From the time we are young, we fear the monster under the bed or in the closet, making it impossible to sleep without a nightlight. Then, we hear stories of Bigfoot, and maybe even the Mothman around campfires. When we are adults, we wonder if there might actually be supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows. Are these tall tales and urban legends only metaphors for what horrific things humanity is capable of—or do monsters exist?
Go to some terrifying places with this cast of authors. You will be dragged into mystifying realities where demonic fairies hide, where devil monkeys lure carnival-goers to their demise, where Goatmen seek to destroy their prey, and where the goddess of death puts out a hit on victims of her choice. These shocking tales will have you biting your nails and locating that childhood nightlight. Because, in the end, we all know monsters do exist.
I only read the occasional short story collection because I normally find them incredibly variable in terms of style and quality, I prefer something I can totally immerse myself in and not have to worry that the next chapter is going to be awful.
This book is an absolute gem – every single story in this collection was strong and I enjoyed them all. Even though each story followed a similar theme (monsters. duh.), they didn’t get samey despite there being 14 stories altogether.
That being said, I definitely had my favourites in this collection – ‘The Voice from the Bottom of the Well’ by Philip W. Kleaver and ‘Eclipse at Wolfcreek’ by Sylvia Mann and ‘Never Sleep Again’ by Calvin Demmer.
Of the three of these authors, I’ve only ever read Calvin Demmer before and I think this is the scariest of all his stories so far, who the hell isn’t scared of whatever it is that takes you feet if they hang over the edge of the bed?! However, the other two were stories revolving around tweens, which resonates with me because it was between the ages of 10-13 that I really started to get into horror (I don’t think there’s a single point horror book that I didn’t borrow from the library during those years), so there’s the nostalgia factor too.
Some of these stories were genuinely creepy, which is something I don’t encounter that often any more – even in horror novels – so that’s a ringing endorsement from me!