Maybe you don't generally believe in "urban legends," or myths, or fantasy. Try MISFITS: see if it doesn't make a believer out of you. From Chapter 1, MISFITS absolutely terrified me. I'm not reassured living surrounded by woods, either, but as demonstrated in this novel, "Monsters" come out to play in communities, too--not only in dense forest.
MISFITS is really brutal; in fact, I'd label this extreme horror. There's also sexual violence, child/adolescent abuse, sociopathy, bullying, poetic justice, strong undiluted friendship, "first love," xenophobia, and a gore level over the top. Nonetheless, and despite the also-over-the-top fear factor [could I take any more?], I loved it. I will reread it, after the shock wears off.
I've been enjoying the Bayou Hauntings Series since its inception, admiring the author's flair for twisty plotting and backdrops, including Southern Louisiana history as background. THE PROCTOR HALL HORROR is Book 7. The gore level is high, and only a cold or jaded reader could fail to experience these events as heartwrenching. There is so much deceit, so much evil--both human and supernatural. Of particular interest to me were certain genetic connections, and the riff on Jekyll vs. Hyde. This is really a "Who can you Trust?" adventure. Featured are our favorite series characters, caught up in a vastly puzzling--and tremendously dangerous--paranormal investigation.
"New Digs" by Ron Ripley: Absolutely no empathy was elicited for this sorry protagonist. I might say: poetic justice. However, I enjoyed the imagery, particularly the basement scenes, and I respectfully request an alternate ending, involving a certain inexplicable object protagonist discovers near the furnace. <smile>
"The Trip" by Sara Clancy: Okay. News reports and Fiction persuaded me years ago never to go camping. However: this tale is the stuff of Nightmares! Talk about Subterfuge! Talk about Monsters and Monstrosity! Will I ever sleep again??
"Monster of the Week" by David Longhorn: Echoes of "The Truman Show"! Mike's life is constantly in transit, an "episode" a week of battling some strange different monster, barely escaping with his life, mourning the loss of innocents. He has to use his clever wits to figure out the type of monster and how to stop it, and of course, no evidence remains. But now the serious question becomes: is he in the current episode, or will this be his "End"?
Simply wow! I don't know why I hadn't read this before, as I adore Yellowstone horror (so many possibilities!). Author Kevin Howard definitely leaves behind the usual (boiling pools, supervolcano, bear and buffalo) and goes for an unusual creature which, if encountered say in Great Britain or Europe, would have been the locus of centuries-old Folk Horror. Horrifying it is, because unavoidable, inescapable, and implacable. Not satisfied to kill in its den, this creature roams, and it's unstoppable. I can totally imagine this novel as a horror film, suffused as it is with a failing hero [Ranger Joe], young people in lust, abundances of gore, a diligent female ranger and an aging helpless male ranger.....what's not to love? Love I did, throughout a one-sitting literally nonstop thrill ride keeping me breathless, alarmed, horrified, and enthralled.
"Porcelain Elephants" by Ron Ripley: One of Mr. Ripley's best in a long line of great tales, "Porcelain Elephants" is by turns heartwarming, terrifying, and heartwrenching. For me, the human Evil proved far worse than the admittedly supernatural elements. I found this story very satisfying.
"The Cursed Necklace" by Anna Sinjin: Now that is scary. Kudos for the implacability of this particular horror, and for the way that the author has interwoven simple, common, human emotions to create a pathway to Horror. Very good!
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Sara Clancy: I do enjoy my Christmas Horror...but this is TOO SCARY!!
DO NOT read at night alone! I read it on a sunny, hot, front porch at noon
The House of a Hundred Whispers by Graham Masterton
Publication date: 1st October 2020
About the book
On a windswept moor, an old house guards its secrets... The new standalone horror novel from 'a true master of horror.'
All Hallows Hall is a rambling Tudor mansion on the edge of the bleak and misty Dartmoor. It is not a place many would choose to live. Yet the former Governer of Dartmoor Prison did just that. Now he's dead, and his children – long estranged – are set to inherit his estate.
But when the dead man's family come to stay, the atmosphere of the moors seems to drift into every room. Floorboards creak, secret passageways echo, and wind whistles in the house's famous priest hole. And then, on the same morning the family decide to leave All Hallows Hall and never come back, their young son Timmy disappears – from inside the house.
Does evil linger in the walls? Or is evil only ever found inside the minds of men?
About the Author
Graham Masterton is mainly recognized for his horror novels but he has also been a prolific writer of thrillers, disaster novels and historical epics, as well as one of the world’s most influential series of sex instruction books. He became a newspaper reporter at the age of 17 and was appointed editor of Penthouse magazine at only 24. His first horror novel The Manitou was filmed with Tony Curtis playing the lead, and three of his short horror stories were filmed by Tony Scott for The Hunger TV series. Ten years ago Graham turned his hand to crime novels and White Bones, set in Ireland, was a Kindle phenomenon, selling over 100,000 copies in a month. This has been followed by ten more bestselling crime novels featuring Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire, the latest of which is The Last Drop of Blood. In 2019 Graham was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association. The Prix Graham Masterton for the best horror fiction in French has been awarded annually for the past ten years, and four years ago he established an annual award for short stories written by inmates in Polish prisons, Nagroda Grahama Mastertona “W Więzieniu Pisane.” He is currently working on new horror and crime novels.
Enthralling, as I expect from Master of Horror Graham Masterton, terrifying, with implacable, unavoidable, horror, whose roots reach back centuries, perhaps to prehistory, and which gives no sign of ever stopping. In an antique (17th century) mansion on lonely Dartmoor, an evil old man dies during the Full Moon. His will specifies an unexpected heir, which only riles the offspring, who are commanded to maintain the property, now in trust.
But the house contains far more than valuable antiques and ugly memories. Black magic has been done here, and for centuries. A charmer, a gleaner, and a Catholic priest will all battle to stop the house's evil, with horrifying consequences.
The newest electrifying, hair-raising, spine-chilling, mind-blowing, collection from authors Ron Ripley, David Longhorn, Sara Clancy, and Bronson Carey. Stick your finger in an electric socket while fresh from your shower: you'll get shocks galore, but nowhere like reading these stories, in which the dead are implacable and have a sharp axis to grind.
Recommended for daytime reading on sunny days. Do not read at night alone....unless of course you like sleeping with all the Lights on.
"Ricky's Toys": Ron Ripley demonstrates many gifts as an author. Prominent is his ability to subtly direct readers into suspension of disbelief. I have no trouble whatsoever accepting appearances by the deceased. I also marvel at his taut use of characterization. Verbosity isn't needed because a few words do just fine. Then there's Revenge...or maybe in this case, Vengeance. I wonder if the character Alex will reappear in future stories.
"The Bassinette": wow! About as seriously disturbing as I can handle. Reading this, outdoors in sunshine. Still I had to capture my scream.
"The Girl In the Window": I really enjoy the entertwining of characters and settings from throughout Mr. Ripley's oeuvre, and this story pairs two of my favorites, the young autistic but highly intelligent Jimmy Hsu, and the beleaguered, troubled, but admirable Dan Tate, now appearing as Anger, New Hampshire, Librarian, replacing Diane. These two guys may be disparate, but they definitely rock!
I read about half of this thrilling Supernatural novel in the sunny outdoors, the remainder alone-at-night. So.i was appropriately scared. Scary that such human Evil survives after death. Scary such exists at all.
Ray Garton is an excellent author and THE LOVELIEST DEAD is going to be a favorite.
I must caution that the subject matter is disturbing--very disturbing. Stomach-roiling in fact, but the characterizations, character evolution [and devolution], and the supernatural horror rivet the reader.
The Scare Street authors never disappoint and TERROR IN THE SHADOWS Volume 8 terrifyingly and terrifically continues that tradition. Science Fiction and Horror reign supreme in this collection, in which feckless fools, criminals, and yes, innocents, all
discover there is a world or worlds beyond, much more horrifying than we could ever imagine. Get your Scares and Chills on; but first, check your doors and windows, turn on all your lights, avoid Shadows, and don't read at night alone.
"When the Sun Shines" by Ron Ripley: This story awakened a lot of empathy in me, and the Denouement was unexpected and surprising...but it worked.
"Riding the Bus" by Ron Ripley: I really liked this story, as it was tautly written, full of surprises, with deft characterization. Disbelief was easily suspended so that the story made perfect sense as it played out, even though it was supernatural.
"Lost His Senses" by Bronson Carey: I think I shall never again go near a hospital. This tale is so subtle about the horror, and couched in terms of the patient experiencing possible hallucinations from side effects of his medications...or, on the other hand, maybe not hallucinations. Serious scares here!
First off, this is my favorite title by Mark Allan Gunnells so far. I absolutely adore this novel; it's exquisite. From the "ghostly" presences to the beautiful iteration of the city of Savannah and its history; from the finely delineated characters of Brad, Bias, Neisha, Harold, but including secondary characters [the Detective is a gem]; the humor, the love, the idealism, to character unfolding and evolution; it's all exciting. I read it in a sitting and could read it again, right away.
Horror author Brad Storms visited Savannah and fell in love with the house at 324 Abercorn while in his twenties and still struggling. Fortune smiles on him, and with several bestselling novels, he purchases the property and sets out on a new life phase. But it seems "something" in the house isn't pleased with his presence. Are the tales about the house fact after all? Has his residence in the long-empty home disturbed the occupants of the unmarked Slave Cemetery?
THE NIGHTINGALE HOUSE is the second novel bu y Steve Frech, a page-turner of Horror which riveted this reader, providing characters with whom I empathize, plus a horrendous villain who deserves comeuppance. The author juggles a number of issues and does so seamlessly.
I've been reading this thrilling supernatural series since its inception, yet each installment seems more compelling even than the proceeding. Now that we've discovered the identity of the "mastermind" plotting to destroy the populace of the tiny but evil-beset community of Anger, New Hampshire [in STREETS OF ANGER, Book 5], we watch as said mastermind's plot ratchets up and as feckless, vulnerable, hero Dan Tate throws up obstacles against the plot to destroy Anger. Fortunately Dan (capable but with the weakness of his children in danger) calls on ghost hunter Shane Ryan, an individual with terribly self-destructive impulses and a literally "stop at nothing " attitude. Prepare for an uproarious roller coaster ride through unimaginable danger, as this literal battle of good vs. evil intensifies, introducing a totally terrifying new character in the "collector."
"Love Me Dead" by Sara Clancy: This story is AMAZING!! Ranks with Sara Clancy's best! Where do I begin? There is one line which encapsulates the story for me and blew my mind; but I can't repeat because it's in the Denouement!! If this tale was a novella or novel, that would be fine; there's a lot of issues going on here, including human evil and horror. But to develop it this excitingly as a short story?! Supremo!
Character Evolution! Character Revelation! Family. Friendship. Night terrors! I LOVE this story!
"Health and Welfare Check" by Ron Ripley:
An admittedly Lovecraftian approach. A nasty neighbor investigates when the attractive lady next door disappears. His nosiness leads him where he couldn't possibly imagine.
"Making Friends" by Bronson Carey: Extremely unsettling. Gives a new spin to "stalking." [Shudder]. Do NOT read at night or while ALONE!
A well-developed plot line and characterizations, aimed at upper elementary age [the protagonist-narrator is in fourth grade] with clever development of bullying, and friendship, and other important issues such as being a child of divorce, Mom's dating life, etc. I enjoyed the explication of adolescence as the cusp of being able to see the Other Side. The story is positive and affirming [though I entered into it expecting more a "Bloody Mary" type event] so despite the title, it isn't really Horror.
I first found this a surprising geographical choice for this Irish author in this particular series, usually set in New England or New York City and environs. THE REAPERS, of course, has a backdrop of Mississippi as Louis' backstory, but primarily the series is set in New England. THE DIRTY SOUTH, obviously, is not. Where I expected, from the title, somewhere in the Deep South (U.S.), instead the story is firmly set in Southern Arkansas; and, like THE REAPERS, a sad, sad, tale it is.
My second thought, which continued throughout, was how apropos to the immediate cultural/social/political climate. Although set, for necessity, during the Presidency of Arkansas's Favorite Son Bill Clinton, the backdrop might as well be in 2020, amidst the counterculture protests against police brutality and violence against Black citizens. Yes, victims are black; yes, the murders are horrible [and the Denouement is mind-blowing in its multiple perverseness], but the story is highly character-driven and setting-laden, so that I almost think the victims could have been of any ethnicity, and the story would be only a little different.
THE DIRTY SOUTH is #18 in the Charlie Parker Series, but in effect it serves as a sort of prequel, occurring several months after the horribly gruesome murders of Parker's wife Susan and daughter Jennifer, in Brooklyn.