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  • Wesley and the other person who died actually turned into monsters. Specifically, Deep Ones. This is Lovecraft Country, that facial deformity could have been incipent spines or gills, and both Wesley and Whitney had the "Innsmouth Look." Which means there may be some fishiness in sweet little Whitney's future, too ...
    • Confirmed that Wesley's a monster. Of what kind is yet uncertain.

  • Cailin Carver is descended from Leroy Whittaker, the man executed as the "Crooked Saint." It may well be that she's inherited some sort of sensitivity to the Shadow Over Hearthbrook from her (great-?)grandfather, explaining her "space outs" when in its presence. The likely path of descent is through her mother, who bears a suspicious resemblance to the woman shown sitting next to Whittaker at his trial.
    • This would also explain why her mother is so incredibly hostile to Cailin's obsession with ghosts, and the supernatural in general. And, possibly, one of Cailin's reasons for her obsession: if she thinks her ancestor was a serial killer, or falsely executed for being one, Cailin might be trying to either atone for or clear the name of her ancestor for the Crooked Saint's crimes.

  • Josh's farm is the one that is being attacked by the Humanoid Abomination in his dream among the cargo containers. Josh is a farmboy who lives on an old farm in the woods; one that looks ~1950 rather than ~1700 in its basic architecture, but then it may have been refurbished many times in the last 300 or so years. The story takes place in a Lovecraft Country sort of town on the Massachussetts coast: Hearthbrook may well have been first settled in the 17th or 18th century.
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    • Connected to this: Josh's mom may be well aware of (at least some of) the town's dark secrets; her erratic behavior may be out of a combination of having been driven insane by this knowledge, and a desperate desire to protect her son from a threat she knows is all too real. She must know that the Journalism Club, under Cail's leadership, is poking into dangerous mysteries, and she is terrified he will fall victim to those evils.
    • Alternately or possibly at the same time, Josh's mom may be some sort of witch or cultist. It's kind of odd that she would go out of her way to kill animals she knows Josh has made into pets, but it would make perfect sense if she were making sacrifices — possibly to protect Josh from evil powers (the spirit of a beloved pet might protect its former master).

  • Many of the Journalism Club are descended in part from cultists or monsters, and suffer from curses on their lineages. This seems most likely of Cailin (who frequently and inexplicably freezes in the face of the dark monsters, even though she's not at all cowardly, and whose mother acts as if she has a Dark Secret) and Josh (who has so far had the dream most likely to have been more than just a dream). The two least likely to be so cursed would be Chelle and Gabe, both of whose families were not originally native to Hearthbrook.

  • The Crooked Saint was a cultist or mind-controlled minion of the Shadow Under Hearthbrook, and his murders were sacrifices to whatever that entity happens to be, either to feed — or ''release it.
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    • Wesley's torture porn snuff videos are something very similar, with the murders being sacrifices and the videos a method of extending the entity's malign influence beyond Hearthbrook. The stars have come right, and it's all happening again.
  • Josh DeWitt is some sort of Half-Human Hybrid, like H. P. Lovecraft's Wilbur Whateley or South Park's Kenny. This would explain Josh's narcolepsy and extreme sensitivity to the dream sent by the Shadow. It might even explain both his charisma with humans and his abilities with animals, as he may be partially descended from a species more eusocial than Humanity, and equipped with some sort of empathy and telepathic empathy as part of its normal sensoria and means of expression.

  • Cailin's unusual sexual status is going to become very important to the plot. For some reason the Shadow seems to be able to corrupt normal human male sexuality as to render it hostile or predatory toward normal human females. But Cailin is neither a normal human male nor a normal human female, psychologically speaking. This may give her immunity toward both corruption as a male and becoming prey as a female.

  • Whitney (or Wesley) Perkovitch is also transgendered.
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    • Consider the evidence.
      • Whitney is Wesley's almost-identical twin, including having blue eyes (a recessive and hence rare trait). But true identical twinning only happens when a single fertilized egg splits, meaning identical genetic codes, and thus identical sexes.
      • Both Whitney and Wesley are rather androgynous. Whitney is a rather boyish-looking girl, and Wesley rather effeminate-looking boy.
      • Cailin and Whitney are oddly drawn to one another once Cailin gets past Whitney's initial distrust of her. Could it be because they recognize similarities on the level of sexual identity?
    • If so, which Perkovitch twin is transgender?
      • If Wesley, then his prudishness might derive in part from having been originally raised female. Girls are often taught to fear sexuality.
      • If Whitney, then she presents better than Cailin — but then, she's new in town. Cailin had the disadvantage of people remembering her from when she presented male.
      • It's also possible that they are both intersex (true androgynes).
    • If Whitney is a transgirl or androgyne, then she may well enjoy some special resistance to corruption by the Shadow, as hypothesized for Cailin.
      • Wait, that can't be true. Wesley is the person we know best who has actually been corrupted by the Shadow, and this theory hinges on Wesley and Whitney being identical twins.
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