A life-long resident of New York's haunted Hudson Valley, JG Faherty is the author of 9 novels, 11 novellas, and more than 85 short stories, and he's been a finalist for both the Bram Stoker Award (The Cure, Ghosts of Coronado Bay) and ITW Thriller Award (The Burning Time). He writes adult and YA horror, science fiction, dark fantasy, and paranormal romance, and his works range from quiet, dark suspense to over-the-top comic gruesomeness. He grew up enthralled with the horror movies and books of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, and as a child his favorite playground was a 17th-century cemetery, which many people feel explains a lot. His influences range from Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and Tales from the Crypt comics to Stephen King, Karl Edward Wagner, and HP Lovecraft. He is a frequent lecturer on horror and an instructor for local teen writing programs. You can follow him at www.twitter.com/jgfaherty, www.facebook.com/jgfaherty, and www.jgfaherty.com.

The Burning Time by JG Faherty

An ancient evil has come to Hastings Mills in human guise. Where The Stranger goes, evil follows. Innocent women throw themselves off bridges. Townspeople turn on each other in murderous fury. Swimmers disappear in the river, victims of a deadly tentacled beast that haunts the waters. Wild dogs roam the fields. Asuggath lurks beneath the town's church. And the worst is still yet to come. The Stranger plans on opening a gateway to the nether realms and releasing the Elder Gods to bring forth Chaos on Earth.

Only one man knows the truth, a country mage whose family has fought The Stranger before. But can he defeat his ageless enemy before Hastings Mills is nothing but a smoking ruin and the townspeople become unwilling blood sacrifices to the Old Ones? With only the help of a young woman and her teenage brother, he will have to use all his arcane knowledge to thwart his adversary and prevent the final apocalypse from becoming a reality.

In Hastings Mills, the Burning Time has arrived.



  • "JG Faherty has delivered a fantastic novel that will delight fans of dark fiction. Horror drips from every page, and his mastery of folklore and the Cthulhu mythos adds an air of reality to The Burning Time that's impossible to ignore. I highly recommend it."

    – Brett J. Talley, author of That Which Should Not Be and The Void
  • "The Burning Time is Faherty's best tale to date…A rip-roaring supernatural horror tale…A grand adventure…a good old-fashioned good versus evil supernatural tale that moves along at break-neck speed. You will find yourself staying up late into the night as you get lost in the town of Hastings Mills and all the frightening things that are happening there."

    – Peter Schwotzer, Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • "Faherty's The Burning Time is a classic, compelling and gripping tale of good versus evil...Faherty's knowledge of the paranormal is spooky in its own right, cementing his position in formidable, spell binding horror."

    – Dave Gammon, HorrorNews.net
  • "JG Faherty's expert blend of dialogue, action, and just a hint of exposition lures the reader deep into The Burning Time with ease. The author has a tremendous talent for appeasing the subconscious while executing a solid foundation for plot design and character development. Before one knows it, the readership is several chapters into the tale, infectious imagination forever reeling and unveiling what happens next...His work is consistent, suspenseful, and captivating."

    – Rick Ammortis, Hellnotes.com



The worst heat wave anyone could remember gripped the upstate New York town of Hastings Mills in a humid, heavy fist that had tempers flaring faster than beer and lemonade could douse them. Everyone agreed it was just a matter of time before either the sky opened up and finally gave them some much-needed rain or someone grabbed a gun and started shooting from the school roof, the way that fellow from the college did back in '87.

Had they known what was coming, more than a few would have packed their things and headed out for a long vacation. Most folks would have stayed, though.

That's just the way things are in small towns.

* * *

Christa Jennings closed her eyes, spread her arms wide, and listened. The warm night breeze carried the sounds of summer: frogs and crickets chirping, night birds calling softly. The distant sound of a car horn.

Thirty feet below the bridge, something splashed in the river – a fish perhaps, or maybe a frog.

Christa ignored the sounds and waited for the Voice, the one that had called her from bed and told her to go to the bridge.

The breeze washed over her naked body, tickling her nipples into tiny, hard peaks. She shivered. Her entire being tingled, like the time she'd let Jimmy Rollins put his hand down her pants. He'd gotten mad when she refused to let him go further, and the next day he'd broken up with her before first period.

That's right, Christa, the Voice said. He left you because you weren't good enough for him. But now he wants you back. You still want him, don't you?

A tear rolled down her cheek. She did. Not a night went by that she didn't think about him.

What should I do?

Look down, my child. He's waiting for you. Just jump into his arms.

Christa smiled and stepped off the bridge.

Below the dark waters of the Alleghany River, deeper than the river bottom itself, something gnashed its teeth in hungry anticipation, its eternal craving for blood and flesh unquenchable.

Marla Jennings sat up in bed, her mouth open in a silent scream. Cold sweat beaded on her forehead and between her ample breasts. A nightmare. Something about her daughter. So horrible....

"Christa?" she whispered.

In the backyard, Max, their Golden retriever, let loose a terrible howl.

Marla burst into tears.

* * *

The man in the black shirt with the white and black collar jumped from the cab of the eighteen-wheel truck and turned to grab his battered suitcase from the footwell. The hard, rough scales of the snakeskin leather reflected rainbow colors in the yellow afternoon sun.

"Here you go, Father," the driver called down to him. "Sure you don't want me to take you all the way into town? It's hotter than Hell...heck out there."

The man with the suitcase shook his head. He had straight, raven-black hair that seemed too long for a man of the cloth, at least in the truck driver's mind. These young priests today ain't nothin' like the ones I grew up listening to on Sunday mornings. Too full of liberal horseshit.

"Thank you, but it won't be necessary. My legs can use the exercise."

"Well, you have a good day, Father. Glad I could help."

"Bless you, and have a good day as well."

He thought about telling the driver to make a last call home, because before nightfall he'd be dead, crushed in the cab of his overturned truck somewhere on Route 16.

Instead, he shut the door and waved as the long-haul rig pulled back onto the highway, the amplified goose-call of the air horn trailing behind as the driver headed toward his rendezvous with death.

He waited until the truck disappeared into the hazy heat waves rising from the asphalt before turning north toward Hastings Mills.

A short walk brought him to a bridge that crossed the Alleghany River. To his right was Riverside Park, where a few children were tossing a baseball. To his left, acres and acres of corn, the stalks already five feet high, extended as far as the eye could see.

Rather than crossing the bridge, he made his way down the sloping hillside to the river itself. He climbed over the chest-high levee and down to the water. Overhead, a sudden gathering of dark clouds slid across the sky, dimming the afternoon light to gray. Kneeling on a wide stone so as not to muddy his pants, he dipped his hands into the water. Warmed from days of sun and lack of rain, the water barely cooled his skin as he dug his fingers into the mud, grinding the soil and grit in his fists.

"My Lords and Gods, hear my prayer. Help me bring your Words to these people, so they too may follow your path."

The calm water reflected his face as he spoke. Against his pale skin, his coal-black eyes were bottomless wells. The image staring at him was that of a man about forty, with a thin, angular face and a long neck. Yet somehow it conveyed a feeling of great age, of knowledge well beyond his physical years. He spread his lips and then frowned at the yellowish, crooked teeth his smile exposed. It wasn't the appearance he'd have chosen for himself if given the opportunity.

No matter. Time to begin.

Iridescent suitcase in hand, he climbed back up the hill with great ease, his long, thin limbs and body moving with the deliberate, silent movements of a praying mantis climbing a tree.

Fifteen minutes of walking brought him to the gates of Perpetual Hope Cemetery. The wide, neatly-groomed lawns, the ground gently rolling in a series of slight hills, extended all the way to the back lawn of the Our Lady of Perpetual Hope church.

The Reverend ran a hand along the wrought-iron fence as he walked down Main Street, treading on sidewalk now that he'd entered the city limits. When he reached the intersection of Main and State Street, the other main road in town, he turned left. Another hundred feet brought him to the entrance of the church. The wide staircase, twenty-five cement steps tall, showed its age in thin cracks and mossy patches.

On the large sign by the sidewalk, someone had replaced the usual announcements with a greeting:

Welcome Reverend Cyrus Christian

Putting on his best smile, he started up the stairs, eager to get started.

Somewhere far behind the church, back where the only sounds should have been the whisper of wind through corn and the laughing calls of hungry crows, a dog howled.

Before long, several others had joined it.