New Story – Confessional

It’s been a couple of years since I explored the wonder and mysteries of Catholicism in my book, Evil Eternal, albeit it in a very overly dramatic fashion. I decided to dip my toe back in the holy water with a new short story, Confessional, available exclusively at Pen of the Damned.

Growing up an altar boy and singer in the church choir, the one aspect of my faith as a good Irish Catholic that frightened me was the act of confession. I was always worried that the priest would see  me in a different, negative light once he knew I lied to a teacher and took the Lord’s name in vain (thanks to my grandfather for that one – he used ‘goddammit’ with positive flair). The act of confession doesn’t get easier as you get older.

Priests are, after all, only human. Could you look the other way if someone you were close to confessed to abusing a child, or cheating on their spouse with numerous partners, or robbing a liquor store, or even worse, murder? We ask for forgiveness, release our burden, perform our acts of contrition. But just as energy can never be destroyed, perhaps so the weight of sin. Confession is an act of transference, so though you may leave the church with a lighter heart, what happens to the priest?


These are the things nagging at my brain as I wrote Confessional. If you’re curious as to what goes on within its confines, I suggest you bow your head and step inside….

Once you’ve cleansed your sins, post a comment here on or on Twitter using #HunterConfesses and you’re eligible to win a signed copy of Evil Eternal. I’ll announce winners next week.

Most of all, what do you think of confession? What are your experiences?


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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

8 responses to “New Story – Confessional”

  1. jackiekingon says :

    Loved the story and I posted a tweet on twitter. Thought the story would end like Dorian Gray-a priest hears confessions and little by little because he absorbs everyone sin’s he becomes a monster- -and you are so good at monsters. Use the idea if you like in another one of your stories etc. I am trying to finish my second book and am struggling over a wedding at a space station hotel. Never did any weddings-real or unreal so I’m doing some research or is it delay tactics…from writing? My background is Jewish but I consider myself non-denominational. I waited in the back of OLPH church as my Catholic girlfriend went to confession. When the priests saw me they yelled at me for not going to confession even though I told them that I was Jewish. Yom Kipper is a day when all our sins go away-so you have to wait for it once a year. No personal confessions. We were told only the very good die on or near that day. An if you did you were a tsadic—yidish word for a saint. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Hope you wife is holding her own. All Best, JK

  2. hookofabook says :

    I commented on Pen of the Damned site, but will here too for additional support. Anything you write is really well-done in the area of emotional turmoil, questions, and this one, it power-punched me. I wasn’t expecting it, and I had to re-read the second half again. I am not Catholic, but I like reading your priest stories and would be a fan of more priest demon hunters or stories like this one that delve into the heart of priests being human.

    • Hunter Shea says :

      Thank you so much! I was in church seated by the confessionals the day I wrote this. I’ve been a a theological journey for decades. Amazing how I’ve ended up exactly where I started.

  3. Joseph Pinto says :

    Great story, Hunter! (sorry, due to my back I am behind in my reading & comments). Well, I refused to go to confessional myself, mainly because I’ll completely f*** myself (then again, the BIg Guy knows all, so I’m cooked either way) lol
    I never knew you used to be an altar boy…so that explains your turn to the dark side 😉

    • Hunter Shea says :

      Hey Joe, I hope your back is feeling better. You won the signed copy of Evil Eternal, so at least there’s something positive coming your way (or negative, depending on how you look at it.) LOL Send me your address over email so I can mail it out to you.

      • Joseph Pinto says :

        Awesome!! Thanks, Hunter! 🙂

        Yeah, my back is a fickle thing. I work out like an athlete, yet I strained it from blowing my nose too hard – then I suffered spasms for a week. Go figure lol

      • Hunter Shea says :

        I once dislocated my shoulder sneezing. Had to go to the hospital to have it put back in. We are our own worst enemies.

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