“EARLY HAUNTS: A Graphic Novel of Seminal Ghost Stories” LIVE on Kickstarter


Four forgotten ghostly tales, each lifted from their original folk tales and adapted into a100-page graphic novel adaptation!  Illustrated by some of the most talented horror artists around today!

The Greek Legend, The German Fable, 

The Italian Superstition, The Japanese Folk Tale…

The ghost story, one of the oldest forms of narrative which has terrified and intrigued audiences for millennia. Now four early ghost stories, mostly forgotten in the depths of literary history are brought together for the first time in one graphic novel adaptation.

Early Haunts collates four early supernatural tales which each inspired some of history’s greatest horror publications.

These tales include :  

 Featuring the first appearance of a ‘chained apparition’, undoubtedly an inspiration to the legendary ghost of Jacob Marley who appears in Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. 

  One of the main literary influences to Mary Shelley’s gothic horror classic‘Frankenstein’ taken from ‘Fantasmagoriana’ a book of ghost stories Shelley read whilst staying at the Villa Diodati in Geneva as a guest of Lord Byron. 

  The fast-paced German poem based around the ancient folklore of a cursed rider which acted as a major inspiration to Washington Irving, writer of Sleepy Hollow.

  One of 48 versions of this classic Japanese folk tale featuring the ghostly Okiku, the ‘yokai’ (ghost) who would later undoubtedly act as an influence towards the terrifying antagonist of  Koji Suzuki’s ‘Ring’.

These haunting stories, which all have their roots in real-life accounts and ancient folklore are lifted and translated from their unwieldy original text and adapted into a more readable graphic novel format to be enjoyed by a whole new audience. All accompanied by the evocative work of four extremely talented illustrators.

On top of which each story will have a short introduction describing the influence and how the writer came to tell each story. 

The cheap way to produce the book would be to opt for a paperback print. However, I want to give these stories the format they deserve. So I’m investing more into the print in order to opt for a lavish hardback print. This will really be a unique book that will stand the test of time.

I’ve been self-publishing books since 2014 back when my first graphic novella Malevolents – Click Click released.’ Since then I’ve released five other titles including The EyrieHallows Fell, the world’s first Augmented Reality haunted book Photoghasts, Ghoster and my charity book of ghost stories Nyctophobiaswhich released last year in support of the Australia Zoo Wildfire campaign. I’ve also been honoured to have forewords from people including legendary manga artist Junji Ito, Actor/writer Reece Shearsmith and director Corin Hardy.

Here’s a selection of some of the feedback my previous books have gained: 

“An Epic Canvas “ HorrorDNA

“With a stunning level of detail that you won’t find in many other black and white comics – definitely worth a read” Dread Central

“Burgess is a writer who understands the mechanics of horror and knows how to get under the reader’s skin within the opening seconds, and he’s adept at working with illustrators who share the same talent.” Starburst Magazine

“Burgess has not only conjured up a classic ghost story that is actually scary, but also folklore that is completely plausible.” Rue Morgue Magazine

“genuinely eerie and unnerving – uncanny in the best crepuscular tradition of our field.” Ramsey Campbell

“With a stunning level of detail that you won’t find in many other black and white comics – definitely worth a read” Dread Central

“ I’ve read it thrice over now, and thrice over it has chilled to the bone marrow.”  Horrornovelreviews

“Managing to be engaging and terrifying, The Eyrie should be top of the ‘to buy’ list for fans of horror comics new and old. ” Wight Blood

“Drenched in foreboding, sinister atmosphere akin to The Wicker Man and The Woman in Black, The Eyrie is more than a horror comic; it’s a suspenseful, Gothic tale of the supernatural, begging to be read in a dark parlor by flickering firelight. ” Horrorfuel

“Loved it – Really Enjoyed it!” David Sandberg (Director of ‘Lights Out’ / Annabelle Creation and Shazam )

“ You’ll want to read it again as soon as you’ve finished” Comics Anonymous

“ By far the best horror story I’ve read in a long while.” Comic Bastards

“ Wait until nightfall to read “Malevolents”. A genuinely frightening experience. Proper horror peeping from every dark corner.!.” – Reece Shearsmith – (League of Gentlemen, Psychoville, Inside No.9)

My work has also been featured by publications and news outlets such as Rue Morgue magazine, Starburst and Dread Central.

I’m a huge fan of ghost stories and as it’s been a huge amount of fun delving through countless old files attempting to get to the root of each of these stories. It would mean a huge amount to get these gorgeously adapted stories out into book form for the world to see.  

Mike O Brien (Illustrator)  ‘Pliny The Younger – The House in Athens ‘

Mike is a freelance illustrator, comic artist and animator from North London. His work has been featured by Gallery Nucleus, Light Grey Art Lab, Bishop’s Stortford Museum and Cracked Eye magazine. Mike’s work has been perfect for a historic ghost story told with a minimalistic, but atmospheric colour palette.

Bri Neumann (Illustrator) Bryan Valenza (Colourist)  ‘Baba Bunko  – The Plate House ‘

Bri’s work as a background painter and visual development artist for TV, animation and gaming has included creating work for the likes of Rick & Morty, Nintendo, Disney Television Animation, Dreamworks Animation, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Chance Agency, Nick Jr., and Disney Interactive. Bri’s stunning line has created an incredibly evocative setting for the tale of the plate house. Complimented by colourist Bryan Valenza’s spectacular colour tones.

 Brian Coldrick (Illustrator)  –  Gottfried August Bürger The Wild Huntsman’

Brian Coldrick is an Irish illustrator and artist based in the UK. His long running web comic Behind You was collected and published by IDW in late 2017. Along with which his work has included designing monsters for Doctor Who and robot appendages for Lady Gaga and a cover for Joe Hill’s Locke and Key. Brian’s incredible lush drawings have brought to life a legendary fast paced chase through the countryside of 14th century Germany to help tell a tale of a cursed hunter. 

 David Romero (Illustrator ) –  Friedrich Laun – The Death Bride

David is an illustrator and artist based in Texas who specialises in horror work. His sumptuous illustration work has helped raise an Italian ghost story, drenched in gothic horror and creeping dread back from ‘the dead’ 

If that hasn’t tempted you, then just to mention that the first 200 backers of any of the print tiers will get a free augmented reality Photoghast postcard which animates when scanned with the addition of the free Photoghast app.

AND – (on top of this) the first 200 backers will also get a free art print  of Early Haunts artwork exclusive to this campaign as a special thanks for your support.

If the campaign reaches £10k then automatically all backers will receive an additional free limited edition exclusive Early Haunts art print as thanks for their support! 

  I’ve already self-published an augmented reality book of haunted photos titled ‘Photoghasts’ in which each image comes to life via the use of a smartphone/tablet app.

(Here’s a quick sample of how it looks through your smart device)

Photoghasts proved a great success and an engaging way to interact with a selection of ghost stories. Given the opportunity I would love to be able to do the same with Early Haunts, offering animated panels for certain sections of the book via an accompanying app. If I’m able to reach this stretch goal it will give a whole new dimension to these spooky tales as they quite literally spring to life off the page.

The Wild Huntsman

The Death Bride

What?! An additional ghost story you say?!

That’s right. Me and illustrator Brian Coldrick have already started working on a comic adaptation of the actual haunting which inspired writer Henry James to write his chilling tale ‘The Turn of the Screw’. It’s an unsettling tale which we’d love to tell in full.

So if the campaign reaches the dizzy heights of £20k, then we’ll get to work, resulting in all backers receiving a free digital comic of the full story once completed. (Here’s some preview images to whet your appetite. 

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