The Scarlet Gospels

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The Scarlet Gospels
The Scarlet Gospels cover.jpg
First edition (US)
Author Clive Barker
Cover artist Clive Barker
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Horror
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Publication date
May 19, 2015
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 368

The Scarlet Gospels is a novel by horror/fantasy writer Clive Barker. Clive Barker announced via Twitter on June 18, 2010 that "the 243,000 words of 'The Scarlet Gospels' merely lacks a publisher". It was planned to be an anthology, to include a sequel novella to The Hellbound Heart (which was adapted as the successful feature film, Hellraiser). As the story developed, Barker decided to expand the concept into a novel, and the unrelated short stories were put aside.

Barker announced via social media on Sept 9, 2013, that although no date has been set for release, "The Scarlet Gospels are finished."[1]

The following official statement appeared on Revelations, Clive Barker's official website: “Clive is delighted to announce that St Martin's Press has acquired world English rights to publish The Scarlet Gospels, his upcoming novel featuring Pinhead and Harry D'Amour." St Martin's Press released the book on May 19, 2015.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

The story centers on two characters Barker has used in previous works: private investigator Harry D'Amour, a character seen in several previous stories such as the novel Everville and the short story "The Last Illusion" (later adapted into the film Lord of Illusions); and a being known only as "Pinhead", an extra-dimensional entity residing in a world bordering our own. Pinhead and Harry are depicted as adversaries. Their first meeting occurs in the past, when Harry is twelve or thirteen years old and in Catholic school, and this encounter with Pinhead is said to be a primary cause of Harry's later disturbed psyche.

In the present day, a friend of Harry's is taken hostage by Pinhead, and Harry, accompanied by four mismatched companions (including the blind medium Norma Paine, who has appeared in earlier Barker stories) and an animal, must track his friend down into the lowest levels of Hell. Roughly two thirds of the story will take place in Hell itself, and much is expected to be learned about the nature of Hell, its creator, its inhabitants, about the Order of the Gash and Pinhead's place within it.

St. Martin's Press provided the following plot details on January 19, 2015:[3] "The gates to Hell are open and something beckons... The last of Earth's magicians are living in fear. A Cenobite Hell Priest known as Pinhead is killing them off, gorging on their knowledge to enhance his own magical powers as part of a quest to take over Hell. Meanwhile, Private Investigator Harry D'Amour is fulfilling the final wishes of the dead, who communicate with his business associate, the blind medium Norma Paine. But while investigating one such case, Harry inadvertently opens up a rift between hell and the real world. When nemesis Pinhead emerges through the portal, a vicious battle ensues. After failing to enlist Harry as one of his Scarlet Gospels, an elite group of indefatigable messengers who will witness his takeover of hell, Pinhead captures Norma and Harry realizes he must go through hell - literally - to save her."

Known facts about The Scarlet Gospels[edit]

Though the full course of the story is not known, Barker himself has been forthcoming with small facts about the story in various telephone and print interviews.

  • The Lament Configuration puzzle box and others like it, which in The Hellbound Heart and the Hellraiser films are used to summon the Cenobites, will be present in The Scarlet Gospels and will be explored in slightly more detail than in The Hellbound Heart, but not in any great detail. The same goes for their creator, Philip Lemarchand. In Barker's words, "This book is not about Lemarchand. It's about what happens when Hell puts down its machinery, meaning the little boxes, and takes up its older ways."
  • The Pinhead character and his true role in the Order of the Gash will be explored.
  • Barker will not be following the continuity established in the Hellraiser sequel films.
  • One location in the book will be a Viking cemetery, located in the islands off the western coast of Scotland.


External links[edit]