Pay the Piper

A terrifying tale of supernatural horror set in a cursed Louisiana bayou, from the minds of legendary director George Romero and bestselling author Daniel Kraus.

In 2019, while sifting through University of Pittsburgh Library’s System’s George A. Romero Archival Collection, novelist Daniel Kraus turned up a surprise: a half-finished novel called Pay the Piper, a project few had ever heard of. In the years since, Kraus has worked with Romero’s estate to bring this unfinished masterwork to light.

Alligator Point, Louisiana, population 141: Young Renée Pontiac has heard stories of “the Piper”—a murderous swamp entity haunting the bayou—her entire life. But now the legend feels horrifically real: children are being taken and gruesomely slain. To resist, Pontiac and the town’s desperate denizens will need to acknowledge the sins of their ancestors—the infamous slave traders, the Pirates Lafitte. If they don’t . . . it’s time to pay the piper.

“A captivating triumph for horror fans.”

Tananarive Due, author of The Reformatory

“A great action-packed horror novel.… for fans of waterlogged southern gothic with monsters that prey off the complicated history of a land and its people.”


“Not only is this deliciously gruesome book teeming with classic Southern gothic trappings, it also resonates with a socially conscious message. For fans of both Kraus’s novels and Romero’s films, this bloody Southern story highlights the strengths of both auteurs.”

Library Journal

Pay the Piper was fantastic.”

Book Riot

“A perfect blend of supernatural forces and horror.”

Capes & Tights

“The effective Lovecraftian Bayou Gothic we’ve been waiting for.”

Awake at Midnight

“A wildly fun, yet profound horror novel that seeps with character and personality.”


“This is Southern Gothic at its best – a gripping, atmospheric story steeped in Louisianan lore.”

Ginger Nuts of Horror