The Spectral Engine

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

FEATURES A GLOW IN THE DARK COVER. To glimpse the Spectral Engine is to face the moment of your own death. In Ray Fawkes’s stunning and brilliantly conceived new graphic novel, the Spectral Engine is the unearthly entity that brings together thirteen historically documented ghost stories – from across the country and throughout the centuries – to tell a timeless narrative of life, death, and redemption. 

A ghostly white horse is a heartbreaking reminder of the clash between two warring First Nations tribes. Decades after the luxury ocean liner Empress of Ireland vanishes into the St. Lawrence River along with 1,012 souls, its wreckage continues to claim lives. A hunter’s encounter with the Wendigo of the North leaves him with a terrible hunger. A young escaped slave attempts to make the treacherous journey to freedom via the Underground Railroad. The triumphant completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway brings only tragedy to a Chinese railway worker. And in a poignant story of urban isolation, a young woman discovers that loneliness transcends death. By turns chilling and moving, this breathtaking book is a powerful reminder of the deeply human desire to be remembered.


“With his superb new book, Ray Fawkes takes you on a deep dark journey through Canada’s secret history, one of hidden ghosts and long-forgotten legends that will haunt you long after you close the book. His brilliantly expressive and kinetic artwork makes these ghost stories pulse with an eerie afterlife unlike anything you’ve ever seen. You don’t just read The Spectral Engine, you experience it.”
–Jeff Lemire, author of Essex County
“What Ray Fawkes has done is weave together stories of lost souls and history in a way you will never forget. This book breathes new life into a forgotten past that will haunt you with its loss and mystery.”
– Matt Kindt, author of Super Spy