A household name among many horror fans, Jack Ketchum‘s accomplishments as a writer have cemented his reputation in the annals of literature history. Over the course of his career, he won four Bram Stoker Awards and was nominated for a further three. In 2011, he was granted the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award for his contributions to the genre.
It has been reported that today, he passed away, at the age of 71, after struggling with cancer.
Ketchum’s friend and “webmaster”, Kevin Kovelant informed The Associated Press that the writer died early in the morning of 24th January 2018, but did not reveal many details.
Kev the Webmaster tweeting – Dallas Mayr, Jack Ketchum, passed away this morning, after a long battle with cancer. He was grateful for all of you, and he will be sorely, sorely missed.
— Jack Ketchum (@JackKetchum) January 24, 2018
Tackling taboos and controversy in his writing, Ketchum was once described by Stephen King as “likely the scariest writer in America”. He was mentored early on in his career by Psycho writer Robert Bloch, who in turn was mentored by none other than H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most enduring horror authors of all time.
In such a twisted and brilliant creative line, Ketchum made fine use of the lessons he learned from his intellectual predecessors. His cannibal novel Off Season was considered, when it was first written in 1980, as too violent for publication, so that the publisher Ballantine retracted its support. It was re-published in 2015.
His many fans are already sharing tributes and memories in commemoration of his life and work.
Actor Polyanna McIntosh, who starred in three film adaptations of Ketchum’s novels, posted her final message to him on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
Rest In Peace Dallas. Known to many as Jack Ketchum, Dallas loved to experience his best selling books through filmmakers’ eyes. I’ve been in 3 films based on his characters and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of them. Thank you Dallas for your work, your collaboration and your support of me and so many other writers and artists out there. You lived it your way. Your smile will be missed. Love to his family, friends and fans. ❤️🔪 #JackKetchum #RIPDallasMayr #LongLiveJackKetchum #TheWoman