The Festering

“The Festering” is a horror novel by Guy N. Smith, first published in 1989. Smith, known for his prolific output and knack for delivering spine-chilling horror, brings readers another tale of terror that blends supernatural elements with environmental and societal themes.

Plot Summary

“The Festering” centers around a small English village plagued by a mysterious and deadly disease. The illness begins as a minor infection but quickly escalates, causing horrific symptoms and leading to agonizing deaths. As the disease spreads, panic grips the village, and residents are forced into quarantine to prevent further outbreak.

The protagonist, a local doctor or health official (depending on specific character development in the novel), takes it upon themselves to uncover the source of the infection and find a cure. Their investigation reveals that the disease is not a natural occurrence but the result of a malevolent force or ancient curse that has been unleashed.

As the protagonist delves deeper into the village’s dark history, they uncover secrets and forbidden practices that have awakened the deadly force. With the help of a few brave allies, they must confront this evil and find a way to stop the festering disease before it wipes out the entire village.

Themes and Style

  • Supernatural Horror: “The Festering” combines elements of supernatural horror with the more visceral terror of a deadly disease, creating a multi-layered narrative of fear.
  • Environmental and Societal Collapse: The novel explores themes of environmental degradation and societal breakdown, as the village descends into chaos due to the outbreak.
  • Mystery and Investigation: Central to the story is the protagonist’s investigation into the source of the disease, adding an element of mystery and detective work.
  • Atmospheric and Gruesome: Smith is known for his ability to create an eerie and oppressive atmosphere, and “The Festering” is no exception. The descriptions of the disease’s effects are particularly gruesome and unsettling.


“The Festering” received generally positive reviews from horror enthusiasts and fans of Guy N. Smith. Readers praised the book for its intense atmosphere, suspenseful plot, and effective blend of supernatural and medical horror. The novel’s timely themes of disease and societal collapse resonated with audiences, adding to its impact.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a British author famous for his horror fiction. With over 100 novels to his name, Smith often incorporated elements of the supernatural, the macabre, and the grotesque into his stories. He gained a dedicated following for his ability to craft thrilling and chilling horror narratives.


“The Festering” stands out in Guy N. Smith’s extensive bibliography as a memorable tale of supernatural and medical horror. Its exploration of disease, fear, and societal collapse continues to resonate with readers, maintaining its status as a significant work in Smith’s career.