The Weejee Man

A nerve-shredding slice of Irish horror (a novella)

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Pub Date 15 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 6 Feb 2024


A nerve-shredding slice of rural horror.

Forced by his publisher to deliver a fresh manuscript by the end of the year, author Rick Rooney retreats to a secluded cottage in the West of Ireland in search of inspiration.

After a night of dabbling with a spirit board at the local pub, strange events begin to unfold at the cottage, while a menacing figure lurks in the trees outside.

When Rick digs deeper into the area’s dark history, he makes a chilling discovery about a local family, a devastating fire, and a centuries-old curse. Has Rick disturbed an ancient evil, and who, or what, is stalking him now?

Some souls should never be summoned...

A nerve-shredding slice of rural horror.

Forced by his publisher to deliver a fresh manuscript by the end of the year, author Rick Rooney retreats to a secluded cottage in the West of Ireland in...

Advance Praise

"An Irish Blair Witch." Litopia Writing Community

"Very, very impressive. Everybody liked it.” Peter Cox, best-selling English author

“The writing was confident. I thought the descriptive skills were lovely […] the writing was really good,” Emma Robinson, author of My Husband’s Daughter

"An Irish Blair Witch." Litopia Writing Community

"Very, very impressive. Everybody liked it.” Peter Cox, best-selling English author

“The writing was confident. I thought the descriptive skills...

Available Editions

ISBN 2811202328112
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 22 members

Featured Reviews

"The Weejee Man" is a compelling novella that immerses readers in the chilling realm of Irish horror. Cunniffe expertly blends supernatural elements with a rich sense of place, crafting a haunting narrative that will grip you from start to finish. This is a must-read for horror enthusiasts seeking a spine-tingling experience!

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I do love a book that keeps you guessing and hits you with unexpected twists. This was very much the case with The Weejee Man.

It's thriller/horror/folklore and mystery all rolled into one. The protagonist is an author up against a deadline that he cannot be bothered to meet. He heads back to his hometown in Ireland to write in solitude and then things begin to unravel after he gets embroiled in an Ouija session in the local pub..

There are fairies, Ouija boards, mysterious deaths, intruders and a scary burnt ghost. Honestly a veritable smorgasbord of ghouls, genres and subjects and in no when messy when reading it.

We feel for and relate to the main character throughout - and with the clever use of emails from the publisher combined with the whole experience of the main character being relayed through his journals - it unfolds before us very fluidly. Therefore, it's kind of a found footage book.

Really enjoyable, fast paced and as I said, some great twistts and reveals at the end. Nicely played, NP Cunnife!

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A writing holiday on the west coast of Ireland turns into a trip to hell for a struggling horror author

On the back of AM Shine’s double hit The Watchers (2021) and The Creeper (2022), followed by Neil Sharpson’s gripping Knock Knock, Open Wide horror involving Irish folklore may well find itself back in the spotlight with the arrival of NP Cunliffe’s The Weejee Man. I wish there were more supernatural tales on the market exploring Ireland’s rich history; there are certainly plenty of authors up to the task. John Connolly and Kealan Patrick Burke would top my list, but this great pair primarily set their books in the USA rather than the land of their birth. Peadar Ó Guilín is another personal favourite, author of the stunning YA duology The Call (2016-18), which beautifully blends fantasy with Irish folklore and history. I do not think the 250-page long Weejee Man (novella or short novel?) is good enough to be name-checked against these modern greats, but it certainly had its moments and ultimately I wished it was longer and more fleshed out.

Litopia Writing Community bills the book as "An Irish Blair Witch" which although is an outstanding leading quote may leave readers feeling slightly shortchanged, the main character gets lost and disorientated in the Irish countryside a couple of times but apart from a narrative which has a vague found footage feel to proceedings, there are few other similarities. Having said that, the concept was nicely handled with the reader being kept mildly confused with a narrative which includes emails, telephone calls, jumps back and forwards in time and historical letters, all of which are built around horror Rick Rooney retreats to a secluded cottage in the West of Ireland.

The Rick Rooney narrative is written in the first person and is undoubtedly the most interesting (and most prominent) sequence in the book. Rick is a horror writer who is very overdue delivering his next book to his publisher and obviously has numerous personal problems and has left his wife behind to work on the unwritten horror novel he is stressing about. As Rick is a twitching mess he is not a particularly reliable narrator and his problems begin after he is bullied into fooling around with a Ouija board (pronounced weejee in Irish) in the local pub. The session on the board ends prematurely and Rich believes they might have brought something back from the other side.

After fooling with the spirit board the book really picks up the pace and the already fragile Rick starts to see things, with NP Cunliffe keeping things nicely shrouded what was actually going on. The West Coast of Ireland village location has its own dark history and although the historical letter sequence was interesting enough it was also a major indicator or spoiler even of the direction the plot was heading. I found this to be clunky and there might have been more suspense if the supernatural entity back story was filtered into the narrative in a manner which had more flow.

One of the strongest aspects of Weejee Man was the much closer linked narratives of Rick (2019) after his arrival in the cottage and that of his agent Pierce (2020) and the manner in which they inter-connect and feed into each other. Pierce gives us very knowing and foreshadowing nods of what lies ahead for Rick and as readers we also question what we are reading. As you head to the end there are some very clever revelations and one great twist curveball which changes the perspective of the narrative. Although I enjoyed Weejee Man, which was a very easy and addictive read, I would have liked to have found out more about the curse and the entity itself. It has been billed as ‘rural horror’ and it certainly fits that bill, Cunliffe has another 100-page novella length ghost story The Wake (2020), also set in Ireland, which I intend to investigate at a later date.

The Amazon page lists this “for fans of” Adam Nevill (The Ritual), Andrew Michael Hurley (Starve Acre), Tom Fletcher (Witch Bottle) and A.M Shine (The Creepers) who are all authors I have read extensively. I am not going to debate the comparisons, but I am not a fan of comparing new-kid-on-the-block authors to all time greats such as Nevill and Hurley, as I am not sure it does them any favours. Weejee Man was great company for a few hours, is very clever written with the fractured musings of broken horror writer Rick Rooney being the major highlight.

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Very atmospheric slow build horror, told with admirable economy and not outstaying its welcome. Formed from “found materials” - email, book manuscript, letters - we get a compelling mix of folk horror, faeries, and chilling dread.

Hugely enjoyed, if only more writers could stop at novella length if that’s what’s needed to tell the story!

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Spooky little romp through rural Ireland!
The Weejee Man has everything you want in a ghost story: A tortured, unreliable narrator, a curse, a ouija board, dark myths, and a certain character you love to hate...

I enjoyed unravelling the mystery of this one. The dual narrative structure of Rick's perspective and the letter format feeding us the myths piece by piece worked so well. The structure of the book is definitely one of my favourite aspects. There are a lot of layers to this book, despite its length. I never found the outcome easy to predict; the story kept me guessing at every turn.

There are a couple of tense scenes in this one that had me on edge. Cunniffe really knows how to ramp up the suspense and create menacing villains with incredible stage presence, as well as tease the reader with little hints and clues to the deeper plot aspects that give you those "oh, of course..." moments when eveything finally ties together.

Highly recommend this book if you're a fan of the paranormal, or just good, quality penmanship!

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Read this in under 24 hours
A great little spooky read
I love anything to do with ouija boards as they fascinate me. So this book was ideal, perfect amount of horror, creepiness and lots of tension building.
I loved how it was from the MC POV throughout and liked how the author incorporated the emails so it was as if we were reading what Ricks publisher was reading.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

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Twisted and scary. Set in rural Ireland a struggling author uses a Ouija board and summons an evil spirit.
Good story. Worth reading.

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The Weejee Man by NP Cunliffe


I picked up this book as I'm deadly afraid of the idea of using a oujia board and contacting an evil spirit. That being said, I had hoped that more of the story would centre around this rather than it being more of a device to set up the story.

There's lots to enjoy in this story and it's certainly well written. It just wasn't quite as spooky as I'd hoped. Admittedly I am difficult to spook though.

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