All Hallows Eve is quickly approaching, and local author Robert "Dustin" Campbell offers a sure way to get all ages in the spirit with a series of paranormal stories.
Campbell's works include:
Face Your Fears, published May 2020. (For kids 8-12)
Cover by Chris Meeks
The Legend of the Cove Witch, published Oct. 2021. (For young adults 17 & up)
Cover by Sean Cook
The Hunt for Dink the Clown, published Sept. 2022. (For kids 8-12)
Cover by Chris Meeks
Books are available at the Garland and Hot Spring County Libraries, or available for purchase on Amazon.
The book Campbell says he takes the most pride in is the one with local ties: The Legend of the Cove Witch.
Noella McClain senior at Magnet Cove High School. Everything is going great for her; she’s asked to the homecoming dance by the guy of her dreams Nicholas who is also the star quarterback of the football team. One night while she’s sleeping, she has a nightmare that she’s stuck in a village called Cove Village and is being chased by the witch Janette McClain. She’s rescued by a young girl named Abigail who tells her she’s Janette’s daughter. Noella awakens from her nightmare and decides to keep it to herself until an accident happens one night at the movie theater with her friends. Outside the movie theater, Noella tells her friends what’s going on and she believes the fabled witch of Magnet Cove is coming for her. With the help of her friends, Noella decides to seek out the myth of the cove witch and she turns to her Aunt Nettie who claims to have documentation that the witch existed. It’s Friday night and Noella, Nicholas, Brandi, and Derek stop by her Aunt Nettie’s house to listen to the Legend of the Cove Witch who put a curse on Noella’s family years ago. As the story unfolds the ghost of Abigail comes and warns Noella that Janette is coming to take her soon. Desperate to stop the witch Noella searches for answers, anything to stop the curse that was placed on her family years ago. Will she find the answer she is looking for and will she stop Janette McClain when they come face to face?
Since publishing this novel, Campbell has had several people tell him they have had dreams of the witch.
"One lady named Lisa Jepko of Coopers Creepers sent me a porcelain doll that is supposed to be a representation of the witch," he said.
Campbell began writing the novel in 2016, and after three rough drafts, he finished it in July 2021.
"The novel was inspired by the events of Salem and The Tennessee Bell witch," he said. "I chose Magnet Cove, my home, for the setting because while I was doing my research on urban legends I discovered most myths and legends have taken place in small towns or communities.
"I also filmed a book trailer which was released last year. We filmed the trailer in Magnet Cove with some of the student body participating. My friend Stacy Misenheimer of Swade Productions did the filming and the editing."
"When I was about eight years old, I woke up late at night on a weekend thirsty and found my dad laying on the couch watching a movie," Campbell said. "The movie was Friday the 13th part 6: Jason Lives. I only know that movie because it was at the scene where Jason was fighting Tommy in the water on a canoe surrounded by fire.
"The next day my brother had ball practice and I decided not to go, instead, I stayed home and rewound the movie to watch it again and that’s how my love for horror and the paranormal began.
"Fast Forward to about 1991 or 1992, I came home from school and found a book on the kitchen table; it was the first Goosebumps book by R.L. Stine titled Welcome to The Dead House. My mother bought it for me when she was at Wal-Mart while I was at school.
"Then my obsession began, and I had collected all 63 titles. My mother was a reader she read every night on the porch steps her favorite Author was Danielle Steele she encouraged me at a young age to read.
"When I was about 13 or 14, I watched the movie Interview with The Vampire, the movie inspired by Anne Rice’s Novel. I bought a paperback copy and read the whole series before I was 16, and as I got older I discovered Stephen King and the first book of his I read was IT. Since then I’ve almost collected all his novels.
"When I went to college in 2003 my English professor told me I should be an author, so the idea has always stuck with me until I pursued it in 2016."