New Grady Hendrix Horror Novel Feels Like “Rosemary's Baby ”in Florida (Exclusive)

'Witchcraft for Wayward Girls' follows five pregnant teens who find a guide to the occult

<p>Berkley/Penguin Random House; Berkley</p>

Berkley/Penguin Random House; Berkley

'Witchcraft for Wayward Girls' and Grady Hendrix

There's a new Grady Hendrix horror on the way, and according to the bestselling author, it's his "hardest one yet."

Witchcraft for Wayward Girls, due out in January 2025 from Berkley, follows five young women in a Florida maternity home who discover a guide to witchcraft. "Think Rosemary’s Baby set in a home for unwed mothers in 1970," the publisher says in a statement shared exclusively with PEOPLE.

Much like the author's previous beloved thrillers, it promises to "deliver fresh takes on traditional horror tropes with his signature voice full of humor, heart, jump scares and a bit of a wink," the publisher says.

<p>Berkley/Penguin Random House</p> 'Witchcraft for Wayward Girls'

Berkley/Penguin Random House

'Witchcraft for Wayward Girls'

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Hendrix says he took inspiration from the real-life terrors the pregnant, unwed teens went through in what were supposed to be these safe spaces and relied on a lot of research to make sure he got the details of the story just right.

During the timeframe when Hendrix's novel is set, there were hundreds of maternity homes throughout the United States. Because of the social stigma against unwed pregnancy and the resulting "illegitimate children," many young women spent the duration of their pregnancies at a maternity home, gave birth, relinquished their children for adoption and returned home to carry the secret of what had happened to them. Many would never tell anyone they'd ever had a child, or wouldn't reveal it until decades later.

Related: How 'The Witch' Got an Endorsement by Satanists, Plus 10 Surprising Movies with Devilish Appeal

<p>Berkley</p> Grady Hendrix


Grady Hendrix

Readers may know Hendrix from his New York Times bestsellers The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying VampiresThe Final Girl Support Group and How to Sell a Haunted House. He also penned the Bram Stoker Award–winning nonfiction Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as These Fists Break BricksHow Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed the World.

One of his books, My Best Friend's Exorcism, was adapted into a 2022 film directed by Damon Thomas and starring Elsie Fisher and Amiah Miller for Prime Video,

Witchcraft for Wayward Girls will hit shelves on Jan. 14, 2025 and is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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