The Manitou is Graham Masterton’s debut novel and was written in 1976. Many fans regard this horror classic – which was later made into a film starring Tony Curtis – as their all time favourite Masterton book.
The Manitou tells the story of a young woman, Karen Tandy, who develops a mysterious growth on the back of her neck. Upon investigation, this growth turns out to be a foetus, and eventually becomes so large that it even dwarfs its female host.
In sheer desperation, Karen calls on the services of a psychic to help her. The psychic, in turn, employs the assistance of a Red Indian Medicine Man once he learns that the growth is actually a reincarnated Red Indian Medicine Man, Misquamacus, of omnipotent power. And once this evil, powerful sorceror is born, he summons up all kinds of malevolent demons and devils to do his bidding.
One of the things I enjoy most about Graham Masterton’s style of writing is the way he includes characters and entities from folk legend and fable in his stories. The Manitou is a perfect example of this, laying the foundations for many of his later novels.
The Manitou, with its dark Lovecraftian overtones and generous dollops of the occult, is an awesome roller-coaster ride of terror and horror. And if you enjoyed it as much as I did, then you might also like to check out its sequels below.