousWreck: Wadsworth. Always.
* NightmareFace: [[spoiler: The collapsed-in faces from Zane's nightmares definitely count.]]
* NightmareSequence: There is one near the beginning that helps set the tone.
** There's another one [[spoiler: at the beginning of Chapter Two.]]
* [[spoiler: OrganTheft:]] [[spoiler: The reason the ghost of Harker was kidnapping and killing people- he hoped to reconstruct his body, piece by piece.]]
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Either they are nightmarish hallucinations that plague Wadsworth for no apparent reason or they are figments of Wadsworth's imagination.
** Or, [[TheCuckoolanderWasRight they could be very real indeed...]]
* PerpetualPoverty: Wadsworth was a Encyclopedia salesman before coming to Broodhollow... during TheGreatDepression. Yeah.
* PoliceAreUseless: Partly a result of the influence of the BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats, but also a result of the ExtraStrengthMasquerade that [[spoiler: prevents people from remembering all of the supernatural phenomena they come across.]]
* PsychologicalHorror: [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/01/30/familiar-surroundings/ "There's nothing to be afraid of" does not logically follow from "It's all in your head".]]
* RatedMForManly: What happens whenever the Bottlefly Boys enter the comic.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Mercy the bat.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/05/24/you-curious-little-thing/ Wadsworth, nooooooo!]]
* SanityStrengthening: Dr. Angstrom is able to offer Wadsworth reassurance and good advice, and does a lot to help him overcome his neuroses. Sadly, Zane stops trusting him because of his skepticism, and [[SanitySlippage then things get worse]]...
* ShaggyDogStory: An enterprising reader experimented on the website's background, and found it was [[https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/869365/webcomics/bh_blog_back_newspaper_enhanced.jpg a newspaper article written by the author]] describing [[spoiler: the main character's apparent death]]. It counts as this, because [[MemeticMutation the ending of the article abruptly becomes the lyrics to the opening theme from]] ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir''.
** [[spoiler: A careful reader will notice that the article also mentions the death of Iris, given that it has her mother, Maude Bellweather, talking about the deaths of her husband and daughter.]]
* ShowWithinAShow: The "Cadavre" comics, which feature a French existentialist skeleton and his friend, Mort. [[spoiler: This character also appears in Zane's dreams to give him messages.]]
* TheShrink: Dr. Angstrom appears to be a cross between numbers 2 and 3. He renames established psychology terms so he can claim to have discovered them, but cares about Wadsworth's problems and seems to provide good advice.
* SmallNameBigEgo: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] with Angstrom. He's not ''incompetent'' by any means, but he has a [[RunningGag reoccurring obsession]] with obtaining fame by... basically just taking existing psychological concepts and renaming them.
* SpookyPhotographs: A short story involves Wadsworth taking up photography as a hobby using a camera he found in an antique shop. The pictures are, predictably, fairly... off.
* SuperOCD: Wadsworth ''needs'' things to be closed.
* ThemeNaming: The Bottlefly Boys are named Maris, Morris and Maurice, which are pronounced almost identically.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Why hit [[spoiler:a murderous ghost assembling itself a body from pieces of its victims]] once when you can hit it [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/06/26/and-stay-out/ fifteen more times]]?
* ThroatLight: The [[spoiler:demon bats]] that may or may not be real.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: It is unknown currently in the comic whether only Zane is experiencing this or if the ghosts he sees are real. There are clues that point in both directions. [[spoiler:Panels with a red-tinted background seem to be from Zane's unreliable perspective. For instance, on Ouster Eve only the red panels depict monstrous bats, and the others show them as normal sizes and shapes. And no one else saw them but Zane.]]
** However, Zane gets some independent confirmation from [[spoiler: Iris, when she [[FryingPanOfDoom beats the evil out]] of Harker. She finds Zane after following a ghost even!]] Sadly, this doesn't [[ExtraStrengthMasquerade last very long]].
* TitleDrop:
** Well, Broodhollow is mentioned as often as would be expected, but the very first page gets the prerequisite dramatic exclaiming of the name out of the way.
** The first chapter, 'Curious Little Thing,' is how the characters refer to Maddy, the [[spoiler:supposed]] antagonist.
* TownWithADarkSecret: Unlike its (in-universe, even) sister town, Ichor Falls, Broodhollow is friendly and welcoming. And ever so slightly ''off''. For example, the town's hotel is called Hotel [[MeaningfulName Umbra]], residents greet each other by saying "Hello Hello Hello!" and the town celebrates many delightful holidays such as Totenkinder and Ouster Eve.
* UnexpectedInheritance: This is what starts the plot.
* WhamLine:
** [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/03/01/stay-there/ Oh boy.]]
** [[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/05/29/skeleton-key/ Oh dear.]]
** ''[[http://broodhollow.chainsawsuit.com/page/2013/07/15/times-needle/ Oh hell.]]''
* WontTakeYesForAnAnswer: Zane is vehement about wanting to sell the antique shop and leave town, but Planchett refuses to buy it even at a pittance-- the man is completely wedded to the idea that Zane's a swindler.
* TheWorfEffect: Maris of the Bottlefly Boys [[spoiler: is found dead in the snow]], likely to establish the deadliness of a yet-unknown villain.