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Literature / Dark Hollow

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A 2008 horror novel by author Brian Keene. A version was also published under the title The Rutting Season.

While walking his dog in the woods near Le Horn's Hollow, Pennsylvania writer Adam Senft makes a shocking discovery: his neighbor fellating a statue of a Satyr. Or, perhaps, a person in a Satyr suit. Or maybe the Satyr Hylinus. After numerous women go missing in the area, Senft begins to suspect that something evil is afoot, and sets off with his friends to find the truth and stop it before it's too late.

Was optioned for a film adaption in 2009. So far, only a promotional trailer exists.


This novel provides examples of:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Powwow (or Braucheri) is a real system of folk beliefs practiced among the Pennsylvania Dutch. Also, all of the books in Le Horn's collection actually exist (although the Dæmonolatreia is not a book of spells, as the novel implies, but is a manual for hunting and prosecuting witches, similar to the Malleus Maleficarum.)
  • Book Of Shadows: Le Horn's Journal and The Long Lost Friend.
  • Brown Note: The Satyr's pipes have an arousing effect on any one who hears them.
  • Canine Companion: Big Steve, Adam's cowardly but faithful mutt.
  • Canis Latinicus: The stone marker is carved with an odd Latin-ish phrase.
  • Cool Old Guy: Dale, who despite his age is willing to risk his life for his friends and family.
  • Delinquent: Seth Ferguson, the local bully.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Although the Big Bad targets women as captives, he has no problem with men joining the party. Its when they try to interfere that he gets pissed.
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  • Downer Ending: Pretty much a forgone conclusion with Keene. Hylinus is killed, but the novel ends with Adam about to murder Tara, who is pregnant with/possessed by Hylinus's offspring.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Big Steve does his best to avoid the hollow and what resides there.
  • Familiar: Big Steve becomes this to Adam, who sees the dog as his powwow totem and drawls power from him.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: The Big Bad is one.
  • House Husband: Adam Senft serves this role while his wife works as a nurse, performing all the household duties in addition to his writing. This is Truth in Television, as being a published author, even with a few successful bestsellers, isn't nearly as lucrative as most people assume (as Adam himself explains) and often the other spouse has to work in order to make ends meet.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: An issue in Adam and Tara's marriage.
  • Manly Tears: Adam finds himself in tears quite frequently over the course of the story, though given what he goes through, its hard to blame him.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Like Brian Keene, Adam Senft is a writer living in Pennsylvania.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Tara's attempt to resume passions after a long post-miscarriage drought ends badly, and Adam is forced to resort to A Date with Rosie Palms.
  • Shout-Out: At one point the heroes make specific mention of Manly Wade Wellman's character Silver John, who often battled entities like the one they are facing.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Daemonolateria.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The backstory is loosely inspired by the story of Nelson Rehmeyer, a real Powwow doctor who was murdered by a vengeful rival.