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4.5/5 (6 ratings)
92 pages
1 hour
Oct 26, 2020


Welcome to Anoka, Minnesota, a small city just outside of the Twin Cities dubbed "The Halloween Capital of the World" since 1937. Here before you lie several tales involving bone collectors, pagan witches, werewolves, skeletal bison, and cloned children. It is up to you to decipher between fact and fiction as the author has woven historical facts into his narratives.


With his debut horror collection, Cheyenne and Arapaho author Shane Hawk explores themes of family, grief, loneliness, and identity through the lens of indigenous life.

Oct 26, 2020

About the author

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Anoka - Shane Hawk



Get this book. Stick it in your pocket, carry it around, and read it when you need a jolt. It’ll get you where you need to be.


The stories in Anoka are scary and funny and gruesome and fantastic but feel true. The short collection is filled with big ideas. Its stories make you think, make you not want to think about what you just read. The writing is sharp throughout. Pay attention to Cheyenne Arapaho author Shane Hawk, he's going to write great, horrible things.


While I don’t read much horror, the vibrancy of these stories immediately impressed me. The voice in these six stories is urgent, insistent, and unrelenting, and I couldn’t put the book down until I’d finished each one.





Cover Illustrated by


Black Hills PressTitle Image

Copyright © 2020 by Shane Hawk

All rights reserved.

Cover art © 2020 by Seweryn Jasiński

Please support his work at:


No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

To Tori

Forever and ever, babe

And to all MMIWG2S

Their crisis crushes my Indian heart

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.


‘Everyone must leave something behind when he dies,’ my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.



Introduction: Why Anoka?

About the Story Notes

Author’s Note





Dead America


Story Notes


About the Author


Anoka is a small Minnesotan city near Minneapolis and St. Paul. Its population reaches just above 17,000 people. The name Anoka originated from the Dakota word a-no-ka-tan-han, which means on both sides of the river.

The maternal side of my family has history in Minnesota, specifically in Hibbing. Though it’s a distant state from where I grew up in Southern California, I’ve always felt a connection to the state. My grandma and mom often use Minnesotan slang, probably without knowing it.

Personally, I’ve never visited Anoka. I’ve been to the Twin Cities and smaller towns of Minnesota, but never Anoka. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Anoka before June 2020. How did it catch my eye? Well, my primary intention for a debut horror story collection was to write all the stories from one geographic location. No, this isn’t a new and exciting concept. The work of Stephen King and Matthew M. Bartlett immediately comes to mind. But I’ve always liked the concept of weird, unexplainable phenomena wreaking havoc all in one place.

My research started in search for a perfect location as my collection’s centerpiece. I googled around for days. I looked up haunted houses, hotels, graveyards, etc. Something rooted in real-life folklore intrigued me. History is my passion and whenever I can connect it to fiction, I get excited. I needed a lesser-known place with hauntings and the perfect dark Halloween vibe. A Google search led me to the Halloween Capital of the World. My eyes widened. Did I happen upon a real-life Halloweentown? Scrolling through paragraphs of texts and image galleries, I became hooked.

In the early twentieth century, Anoka experienced some real troublemakers on the night of Halloween, specifically 1919. Cows roaming the streets, tipped over outhouses, and messed up windows caused the adults grief. The following year, civic leaders came together in September 1920 to figure out a way to keep young kids out of mischievous hijinks during the spooky holiday. They organized a Halloween committee which planned a parade down Main Street. The rest is history. This year marks their 100th year celebrating their annual Halloween parade, however, the global COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled festivities.

My dad is full-blooded Cheyenne & Arapaho (the U.S. government recognizes the two tribes as one). Half that blood is in my heart, making me stretched between two identities as my mom is of European descent, namely Italian and Finnish. Split down my spine, I’m one half Native American and one half White American. There are slurs for me, but I ignore them. Luckily today the slurs are rarely, if ever, a problem. The original meaning of Anoka’s name (on both sides of the river) spoke to me as a mixed-race Indian.

Identity is a key theme both in Indian life and in this collection. When I say identity, I’m referring to how one identifies themselves culturally, through language, and as a nation. It’s something constantly on my mind throughout adulthood.

The two major Indian tribes in geographic proximity to Anoka, Minnesota are the Ojibwe and the Dakota. In this book, the characters are mostly Dakota, though the Ojibwe and Lakota nations are present. This choice was deliberate if only for consistency.

My research wasn’t only concerning Anoka itself, but also the Dakota tribe. You may think all Indians know everything about each other, but we don’t. Heck, I’m sure there are many who lack knowledge of their own tribe. History lost in the minds and words of passed away relatives. Every tribe has its own language, history, legends. There is some overlap between tribes, but many tribes are unique.

Despite the uniqueness of many tribes, all tribes share a history of slaughter, subjugation, and eradication. In these stories, my Dakota characters speak with a Dakota tongue, but their experiences and attitudes are almost universal for Indians. Yes, we may all look different and

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6 ratings / 2 Reviews
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  • (4/5)
    Intriguing collection of short stories, genuinely scary at times (arachnophobics beware!), dark atmosphere and nightmares intertwined with such intimate fears.
    I especially loved ImiTate, might be bc at the end of the day I find kids scary, as they're all some kind of visitors; and Dead America, which anyone with serious arachnophobia should stay clear of, ur gave me the bumps
    Plus a werewolf genderfluid! ❤️
  • (5/5)
    This is the first anthology where I liked all of the stories, and that is awesome. My favorite stories have to be Imitate and Transfigured