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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The village of Hawarden in Saskatchewan (Canada) is almost a ghost town. But every Halloween it comes to life again, as the local high school becomes a haunted place to visit, complete with a werewolf, zombies, Frankenstein and other historic people returned to the world of the living (only they’re not alive). When the Wizard and his wife take up residence in the old United Church in Hawarden, they believe they’re settling into a comfortable life, far from the busy-ness of the big city. Little do they realize that one late October night’s walk will end up in a ghostly encounter for the Wizard. A spooky adventure indeed, but how much of it was real?
Susan Hathiramani’s short story, The Wizard’s Spooky Halloween, is a clever look at a historic community, now almost a ghost town, in rural Saskatchewan. Accompanied by photographs of actual landmarks, including what was once the United Church, and art nouveau prints of the Wizard’s nightly prowls and adventures, this story takes the reader on an interesting, haunted ghost walk of a small town. The Wizard’s story about how he came to live in Hawarden is briefly explained as a back story and the plot evolves with considerable unusual happenings and lots of excitement. Seeing a notice about the Hawarden High School’s Halloween ghost walk displayed in the town’s once busy General Store window, the Wizard decides to take a look. He’s in for a big surprise and a run for his life. But was it real? This is a fun read with lots of adventure and seasonal spookiness mixed in with some historic characters and a little bit of local history. Well done!