The Bayou Bogeyman Presents Hoodoo and Voodoo, timely for Halloween, began in a challenge to members of the Louisiana/Mississippi Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to write a scary story. I passed since I don’t write scary, but nine of my writer friends loved the challenge and went to work. Seven of them are pictured here as they looked before they delved into the story writing. Pelican published this group of short stories with an overarching story line of campers out to top each other with scary stories to be judged by their leader, Mr. Braud, or is he the Bayou Bogeyman?
Questions the stories raise will give you an idea of why the timing is perfect for reading on Halloween.
- Can Alphatheda outwit Vistoire, the Voodoo Queen, in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1?
- What possible harm can come from a game loaded into an Xbox, unless of course, the game is Traveling Pierre’s Backwater Carnival?
- Do spirits from the Girod Street Cemetery really haunt the Superdome after the lights go out or is the BONG BONG BONG of the crazy bell lady imaginary?
- Should the smell of sauerkraut and stale cigar smoke hovering over a magic index card arouse suspicion?
- Can a zombie girl find a place with the “in” crowd in junior high?
- Exactly how much trouble can caged animals freed from midnight to one on All Hallows Eve cause for daredevil kids?
- Really? Can there be a miracle cure for the loup-garou and the ‘amster-garou?
- As Flint, Mikey, and D’Wayne set out through the marsh to pull their own prank, is something following them?
- Can Bryce rid himself of the face that keeps calling “back” in the window of his painting before he enters it in the art contest?
- What sorcery is needed to outwit a doll in the wall who trades places with Grace’s little brother?
- What terror lies in the blind spot of a trucker?
- Will the song “Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall” last long enough to prevent spell-inducing sleep from the evil ones?
- Is there hope for those conned into following the devil, who prefers to be called Satan, into his lair?
Of course, there’s also the question of who will win the contest, but that turns out to be a different issue entirely. Just to be sure you know what you are getting into, the writers’ promotional card warns, “Sleep with one eye open.” Looking at a couple of them after their writing, it seems like good advice.