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Jack Ketchum (1946–2018), master of the horror novel

by Kirk Fox

Beloved author of “The Girl Next Door” and “The Lost.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Jack Ketchum, a prize-winning horror and screenplay writer known for such fiction as “The Box” and the controversial “Off Season” and once labeled by Stephen King as likely the scariest writer in America, has died. 

Ketchum’s friend and webmaster Kevin Kovelant told The Associated Press that Ketchum died Wednesday morning at 71. No other details were immediately available. Jack Ketchum is the pen name for Dallas Mayr. 

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Ketchum, whose admirers include King and Chuck Pahlaniuk, was a Newark, New Jersey, native. He won several prizes for horror and his books also were a source for filmmakers, including “The Girl Next Door” and “The Lost.” His first novel, the cannibalistic “Off Season,” was so violent that publisher Ballantine pulled back on support. The 1980 release was re-published in 2015.

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Written by the Associated Press.

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