The tale begins with the townspeople lynching a local healing woman, Hester Beck, who had been their neighbor and friend. They tolerated her gifts even when they were accompanied by unnatural signs. Well, that is until they found out what evil deeds fed and strengthened her powers.
They were afraid that this “healer” might be able to mend her broken body so they shot, stabbed, beat, and burned her just to make sure. With her dying breath she forebode that she would be back, that this was not the end. She warned them that she would revisit them and repay them for their sins.
Flash forward and we find Emmy, a farm girl who is suffering from nightmares about an old misshapen tree and afflicted with visions of “haints”, the long forgotten ghosts of Harrow County. Her father Isaac is seen tending to the livestock who have been stricken with a fever and are dying by the dozen. Just as her father is about to put a newborn calf out of it’s misery, it makes a miraculous recovery with what seems like some supernatural help from Emmy.
Emmy and her Pa are visited by Old Man Riah and Bernice who check in on them from time to time. It is during the conversation between them that we find out that Riah and Isaac were among the townspeople who hung Hester and that they both fear that Emmy, who is almost 18, may be connected to the witch and that she will get her vengeance somehow.
After a talk with her Pa about what her plans are upon becoming an adult, Emmy decides to take a walk. Emmy walks in the woods to gather her thoughts and sees a young boy by the creek. She tries to speak to him but he runs away. Emmy gives chase and follows the boy into a thicket of thorns. It is in the thorns that she finds not a boy, but a suit of skin. It is a “haint” and it whispers it’s secrets to her and tells her of a darkness that is to come.
Cullen Bunn is the writer and Tyler Crook is the artist and letterer. This first installment debuted on May 13th 2015. Issue #2 is scheduled to come out on June 10th. I highly recommend that you pick up this series as it is sure to be a best seller and a treasured addition to your collection.