The Haunted Trail

John C Lukegord

Book Cover



    Core Theme



    19th Century











    A Campfire tale about an evil curse on Halloween night in Dublin, Ireland.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54

    Target Gender: Universal,Male Leaning


    Dublin, Ireland

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: self-published

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    It is about a series of violent events that take place in a cursed forest on Halloween night, in 1892. The Dublin Mental Institution and an evil mummy are what makes this curse erupt. A young Irishman named Mick Patrican finds himself fighting for his survival in the Dublin Woods.

    Ending Description

    Mick Patrican steals a fishing boat and paddles his way down the Dublin River away from murderous lunatics. A crazy clown tells him that the Dublin River will provide him a safe passage out of the cursed woods. Mick Patrican hits a fifty foot waterfall and is injured and stranded.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available




    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements


    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Mick Patrican

    Age: 17

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring, Aggressive, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Underdog, Adventurous, Confident, Heroic, Honorable, Skillful, Strong Moral Code,Skillful,Honorable

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Herman McRandle

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Crazy, Criminal, Desperate, Greedy, Badass, Aggressive, Clumsy, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Manipulative, Power-hungry, Villainous,Aggressive,Villainous,Greedy,Clumsy

    Additional Character Details

    Name: The Fisherman

    Age: 42

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Skillful,Aggressive,Villainous,Power Hungry

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this




    In cursed Dublin woods, evil spirits and evil men kill everyone who trespasses. In this no-man land, Mick Patrican witnesses his brothers die and barely survives himself.

    Overall Rating


    Point of View


    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    No. The logline and genre are wrong, the short summary could be better, and the information about the plot is misleading.

    Draw of Story

    There’s not a clear draw.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The pointless violence.

    Use of Special Effects


    Primary Hook of Story

    For people interested in gory tales, there are SEVERAL minutely described murders.

    Fanbase Potential

    No, there's barely a storyline, and no character development, this is just a series of descriptions and horrendous deaths. It needs a clear protagonist, and a clear plot.

    Awards Potential

    No, not as it is.

    Envisioned Budget


    Similar Films/TV Series


    What’s New About the Story

    This is a very descriptive series of gory deaths, something I had never seen/read before.

    Lead Characters

    There isn't a clear protagonist, but all the characters are very perverse.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This book would be for an extremely specific audience, if any, that is interested in descriptions of gory deaths without a defined plot, character development, and a take-away.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Indie

    Analyst Recommendation



    This book feels completely pointless at times. There's not a main character to care for, cheer, and follow. The closest thing to a protagonist is Mick, but we don't know absolutely anything about his wants, needs, personality, or if he is worth cheering for. There is no message or takeaway from reading this book. The absurd number of characters and unnecessary deaths are confusing; we're constantly introduced to new situations where new, disgusting murders happen. Although gory, the book is not scary. The author constantly needs to explain the story's payoffs as they're not clear for the reader. The writing style is comprised of straightforward action descriptions, often repeating the nouns multiple times, feeling like an itemized list of events. This style keeps the reader from engaging in the story.

    Tips for Improvement

    The development of a plot and a clear protagonist whom we get to know and care for, so we understand the stakes. A complete rebuild of the story's structure. A clear theme and takeaway, so we are left with something after reading the book.


    On Halloween of 1892, a blood bath takes place in the Dublin woods. After losing his brothers, Mick Patrican needs to escape the forest's lunatics to save his life.

    What We Liked

    A great spectacle for enthusiasts of gory deaths.

    Film: Mick Patrican has the potential to be developed into an interesting character that gets stuck in a cursed land, surrounded by lunatics and gory deaths, creating a thrilling journey to escape back to safety.

    TV: This could be developed into a series of gory tales, with each episode exploring the backstory of one of the many lunatics that live in the cursed Dublin woods.

    Key points:
    - Gory;
    - Spooky location;
    - Scary characters;
    - Fantasy elements;
    - Unexpected plot points;


    The Dublin woods, and the asylum nearby, are in a cursed, haunted land where bad things happen on Halloween night. Unaware of this unfortunate curse, the young boy Dylan decides to take revenge on their mean, crazy neighbor, Patrick O’Sullivan, who stole part of Dylan’s father’s crop by stealing his scarecrow. Little did Dylan know that the scarecrow in question was sacred and it helped cultivate the crops that fed the bad creatures that lived in the woods.

    O’Sullivan was a mean man sentenced to the asylum for twenty years after killing a zookeeper. When he sees Dylan trying to steal his sacred scarecrow, he runs after the boy with a pitchfork. So the boy hides in the McArthur property.

    The McArthur’s were a family of four; Scott and Wendy met and got married after meeting in a pub and soon decided to build a family together. They had a 10-year-old boy, Billy, who was always doing the wrong thing, and an 8-year-old girl, Mary. With time, Scott had become a violent man who beat up his children and wife. One day, while Scott is scouting the Dublin Woods, he’s attacked by a cursed mummy that came to Ireland from Egypt two thousand years before and died in a war. The mummy disfigures his face, scarring Scott’s body and mind forever. Scott became even more violent and decided to go to the asylum voluntarily. There, he met the Killington twins, who were sentenced for murder. They become friends, and once they all leave the asylum, they decide to protect the woods and their creatures by setting up death traps around the woods and McArthur’s property.

    That same day, Billy decides to run away into the woods, and Scott follows him, protecting Dylan from being shot by the property owner. Dylan enters the haunted trail to escape O’Sullivan.

    Dylan runs into one of the Killington brothers, who capture him. O’Sullivan catches up, and they decide to murder Dylan. Killington suggests they use the guillotine, and little Dylan is beheaded. Meanwhile, Scott catches up to his son and tells him he’s now cursed and needs to be killed. Scott kills Billy in the woods.

    Three brothers, the Patrican’s, were out in the woods fishing. They had lost their father and mother too early in life and were now all they had. Although their mom warned them about the dangers of the area, the brothers go down the river and are spotted by Harry McFloyd, another crazy man guarding the woods. Harry and his men bomb the boat, sinking it. They capture two of the brothers, beat them up, and sentence them to death. Mick, the surviving Patrican, tries to escape the lunatics. One of the brothers is dragged to an electrical chair designed by Miles O’Neill, who also served in the asylum. The eldest Patrican brother is electrocuted and dies. Mick then escapes to Douglas O’Connor’s land. O’Connor was also in the McArthur cult; he had murdered a woman as a kid and had served years in the asylum, where he met the rest of the crazy, murderous men. The second Patrican brother is hanged to death. Mick decides to stay hidden in the woods so he can find a way to avenge his brothers. But he ends up trespassing to the land where the woods curse originated. The mummy rises and attacks Mick, but he’s able to fight it off. Mick then goes back to Miles’s land and beats and straps him to the electric chair, killing him. Then, Mick slits Douglas’s throat and kills him, too, before escaping. Upon the death of their own men, the entire cult intensifies the manhunt for Mick Patrican.

    At a Halloween fair nearby, the clown Herman McRandle ran a crooked card game. Herman had a bloody path; he killed his schoolmate to prove he was stronger. Jonny Kerrigan decides to give Herman’s game a try but loses. Kerrigan realizes that Herman was cheating, the two argue, and Herman manages to set Kerrigan on fire and kill him. Herman then tries to escape but is captured by a mob of citizens and arrested by the police, who take him to the asylum.

    Charles O’Callahan used to be a chef at the school until he murdered his co-worker in front of the children. He then serves at the asylum for 15 years. He was welcomed to the cult and cooked for all the lunatics that resided in the Dublin woods. An innocent couple, the McBrier, go into the woods to celebrate their engagement and are captured by the Evil men, who bring them to Chef O’Callahan to put them in his stew.

    Three teenage friends, Robert, Dennis, and Hank, decide to prank a hermit that lives in the mountains by the Dublin woods. But when they attack the hermit, Othello, he attacks back and seriously injures the three. Then, the hermit burns the children to death.

    The asylum, the Dublin Mental Institution, was believed to be haunted by a ghost named Cornelius. Cornelius was once a fisherman and, after he lost a mission to his rival Michael Patrican, he killed the man. After Michael’s body was found, the authorities went after Cornelius and captured him, sentencing him to 20 years at the asylum. He was the first patient there, and since he dies, he had been haunting the place seeking revenge.

    Herman arrives at the asylum and is sentenced to life by Dr. Roberts. Herman threatens to haunt the place if he is killed. Herman is taken to the cafeteria, where he pretends to be hungry and steals and hides a metal fork. He declares to the other inmates that he will kill the two offices that arrested him. Soon, a fight begins at the cafeteria, and the asylum staff has a hard time controlling it. Dr. Roberts decides to punish McTavish, who started the fight, by putting him unconscious and performing illegal tests on him. But his tests fail, and McTavish becomes a disfigured monster. With the distraction, the officers forget about Herman and, when they realize he’s not in his cell, they go after him. Herman kills the first guard with the fork he stole and then kills the other. He steals a gun and escapes from the asylum into the woods. The ghost of Cornelius scares Herman, who fires the whole stolen ammunition for nothing, making the gun useless. Dr. Roberts and a scared officer who witnessed the murders, Walter, go into the woods to find Herman.

    On his way to escape, however, Herman is attacked by a mysterious man who decapitates him with a knife and steals his gun. Dr. Roberts and Walter find the clown’s body and set foot after the mysterious murderer.

    Meanwhile, Mick Patrican is still hiding when the ghost of General McPherson appears and tells him to escape the forest to survive.

    The mysterious man who murdered the clown was a mean, nameless fisherman. He celebrates his killing and remembers the many other killings in his past. Suddenly, the fisherman and Mick run into each other, and the two start to fight to survive. The fisherman has the upper hand but is unable to kill Mick. Herman’s ghost appears and orders Mick to kill the fisherman. But Dr. Roberts and Walter appear and shoot the fisherman, who falls down a cliff. They try to shoot Mick, but he’s able to hide. Herman’s ghost appears and orders the doctor to kill the fisherman to avenge him, under the threat of being haunted by his ghost. Dr. Roberts and Walter rescue the fisherman to kill him, but once Dr. Roberts no longer needs Walter’s help, he shoots him because he complains too much. Dr. Roberts, then, carries the fisherman towards the guillotine. Two mentally ill guards find Walter and drag him to a pendulum built by the Killington brothers. Happy Martin Killington kills Walter. Dr. Roberts kills the second Killington brother, opening the path to the guillotine. He then decapitates the fisherman, and Herman’s ghost celebrates.

    Mick Patrican comes from out of nowhere and kills the doctor. Herman’s ghost is surprised, and Patrican begs for help to escape the angry mob after him. The ghost tells him to get the fisherman’s boat and goes down a river. But after Patrican leaves, Herman’s ghost laughs hysterically, as he didn’t tell Mick about the waterfall. Mick falls down the waterfall and gets severely injured, barely surviving the Dublin woods.

    About The Author

    John C Lukegord writes gory, horror novels. The Haunted Trail stories are Irish horror tales of crime, mystery, and fantasy based on horror skits created in a small Massachusetts neighborhood.