Below is what I have long called ‘Yieldingtree’ in my own local wood…
“I was about to follow the path into the woods when a head reared up above the fence.”
I must say that I am absolutely awestruck by this chapter. Not only in its intrinsic subtle power as vintage Ramsey Campbell, perhaps even outdoing any other vintage. But also by its power over me in the context of this book, as Patrick and Roy explore the woods neighbouring or neighboured by Aunt Thelma’s erstwhile house. The false markers and pareidoliac faces, or real faces or voices. A horse buried upside down? But not only in the context of this book itself, but also in a log configuration like my Yieldingtree … but also in the context of my own reading this morning — That head above the fence, the wood as stated “puzzle”, and “Did she show you how turning things round worked?” and “the first of many repetitions of a solitary face.” See Twizzlehead that I read and reviewed in the normal course of my various concurrent reviews only 45 minutes ago HERE! Inadvertent mutual synergy, both works otherwise unique.
From my review of The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/05/09/the-wise-friend-ramsey-campbell/
Also referring to Twizzlehead by Sue Harper.