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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
The Hangin’ Oak by D. L. Havlin features Dan and Angela Davies, a couple who makes frequent camping trips. When Dan’s colleague suggests a beautiful, secluded ranch where not a single soul will disturb them, the Davies family gladly accepts the opportunity. The only clinch is the grumpy and rude caretaker, who warns them to stay away from an oak tree during the full moon. That night, Dan and Angela witness a sad and unearthly scene from the distant past, where two young people were hanged from the oak. Already shaken by this ghastly sight, the Davies family receives yet another shock when they realize the unfortunate souls have followed them home. Can Dan and Angela fulfill the specters’ last wishes and help them pass over?
Rather than writing a creepy and sinister ghost story, D. L. Havlin penned one that is heart-warming. The spirits were well-intentioned and helpful, reminiscent of ‘Casper’ the friendly ghost. Their awkwardness when faced with the modern world and its inventions was hilarious and endearing. The unique camaraderie between the humans and the departed souls added to the charm of the story. Their unfair trial and horrifying end made me downright angry. Dan and Angela’s efforts to right the wrongs and get the souls the justice they deserved were commendable. Their plans helped to build up anticipation throughout the tale before culminating in a satisfactory climax. The camping scenes held a special attraction for me as they reflected the unadulterated beauty of nature. I would wholeheartedly recommend The Hangin’ Oak to anyone who would like cozy haunted stories.