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Literature / A Specter Tale

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...but hopefully not read

"So... should we wait for Dan Aykroyd to get here?"

A Specter Tale is a 2018 horror novella written by Constantine Furman.

The people of a small Nebraska town are being mysteriously murdered. When information about these murders gets to Moira Sanders, the host of an Unsolved Mysteries-type show, she takes off to investigate. Despite the police arresting a suspect, Moira's digging uncovers an unassuming woman thought long dead named Natali Stretesky who may be responsible for the town's recent unexplained deaths.

Followed in 2019 by a sequel, Another Specter Tale and in 2020 by A Specter Tale Continues.


Tropes found in A Specter Tale

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Set in 2006.
  • Adults Are Useless: No one that could possibly be helpful is helpful.
  • Adult Fear: Teenagers and a young child are Natali's first victims in the story.
  • Asshole Victim: Natali infiltrates the bathroom of the jerkass mayor who was partially responsible for her death.
  • Badass Boast: "Taste some a' mama's home cookin'!" Moira chortles as she beats the hell out of Natali.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one believes Moira when she says there's a dead person doing all the murdering. It turns out they are fully aware of who Natali Strestesky was and that most of them killed her and hid her body after she murdered forty people. They just refuse to believe she's come back from the dead.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Moira does this when she has a nightmare of being attacked in her motel room.
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  • Chairmanofthe Brawl: Moira when she shows up to Natali's home with rubys on hand. It does not go well for Natali.
  • Daylight Horror: Natali doesn't need it to be nighttime to cause mayhem.
  • Distractedbythe Sexy: Eric, when Natali visits him in one of her bedrooms in the middle of the night.
  • Downer Ending: Moira and her boyfriend manage to destroy Natali and survive, but after they leave, Natali uses one of their murdered friend's bodies to reconstitute herself.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Natali.
  • Ghost Butler: When Natali leaves a room after murdering Eric, the door slams shut on its own.
  • Old, Dark House: The "Lake House" Natali dwells in outside of town. When she wants it to seem presentable, it is, even to outsiders. But in reality, the house is in an irreparable state of decay.
  • Only One Name: Brian goes devoid of a surname the entire book.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Natali Stretesky seems like a fully formed human being, though she is ultimately a ghost. She's truthfully a flesh-and-blood ghost.
  • Overly Long Tongue: When Natali assaults the mayor's mistress, she yanks off Natali's face and a long, wet tongue flops out of her skull's mouth and lands on her face.
  • Police Are Useless: Moira's attempts to get the help of the police go nowhere. While they all know who Natali Stretesky is (mostly because they murdered her), they refuse to believe Moira's claims that Natali's ghost is still there. This is despite the fact their town even has an urban legend about her as a ghost.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The whites of Natali's eyes glow orange when she becomes really angry.
  • Shout-Out: The book is dedicated to several names associated with the horror genre who inspired it: Mario Bava, Barbara Steele, Don Coscarelli, Terence Fisher, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Veronica Lazar, Michio Yamamoto, and Alvin Schwartz.
  • Sinsofthe Father: The people of Layford, Nebraska ganged up on Natali one night when she was drunk in a bar and murdered her. After she'd already been apprehended and escaped from a mental hospital, they thought they were protecting their town, but had no idea they were just making things much, much worse.
  • Tear Off Your Face: Natali's face slides off when the mayor's mistress grabs it while they are fighting.
  • Too Dumbto Live: Moira's crew. Also, the mayor.

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