"This book is great. Anything that this author touches turns to gold and I will always purchase anything he writes." - Brit
"I was drawn in more and more with every turn of the page. I can't wait to see what happens next." - Lynne
"This was seriously awesome! For me, it was the scariest of this author's books, that I've read!" - Natalie
"Just WOW! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eagerly anticipating the next in the series. I highly recommend for those readers who enjoy a creepy, scary read.." - Bontofie
"If you want a horror novel that keeps you wondering what will happen next, give this a shot. You won't be disappointed!" - Jaimee
"I loved every minute of it. I was seriously looking over my shoulder and my heart was racing. There's not many stories that freak me out that much but this one definitely did it." - Christian B.
"So many ways to die and such little time! A thrilling read from start to finish." - Reader
"Wow! Is Rolf the teddy bear the creepiest or what? Check it out. It's an easy five star." - Maureen
"Another great horror novel by Ron Ripley. The book immediately draws you in and doesn't let go." - Amalthe
"Good read. Fast paced with really demented characters, both living and dead. Evil plot line that makes me question the soul of the author. Seriously - a great story. I can't wait for book two." - Reader
"Mr. Ripley has done it again!!!!!! This book had me riveted until the end." - Reader
"This is a very creepy book. . I highly recommend this to anyone, just don't read it at night when you are all alone." - Shannon F.
From the Inside Flap
Stefan pulled into the driveway and switched off the ignition. He picked up his laptop and phone before he exited the car, stepping out into the cool autumn air. His nose wrinkled at the smell of Fall while he squinted his eyes against the late afternoon sunlight. Hatred burned within him as he sat in the car. Memories he had long suppressed flooded back unbidden. His skin stung from recalled beatings; bones ached from the same. Old injuries, long since healed, flared up again. His stomach growled as he recalled the many nights he had gone to sleep hungry, and the mornings he had woken up still famished.
All of it in the name of his parents' obsession with the dead. Years of abuse and neglect, a cultivation of hatred that had mingled and become dependent upon the devotion and love he had felt for his mother and father.
Finally, knowing he had no choice, Stefan fixed his attention on the house where he had grown up.
It looked no better or worse than the last time he had seen it, which was two years earlier. The clapboard sides were gray and in dire need of a good scraping before a fresh coat of paint could be applied. The windows had a thick film of dust and dirt upon them, old and tattered curtains hung behind the glass, hiding his mother's hoard. Dull gray shutters, which had once been black, hung haphazardly around the windows. The crossbeams of the porch sagged, and the asphalt roof shingles curled up on the corners.
Each step leading up to the wide planked porch appeared as though it might collapse at any moment. Grass had gone to seed a decade earlier, hiding the rotten wooden support posts. Bits of trash littered the narrow front yard. A tattered red and white Target bag fluttered from where it was tangled in the branches of an over grown Rose of Sharon.
Stefan took one final look, shrugged, and then followed the faint outline of the walkway to the front steps. He climbed them casually, unconcerned with the possibility of falling through.
Those in the house, he knew, wouldn't let him come to harm.
Others, but not him.
Not Nicole's son.
When he reached the front door, he kicked aside the mildewed pile of mail that spread from the threshold toward the steps. The metal of the doorknob was cold against his flesh, and as he grabbed hold of it, he heard the deadbolt click. With a twist and a push, he let himself into the house.
The air stank of filth, violence, and death. Each smell clawed at his nose, tried to push its way into him and command his attention.
Stefan closed his eyes and listened.
In the kitchen, he heard dishes rattle. Something was knocked over in the basement, the bang reverberating through the lower level. Laughter echoed out of the floor vents, and unknown creatures sprinted in the upper hall. A heavy weight pressed in around him, pushed down on him, and tried to bow his shoulders and force his chin to his chest.
"Enough," he muttered in disgust, and the entire house became still.
He walked into the dining room, the one section of the house he knew would be at least somewhat free of clutter, and went to his mother's chair.
According to the report filed by the police, it was in her chair that Nicole Korzh had been found. Dead of a heart attack at the age of seventy-nine.
Stefan sat down, took out his laptop, and set it up. He turned on the mobile hotspot from his phone and connected to the online world. His eyes darted around the table and noticed a small, windup German toy bear.
Stefan smiled, logged onto Etsy, and created a user account and profile. When he finished, he snapped a picture of the bear and loaded it onto his computer. Within several minutes, he was preparing the bear for sale.
Haunted German Windup Bear, Stefan typed in. Extremely Active!
And the bear glared at Stefan, angry at the prospect of being sold.