The Ghost That Ate Us



You remember the brutal crime, don’t you?

Maybe you read about it on Twitter. Maybe a friend sent you a news clip. Maybe you saw it on an episode of Spectral Journeys that night you were flipping through channels, unable to sleep.

Maybe after reading the true story, you won’t ever sleep again.

On June 1, 2017, six people were killed at a Burger City franchise off I-80 near Jonny, Iowa. It was the bizarre and gruesome conclusion to nine months of alleged paranormal activity at the fast-food joint—events popularly known as “the Burger City Poltergeist.”

The story inspired Facebook memes, Twitter hashtags, Buzzfeed listicles, Saturday Night Live sketches, and more. But the case was never much more than a punchline…until bestselling writer Daniel Kraus (The Shape of Water, The Living Dead) decided to head to Iowa to dig up what really happened.

Presented here is the definitive story of “the most exhaustively documented haunting in history,” including—for the first time ever—interviews with every living survivor of the tragedy.

The employees of Burger City were a family. They loved one another. At least, at the beginning.

But love can make you do unspeakable things.

What They’re Saying

“Ingenious on so many levels. True crime meets horror meets pop culture and social commentary, circles back to full-blown horror, and BURNS IT ALL DOWN. A brilliant piece of writing.” – Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor

“The verisimilitude is disorienting, forcing the reader to question everything on the page, their own memories, and at times, their sanity. Add to this an ending so creepy it will induce a full body shiver.”—Booklist (starred review)

“9.5 rating. A satirical look at the paranormal true-crime genre that’s as frightening as it is heartbreaking. It’s a page-turner from start to finish and a must-read for all horror fans. It’s hard to shake how upsetting this book is.”—Geek Vibes Nation

“I mentioned the realism of this book and it’s not just for the fast-food atmosphere. The characters are fleshed out well and are not just fodder to be unceremoniously killed off later. To add to the true story feel actual photographs depicting our main characters appear throughout the novel. I had to remind myself multiple times that I was reading fiction instead of some true-crime expose.”—Horror DNA

“Simultaneously a witty lampoon, a spooky suspense yarn, and a true crime whodunit, The Ghost That Ate Us holds its readers captive to the very end. It’s an original concept that glistens as fresh and tasty as those fast food restaurant commercials film their burgers to be, and anyone with an appreciation for both horror and parody is certain to enjoy it.”—HorrorTree

“The story is an examination of the human condition, the American condition. Here, something big happens to offer people a piece of what they’ve always dreamed of: a sense of meaning, of belonging, of worth… and then it’s torn away in a one-two punch, first in a devastating disappointment, an angst that breaks the employees first emotionally, then in a storm of violence.”—Awake at Midnight

“This approach to storytelling works on so many levels, it’s easy to forget you’re reading a fictional story stylised as non-fiction. I’ve got to admit I spent way too much time googling Burger City #8, Game of Pricks, Lil’ Beefy, and a slew of other references from the footnotes in the hopes of finding more information about the fast food poltergeist and the colourful characters it tormented.”—Just a Guy Who Likes to Read

“I enjoyed getting to know the employees, some of their stories will break your heart. Many of them are broken in so many ways even before all of this. I worked in a similar place when I was a teen and it all felt very realistic…I thought this book captured all of that very skillfully and I grew to care about many of these people.”—Bark at the Ghouls

“There’s a lot to like about this story that is so well written you often forget none of this actually happened. But that last section was my favourite. I loved every second of it, and the ending was perfect. I didn’t see that coming, but it was wickedly cool.”—Yoland Sfetsos

“Kraus is absolutely original.”—The Millions