I was so mesmerized by the first issue that I felt like I had been bewitched, not by Hester Beck, but by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook. The two of them had so masterfully woven together this supernatural southern gothic tale that I was enthralled with it immediately. I just couldn’t put it down, and as you can imagine, I could hardly wait to pick up issue #2.
The second issue begins right where the last one ended. Emmy has realized that the skin suit that she has encountered is a “haint”. She quicky decides to take it with her. She leaves the woods with the skin suit folded in her arms. She takes it home and places it in a dresser drawer, away from the the watchful eyes of her Pa. Emmy states that she also does this because the “haint” is still a boy whether it has eyes or not and she has to change out of her bloodied and tattered clothes.
She changes her clothes just in time for her Pa to arrive. He asks her if she is doing okay and she tells him of how she had gotten scratched by the thorns while on a walk in the woods, except for there isn’t a scratch on her now. The wounds have miraculously healed. Her Pa asks her for help doing chores on the farm and she obliges leaving the “haint” behind.
Later that night Emmy has a dream and it is pretty obvious to the reader that this is the story of her birth. In her dream, the townspeople who executed Hester Beck, are gathered around the deformed tree atop the hill. They are there because they were awakened by the sound of a crying baby. They began to tear and chop at the tree to assess what was at the root of all the ruckus. There in the hollowed out tree trunk they found a child next to the burned body of the witch. The child is Emmy.
Emmy is roused from her slumber by the sound of the skin suit “haint” banging against the inside of the dresser drawer. She opens the drawer and it speaks. It tells her to look out the window toward the tree. She gazes out the window and is shocked to find the townspeople assembled there. The “haint” then tells her that they are discussing what to do with Emmy. Emmy soon realizes that the rest of the “haint” is in the tree. His bones, his eyes, and his ears listening to what is being said.
The townspeople speak of a pact that they made that must be honored. They speak of Emmy turning 18 and showing signs of being a witch. They speak of killing her. Upon hearing this, Emmy grabs the “haint” and runs into the forest just as her Pa comes to get her. There deep in the woods, she encounters Bernice who had come to warn Emmy that the townspeople mean her harm. Bernice says that she heard her Grandpa Riah talk about the pact and how they decided long ago to kill Emmy if she showed signs of witchcraft.
Emmy and Bernice travel further into the woods into a part that they have never ventured before, but somehow Emmy senses that she has been here before. They soon come across a long forgotten graveyard. Bernice tells her that graveyards like this are where folks bury their “undesirables”. Just then the “haint” begins to tell her that she is not alone. Emmy mocks it, telling it that of course she isn’t alone because Bernice is there with them. The “haint” then cries out, “no…not alone…never alone”, just as they are surrounded by spirits of the deceased.
Issue #2 came out on June 10th 2105. The third installment is due out today, July 8th 2015. I would recommend picking up this title. The more I read, the more I am intrigued. I just have to know what will happen to Emmy and how she is tied to the witches and “haints” of Harrow County. If you like horror, especially spooky and suspenseful horror, then this comic is for you. I am glad that I picked it up as it has quickly become one of my favorite ongoing titles.