The Red Church
Author Scott Nicholson
The church was constructed in the 1860s under the guidance of Reverend Wendell McFall. His sermons declared the existence of God s Second Son- whose mission is to undo all of Jesus work on Earth. McFall had the church painted red to summon the First Son to defeat the Second. But when he sacrificed a child to support his rantings, his congregation hung him from the rafters of his own sanctuary. For twenty years, the red church has stood empty. Crumbling to ruin, it has become a site for Halloween pranks and the setting for ghost stories- including one about the thing that lives in the bell tower, a creature being blamed for a brutal murder that occurred in the church s graveyard. Now, Archer McFall has purchased the church to house his Temple of the Two Sons, whose zealous worshippers will stop at nothing to see the Second Son return to his rightful glory.
Review: The Red Church is everything a scary story should be! The characters believe with conviction what they see is real and never waver despite the implausibility. Their trust is contagious and because of this, the reader can rely on the accounts. The ‘good’ vs. ‘evil’ element is at the forefront, but what makes this theme unique is how it is presented. Is Jesus really the bad guy? Seems ridiculous to consider given America’s deeply rooted Christian culture, but Nicholson is able to craft a story that inspires doubt. This in turn illuminates the frailness of belief, or does it?
This is more than just good vs. evil, but also ventures into the psychology behind influencing groups of people. Most people when they learn of a cult or occult group wonder how people become followers. It seems illogical and for the most part, crazy. The Red Church presents just how confusing recognizing right from wrong and good from bad really can be. When doubt creeps in, alternative answers are sought and honestly, an idea that might seem ridiculous suddenly becomes convincing. There were points in the story where I thought, “Huh, what if that guy is really right?” The nonsensical made sense and I realized how a person could choose an alternative.
Coincidentally, I happened to watch the ID special on the American Occult and came across an episode that featured Jeffrey Don Lundgren, a man who claimed to be a prophet. Eerily, The Red Church cast are similar to the real life happenings that occurred in Ohio.
To read more about Jeffrey Don Lundgren click here: A Prophet Born
Recommend to those who are interested in psychological horror and the American occult.
Bitsy’s Rating: 4 Stars