In the vein of Rosemary’s Baby, Grady Hendrix’s next highly-anticipated horror novel takes place in the 1970s at a home for unwed mothers, exploring motherhood and women’s autonomy.
WITCHCRAFT FOR WAYARD GIRLS
by Grady Hendrix
Set in 1970, at a home for unwed mothers in Florida, this book follows five pregnant teenage girls as they wait out the last three months of their pregnancy in seclusion, hoping to have their babies, surrender them for adoption, and return to their regular lives. They must be hidden away from the public, their communications are monitored, and they’re not even allowed to share their real names with each other.
Each girl has a betrayal in her recent past that brought her here, whether it’s being ditched by her married lover, parents breaking up her planned marriage to a boyfriend they think is inappropriate, or rape. Then there’s Holly, barely 13 years old and enormously pregnant, who doesn’t speak at all. In the pressure cooker of the home, the girls begin to believe that the house is haunted, and they soon realize that most of the supernatural activity revolves around Holly. One by one they reach their due dates and come back from the hospital traumatized, prompting the remaining girls to vow that they won’t give up their babies, which sets them against the women who run the home and who are determined to get them to surrender their babies.
As the war between the girls and their social workers intensifies, it becomes very clear that the house isn’t haunted, Holly is. The father of her baby may not be human, and soon the house’s worst nightmare is going to come true as he shows up to cause a kind of trouble few people have seen and survived.
Grady Hendrix is the author of the novels Horrorstör, about a haunted IKEA, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is like Beaches meets The Exorcist, only it’s set in the Eighties. He’s also the author of We Sold Our Souls, and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.
He’s also the jerk behind the Stoker award-winning Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the 70’s and 80’s horror paperback boom, which contains more information about Nazi leprechauns, killer babies, and evil cats than you probably need.