“The Haunted Hut” by Robert E. Howard is a chilling tale of Southern folklore and supernatural horror. The story captures the eerie atmosphere of the Hoodoo Swamp and the haunting presence of an undead cannibal.


The story begins with Aunt Sukie, an old black woman, stirring a pot over an open fire while telling a group of listeners about Old Matapha’, a cannibal from the old country who practiced hoodoo magic. Aunt Sukie warns that even in death, Matapha’ roams the swamp, seeking human flesh. Ez, one of the listeners, dismisses her tales as superstition and continues drinking.

Later, Ez finds himself waking up in a dark, unfamiliar cabin, disoriented and struggling to remember how he got there. The cabin is located in the dreaded Hoodoo Swamp, which Aunt Sukie had spoken about. Ez realizes he has taken the wrong road in his drunken state and ended up in the Haunted Hut, the very place where Matapha’ is said to reside.

As Ez’s fear mounts, he hears unsettling sounds outside the hut—footsteps and the swishing of grass. The air grows colder, and Ez becomes increasingly paralyzed with terror. He recalls Aunt Sukie’s warnings about Matapha’ and the undead. Suddenly, he sees two red eyes glowing at the window, and despite his attempts to scream, he is unable to make a sound as he succumbs to his fear.

The scene shifts to the next day, where two white men discover Ez’s remains in the hut. They speculate about his death, suggesting he might have been killed over a gambling dispute or died from excessive drinking. They note that wild hogs have gnawed his bones bare. A trembling black man with them is terrified of the Haunted Hut even in daylight, hinting that he believes the wild hogs could not have closed the door after devouring Ez.


  • Aunt Sukie: An old black woman who narrates the legend of Old Matapha’ and warns about the dangers of the Hoodoo Swamp.
  • Ez: A skeptical and drunk listener who ends up in the Haunted Hut and faces the supernatural horror of Matapha’.
  • Old Matapha’: A legendary figure, a cannibal and hoodoo practitioner who is believed to haunt the swamp and prey on the living even after death.
  • Two White Men: Unnamed characters who discover Ez’s remains and speculate about his death.
  • Trembling Negro: A fearful black man who accompanies the two white men and expresses a deep-seated fear of the Haunted Hut.

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