The Nursery (The Bayou Hauntings Book 3) -⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Nursery (The Bayou Hauntings Book 3)

43063654

Bill Thompson

“A house that sat empty for fifty years as its dead owner instructed. A locked room with no key. A single father with eight-year-old twin girls. A nursery from long, long ago that no child ever played in.There are eerie things going on at The Arbors in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Architect Jordan Blanchard is joined by his friend Callie Pilantro (“Callie – The Bayou Hauntings 1”) and Landry Drake (“Forgotten Men – The Bayou Hauntings 2”) to learn the secrets of a domineering matriarch whose two husbands died in bizarre ways. They explore the house as someone watches from a hidden place high above. The Nursery, the third book in the series, will keep you up late at night wondering what’s behind the next door, what lies beyond the mirror and who hides and waits at The Arbors.”

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The initial grabbing point for me was the cover, I found it to be quite intense and thought provoking, and I’m always interested to read and good haunting story.

The first half of the book read really well. The story was developing nicely and the plot seemed to be going somewhere. I didn’t find myself at a disadvantage from not having read the first two stories in the Bayou Haunting series either – always a plus. What knocked it down to a three star review? The latter half of the story lost its way somewhat. It felt like it could have been wrapped up far quicker than it was. I found myself getting bored and wanting to skip to the end. I hate that in a book. I feel like I need to give a book my full attention, and I always feel dreadfully guilty when I am not enjoying the story.

As for the characters, Landry I found horrendously annoying – As I haven’t read his book, I can’t comment as to whether this is just ‘him’… But he was a pain in my side the brief times he appeared. The father of the twins, Jordan, I really couldn’t force myself to like him either. He just came across very contradictory. One minute nothing matters but his children, and the next, he is totally absorbed in work forgetting about them.

The setting, Louisiana, I found perfect. The descriptions of the area, that southern charm and atmosphere were there in the forefront. For me, sadly, that was the saving grace, it was well written and thought out. It seemed to be a combination of poor characters and a lazy plot that let it down for me.

3/5

Lesley-Ann

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The Haunting of Henderson Close -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Haunting of Henderson Close

41427867

Catherine Cavendish

“Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone…

In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released.

Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face?

The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real. The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.”

I knew I was going to adore this book before I read it, I just had that feeling. I was right. This was my first time reading Catherine Cavendish and not my last. This book hit all the right notes for me. I have so many happy memories of Edinburgh, including Old Town, Royal Mile, and of course, the infamous ghost walks through the old closes of the city.

Hannah has started her new job as a tour guide at one of Edinburgh’s famous closes. Henderson Close. She has left her old life, and moved up to Edinburgh for a fresh start. This is her ideal job, she loves drama and acting, and this is just perfect for her. The idea of these ghost tours is to gently scare the customers, while also giving them a peek into the dark history of Edinburgh’s Old Town. What Hannah didn’t expect of course, was to come face to face with actual ghosts, and an evil that has been following her for her entire life.

Catherine Cavendish does an amazing job within this book of giving you the feeling of being there, in Edinburgh’s Old Town, surrounded by the stench, the claustrophobic closeness of the buildings, the noise and the nervous uncertainty. She takes us on a journey though time, and into the midst of a murder mystery. Just who was Miss Carmichael’s killer?

This is what Hannah, George and Mairead must find out. A once sealed evil has now been released into their world. Their only way to stop it, find the killer, the one who got away, before it’s too late.

Everything about this book spoke to me. The characters are very real, with their distinct personalities shining through the pages, giving them life. The setting, the atmosphere of Edinburgh past and present is tangible. You can almost smell the manure, the human waste. You can hear the whinnying of the horses, the clatter of people. She brings Henderson Close to life.

Having been on a couple of the walking ghost tours while in Edinburgh last year, this was like going on a third. It was exactly like I was there again, gripping onto Andy as we stumbled through the closes, being treated to jump scares from our tour guides and nervously wondering if a ghost was actually there, watching me. I love how real it felt, Hannah and her co workers getting into character. Taking on the roles of people from the past, engaging the customers and taking them on a fun history tour with a few good scares thrown in for good measure.

The mix in the story between the late 1800’s and the present day was perfect. There was no confusion, I never once felt like I was getting lost with the story. The pace and flow are spot on. I particularly enjoyed the time-slips, Hannah and Mairead appearing to slip back into Henderson Close’s past. It was very exciting to read and the ending, my god, the ending was unexpected. I loved it.

If you have read Catherine Cavendish before, then I need say no more, you are of course going to be reading this book. If you have not, like me, then all I can say is that you are missing out greatly. This is a wonderful story, beautifully written, with real characters and a perfect setting. Plenty of scares and creepiness included. This is definitely going in my re-read pile. I loved it.

5/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Whiteout -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Book Review ***spoilers***

Whiteout

Gabriel Dylan

“‘She sat us all down and told us a story. About things that lived in the woods. Things that only came out at night.’

For Charlie, a school ski trip is the perfect escape from his unhappy home life. Until a storm blows in and the resort town is cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped on the mountain, the students wait for the blizzards to pass, along with mysterious ski guide Hanna. 

But as night falls and the town’s long buried secrets begin to surface, the storm is the least of their problems….

A chilling RED EYE horror, perfect for fans of Dawn Kurtagich, Juno Dawson and Charlie Higson.”

This was a thrilling read, I became quite wrapped up in the story and with the characters early on. A group of teenagers, on a school skiing trip to a remote resort, what could possibly go wrong? Plenty it would seem, for this particular ski resort is like no other. A storm is heading in, meaning that there will be no skiing happening for a day or two. Both the students and their teachers, lead by their guides, head back to the lodge. A lot of the workers and regular townsfolk head back down the mountain before the storm hits to avoid being stranded. This place has a dark secret, for there are monsters, vampire like creatures who every so many years, awaken to feed on the unsuspecting tourists. The locals though cover it up, sacrificing them like lambs to the slaughter to keep themselves safe. High on a remote mountain, it’s very easy to say it was an avalanche, or a skiing accident. It’s too easy to lie.

Hanna is desperate to find out what became of her brother. She was told it was a skiing accident, she knows something doesn’t quite fit, it doesn’t feel right. She has heard the stories, the tales told to children to keep them away from the edge of the mountain. To keep them safe.

A terrifying night ensues, leaving a group of lone teenagers in fear for their lives.

Thank you to NetGalley for this copy of Whiteout to read and review. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was pretty fast paced, lots of action with a good mix of character development intertwined. There are quite a few characters in this book, and I feel they were all given adequate time, letting the reader get to know them and subsequently be rooting for them, even if they are not the nicest of people.

For me, what knocked this off from being a 5* book, is the ending. The discovery in the cave somewhat took away from the terror of the creatures, causing it to lose some of its claustrophobic intense atmosphere. By far though this is a great read. As the reader you are pulled deep into the narrative from the beginning, developing a relationship with the characters and feeling the same fear and trepidation as them. This book contains some very gory moments, and some pretty good scares.

I would highly recommend giving it a read.

Find it here on Amazon UK –

4/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Little Black Spots – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

LittleBlack Spots

41100259

John F. D. Taff

“First he gave us LITTLE DEATHS: THE DEFINITIVE EDITION. Then he unleashed his unique brand of pain in THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS. 

Now Bram Stoker Award-nominated John F.D. Taff – modern horror’s King of Pain – returns with LITTLE BLACK SPOTS. Sixteen stories of dark horror fiction gathered together for the first time, exposing the delicate blemishes and sinister blots that tarnish the human condition.

From a man who stumbles on a cult that glorifies spontaneous human combustion, to a disgraced nature photographer who applies his skills for a vile outcome.

Where a darkened city parking structure seems malevolently alive, and a Halloween costume has a husband seeing his wife in a disturbing new light.

When a ruined man sees far too much of himself in his broken family, and a mysterious bottle of liquid arrives with a deadly secret inside. 

Little Black Spots is a beacon shining its light into some of life’s most shadowy corners, revealing the dark stains that spatter all mankind.”

Thank you to Anthony Rivera and Grey Matter Press for a review copy of ‘Little Black Spots’.

The great thing about short story collections is there is always something to suit every taste. Every story is different and it’s ok if you don’t like them all.

For me, this was a good enough read; I didn’t love all the stories, some, I really resonated with and some I just became bored with. Overall, Little Black Spots was an enjoyable read.

My particular favourites:

-The Immolation Scene

This is a very intense story of loneliness and helplessness, emphasizing just how far people are willing to go to feel, to feel anything.

Corey is besotted with Amy, his ex and also his colleague. They engaged in a 6 month passionate affair before Amy abruptly ended it, claiming love wasn’t enough.

BothCorey and Amy have a special, yet dangerous, ability. They can ‘burn’; theyboth have the ability of spontaneous combustion. They can ignite their flesh,sometimes without realizing. Neither knew of the other’s ability, until a chancemeeting when they cross paths during work. Amy is clearly more comfortable withtheir ability than Corey, he can’t bear the pain, the burnt flesh, the scars itleaves. The smell of the burning flesh is overwhelming. It’s too much to see,to deal with and to cope with, Amy wants them to be together completely, toburn bright as one, but he cannot commit to that, breaking Amy’s heart.

“How far are you willing to go this time”

“How much are you willing to feel”

Corey returns to his mundane existence, ‘numb’ from losing Amy again. He is lonely, the emptiness eating away at him.

I loved this opening story from Little Black Spots, it’s a perfect story examining the human condition and how we are afraid of what we don’t totally understand. We are willing to sacrifice our own happiness, willing to miss out on what could be a pivotal life changing moment, because of fear, fear of the unknown and our innate resistance to change.

-Just a Phone Call Away

Just a Phone Call Away, this was a deeply disturbing tale of a middle aged average woman, laid off from her job. It’s difficult, you have worked somewhere a long time, and you become set in your routine, the daily mundane lifestyle of the nine-to-five life. If something happens, such as being unfortunately laid off, it can be hard to find something else. It’s a sad truth too, but the older we get, the harder it can be sometimes without the right qualifications, the right connections and the rest.

Cynthia was unfortunate enough to find herself in this situation, and it made her feel powerless, helpless. A colleague had joked once that she had the voice to be a phone sex worker. Little did she know that this would be her next career move, and her un-doing.

Just a Phone Call Away is a horrific story of the mental decline of Cynthia, as she attempts to regain control of her life. It’s quite a terrifying read I found, escalating all through, culminating in a very dramatic, disturbing climax.  

-The Depravity of Inanimate Things

I loved this one, it started out quite innocent. A guy in a cinema who is pirating movies (Okay maybe not so innocent but you get my drift) for overseas use. He thinks he is some kind of film ‘Robin Hood’, giving the poorer people of the world the option to view these blockbusters as they come out without having to pay the over the top cinema prices.

He then starts hearing voices, everything, and I mean everything is talking to him, from the bottle of champagne to the TV in his apartment. Even the characters in the movies he is watching are turning to him. He is hearing voices everywhere.

His descent into madness is riveting to read. Even at the end, it’s the voices, he had to do it, and they just wouldn’t stop until he killed. He genuinely believes he is hearing voices and completely accepts this as the new ‘normal’.

It’s sad that he didn’t seem to have anyone to help him, someone who could have seen his mental issues and got him the help and medication he needed. I guess in a way that was the moral of this story. He thought he had it all, women, money. But in reality, he had no-one.

I loved about a third of the stories within Little Black Spots, like I said, collections always have something for everyone. I would definitely recommend checking this out; I myself want to have another read through it. I sometimes need to be in a different frame of mind to truly appreciate certain works. A second read through and I may have a new favourite three, who knows?

You can find it here via Amazon:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41100259-little-black-spots

3/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Eat the Rich -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Eat the Rich

Renee Miller

Hindered Souls press

5* Book Review

Image result for eat the rich book

Synopsis:

When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.
~
So does the murder rate.
~
Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. He tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.
~
The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.
~
He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a plan B:
~
KILL EVERYONE.

 

Eat the Rich, a fantastic grotesque look into the idea that we can all be equal. Abolish money, abolish the oppressive nature of the so-called ‘1%’ and live out our lives as equals. We each receive the same food, the same clothing, just all the basics we need to survive. Yeah… it’s just never going to work is it? We humans are an interesting breed. We want to be equal, we shout a lot about equal rights, equal pay, equal this that and the other. But if it ever comes to that, whether it be through an alien invasion or some other means, we all know it’s not what we want. This book does a great job of highlighting this, “No reason to work harder or to even dream about anything. It’s all just what it is and it’ll never change if the aliens have their way. I find that disheartening”. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly believe that things need levelling up as it were, really, come on, 2018 and we still have people living on the streets and children having to be fed from food banks. There is absolutely no need. But total equality in every way, that is where we lose ourselves. It’s our hopes and dreams that drive us, the hope of a promotion, dreaming of that perfect life we have long desired. It’s this that keeps us going. Hope is a powerful tool. If we have nothing to aim for, nothing to strive for, what do we have? I think as a species we are still a long way from that Star Trek utopia where poverty is gone along with money. The idea of working to better ourselves is a noble one indeed, realistic and achievable? I really don’t know.

 

This is a great read; you have alien invasion, gruesome murders, cannibals, and plenty of rebellion. It’s rather funny in parts too, plenty of quirky one liners from human and alien alike. Ed is the unlikely hero, just a ‘regular Joe’, materialistically rich through debt, living with a lazy wife who is just in it for what she can get. He leaves her and his life behind to be free. Living on the streets he soon gets himself tangled up in this mess, first getting arrested, then infiltrating the alien camp and winding up in a mental ward, finally becoming the forced face of the alien invaders and finally the leader of a rebellion.

I couldn’t decide who I actually was supporting in parts, human or alien. Both sides I have to say had valid arguments, and I can completely see why our alien overlords thought they were doing the right thing. I didn’t think I was one of those supporters of government until they were all destroyed… They may suck and their jobs, some more than others naming no names. As a country though, we do need the structure. Without some form of structure, anarchy will prevail.

This book is most definitely a conversation starter, I can hear the political debates in my head already.

Enough from me though now.

I really did enjoy this book and would love you all to give it a go. You can find it hear via Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Rich-Renee-Miller-ebook/dp/B07DKCD6VR/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541344578&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=EAT+THE+RICH+RENNE+MILLER

And it’s free (who doesn’t like freebies) via Kindle Unlimited.

 

Give it a go. You won’t regret it, I promise.

 

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

Interview with the Devil Part One: Victor’s Account – ⭐️ Book Review ***minor graphic content***

Interview with the Devil: Part 1: Victor's Account

 Interview with the Devil Part One: Victor’s Account

1* Book Review

Skylerr Darren

 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“There sat a frail, abnormally-pallid African-American man. His weight looked rather questionable. He looked as if he hadn’t eaten in months, judging by the fact that his integral skeleton had been visible through his diminished skin. He stared at me with no facial expression. He just sat there, staring.”

Satan, the brooding, scriptural ghoul that takes on the responsibility for murder, perversion, and the gruesome deaths of children. Society views these horrors as a grim nightmare-a nightmare in which one would desperately attempt to wake up from. But in reality, you simply just can’t wake up from a nightmare, for both reality and fiction have become one. Victor, a timid young college student dreadfully awakens into such a demonic ordeal from the repulsive dismiss of his relatives, to macabre dreams and morbid occurrences. Do not look at Interview with The Devil: Part 1 as a mere book but instead the detour into your own self-morality.

 

There are honestly no words, this is awful. It’s full of rape, suicide, dead babies sexually abusing their dead fathers (I know, right)… and for what? It’s pointless. I am by no means easily disturbed, or a prude, or any of that, but there was honestly no need for this. The descriptive text was too much, very over the top, graphic for nothing other than shock value. There was no plot development within all this gratuitous trash that I could make out. Yet it started so well on the first few pages, I really thought it was going somewhere good.

I really don’t have anything else to say about this, it’s bad… it’s really bad.

 

1* (and that’s generous)

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Manifest Recall – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***minor spoilers***

 

Manifest Recall by [Baxter, Alan]

Manifest Recall

5* Book Review

Alan Baxter

Grey Matter Press

 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

A SUPERNATURAL CRIME THRILLER FROM THE AWARD-WINNING MASTER OF DARK FANTASY

Following a psychotic break, Eli Carver finds himself on the run, behind the wheel of a car that’s not his own, and in the company of a terrified woman he doesn’t know. As layers of ugly truth are peeled back and dark secrets are revealed, the duo find themselves in a struggle for survival when they unravel a mystery that pits them against the most dangerous forces in their lives.

A contemporary southern gothic thriller with frightening supernatural overtones, Alan Baxter’s Manifest Recall explores the tragic life of a hitman who finds himself on the wrong side of his criminal syndicate. Baxter’s adrenaline-fueled approach to storytelling draws readers into Eli Carver’s downward spiral of psychosis and through the darkest realms of lost memories, human guilt and the insurmountable quest for personal redemption.”

 

Manifest Recall, The Sopranos meets Sons of Anarchy, and gets all kind of twisted. This is a great read, a brilliant novella from Alan Baxter. May I just say a huge thank you to the author and to Grey Matter Press for sending me a copy of Manifest Recall in exchange for a review.

Eli Carver is having the worst day of his life. Who is he? What has he done? What or who is he running from? And who is the girl tied up in his trunk? He has no memory. He knows that something bad has happened to him, he just doesn’t know how bad. To make matters worse, he has the ghosts of the dead talking to him, mocking him, tormenting him. What has he gotten himself into? And how is he going to get himself out of this?

This is one of those books. You know the ones, the ones you cannot physically put down after you start them. You just have to keep going, keep turning the pages to see what comes next. The desire to put all the pieces together, to figure out what is happening right now and what happened before, it’s too strong. Before you know it you have finished the entire book and you just don’t know what to do with the rest of your day. This is one of those books.

I really don’t want to say too much about it, I don’t want to give too much away. This is a must-read, it’s a real edge-of-seat job, a proper page turner.

The writing style is excellent, the first person prose, it does its job of dragging you deep into the story. There is a brilliant claustrophobic element here; you are sucked in so deep you need to finish the story to climb back out again.

It’s excellent. Very stylish and very fast paced. Thrilling.

Find it here via Amazon (UK):

 

5/5

Thrilling from start to finish.

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

 

Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest

5* Book Review

  1. L. Davies

6th Books

 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“Blissful beginnings for a young couple turn into a nightmare after purchasing their dream home in Wales in 1989. Their love and their resolve are torn apart by an indescribable entity that pushes paranormal activity to the limit. Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest is the prequel to the bestselling A Most Haunted House.”

 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, 6th Books, for this ARC of Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest.

This terrified me, I couldn’t put it down. Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest is an interview with a married couple, Dai and Anne (names changed so as to not be identified), recounting the dreadful days spent in their marital home. They are haunted by a malevolent paranormal being, tormented and almost driven apart by the entity. This book is the prequel – which happens to be featured at the end of this one – to G. L. Davies’ ‘A Most Haunted House’.

I really liked the style, the transcript, it really pulled me in, and I was immediately engrossed, desperate to find out what happened next. I was hooked from the get-go. It was really interesting, as well as frightening, the idea that this could be going on in the house next door and you wouldn’t know it. You might put banging and clattering down to just noisy neighbours with no consideration, or maybe they are having a clean out… you would never think that they were being haunted, not in a million years. Or maybe we don’t want to think that? Is it better that we live our day to day lives in the blissful ignorance that there is nothing else out there, nothing lurking in the closet or under the bed? Are we happier this way?

I honestly can’t say I’m 100% sure this is based on truth or whether this is a story in a ‘true life’ format. I am most definitely open minded, and I’m more to leaning that this is based on real events. If so, oh my god, I can’t begin to imagine how horrendous and terrifying this must have been.

I’m glad the original book was included, I hadn’t read this previously and it was interesting to see the similarities between both accounts, from different people in different eras. I also found the possible explanations for paranormal occurrences an interesting and insightful read.

For someone like me, a believer, this is a great read. It’s had me on Google, looking up the area and the paranormal goings on. It seems Pembrokeshire is a paranormal hotspot.

https://pembrokeshirebeyond.com/2015/05/22/the-pembrokeshire-haunted-road-trip/

I’m quite interested in this I must say.

https://pembrokeshirebeyond.com/2015/06/10/the-ghostly-monk-of-haverfordwest/

The story of the Hooded Monk of Union Hill in Haverfordwest is something that has grabbed my attention, the ghost hunter in me has decided to take a trip down later in the year, see some sights, and maybe spot a ghost or two. Of course we are already concerned this will end up the next big ‘found-footage’ film, my fiancé joking the sequel will involve his mother and uncle heading out looking for us.

Pre-order here via Amazon (UK):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Horror-Haverfordwest-G-L-Davies/dp/178535843X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539531159&sr=8-1&keywords=g.+l.+davies

 

A must read for any paranormal enthusiast.

5/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

The Five Senses of Horror – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book review

The Five Senses of Horror

4*

By:

Eric J. Guignard (Editor), Ramsey Campbell (Contributor), Darrell Schweitzer (Contributor)Lisa Morton  (Contributor)Lucy Taylor (Contributor)Kathryn Ptacek (Contributor)

Sarah Totton (Contributor)Poppy Z. Brite (Contributor)Sarah Singleton (Contributor)Lisa L. Hannett (Contributor)Richard Christian Matheson (Contributor)Norman Prentiss (Contributor)David McGroarty (Contributor)Chris Bell (Contributor)John F.D. Taff (Contributor)John Farris (Contributor)Jessica Bayliss (Commentary)K.H. Vaughan (Afterword)Nils Bross (Illustrator)

 

Dark Moon Books

 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: Hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste: Our impressions of the world are formed by our five senses, and so too are our fears, our imaginations, and our captivation in reading fiction stories that embrace these senses. Whether hearing the song of infernal caverns, tasting the erotic kiss of treachery, or smelling the lush fragrance of a fiend, enclosed within this anthology are fifteen horror and dark fantasy tales that will quicken the beat of fear, sweeten the flavor of wonder, sharpen the spike of thrills, and otherwise brighten the marvel of storytelling that is found resonant!

Editor Eric J. Guignard and psychologist Jessica Bayliss, PhD also include companion discourse throughout, offering academic and literary insight as well as psychological commentary examining the physiology of our senses, why each of our senses are engaged by dark fiction stories, and how it all inspires writers to continually churn out ideas in uncommon and invigorating ways.

Featuring stunning interior illustrations by Nils Bross, and including fiction short stories by such world-renowned authors as John Farris, Ramsey Campbell, Poppy Z. Brite, Darrell Schweitzer, and Richard Christian Matheson, amongst others. Intended for readers, writers, and students alike, explore THE FIVE SENSES OF HORROR!”

Table of Contents includes:

“Preface: The Five Senses of Horror” by Eric J. Guignard
“Introduction: Why Do Horror Stories Work? The Psychobiology of Horror” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“Thoughts About the Sense of Touch” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“Heading Home” by Ramsey Campbell
“Soft” by Darrell Schweitzer
“Feel the Noise” by Lisa Morton
“Thoughts About the Sense of Hearing” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD 
“In the Cave of the Delicate Singers” by Lucy Taylor
“Sounds” by Kathryn Ptacek
“Malleus, Incus, Stapes” by Sarah Totton
“Thoughts About the Sense of Taste” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood” by Poppy Z. Brite
“Cassilago’s Wife” by Sarah Singleton
“Sweet Subtleties” by Lisa L. Hannett
“Thoughts About the Sense of Sight” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“The Beholder” by Richard Christian Matheson
“In the Porches of My Ears” by Norman Prentiss
“The Impression of Craig Shee” by David McGroarty
“Thoughts About the Sense of Smell” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“Shem-el-Nessim: An Inspiration in Perfume” by Chris Bell
“The Scent” by John F.D. Taff
“The Odor of Violets” by John Farris
“Understanding and Incorporating the Five Human Senses into Modern Horror Short Fiction Writing” by Eric J. Guignard
“Afterword: Sensation and Perception” by K. H. Vaughan, PhD 
“Suggested Academic Reading for Further Study”
“A Brief Reading List of Modern Fiction Short Stories with Relation to the Senses (1940–2015)”

 

Our five senses: Touch, Hearing, Sight, Taste and Smell. All of which are explained and explored from both a psychological perspective, and from that of the horror writer.

Thank you to Eric J. Guignard and Dark Moon Books for allowing to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

A wonderful collection of short horror stories, split into five sections (the five senses obviously), all with fascinating introductions explaining the psychology behind the sense. I found those introductions, courtesy of Jessica Bayliss, PhD, very insightful and thought provoking. The short stories themselves were all very well chosen, fitting in even so well with their specific sense. The introductions for me seemed to also add to the feelings I had while reading each story. It felt like the explanations to our responses to fear stimuli actually invoked a fear response from me before I read the story itself. That may have been helped along though by a long discussion about the fear of spiders – I hate spiders.

It’s quite difficult to choose a favourite. They are all so good. If pressed though, I would have to pick ‘In the Cave of Delicate Singers’ by Lucy Taylor. This short story I found to be especially haunting.

***beware of spoilers***

The Brotterling cave complex is a deep network of caves, chambers and tunnels, with a dark history behind it.

This doesn’t sway Matthew and Lionel Hargave, brothers, and experienced cavers. They both went in, but only one, Lionel, returned. In a cruel twist of fate, Lionel was the lucky one; he had lost his hearing in Iraq years courtesy of a roadside IED. This terrible accident was what saved his life here; he could not be called by the maddening siren song within the depths of the cave.

A search and rescue team are dispatched, confident and disbelieving of the rumours and stories of death. They are soon to find out the caves history is all too real.

Karyn, a junior member of the team goes solo against orders to try and rescue her friends. What she finds are mutilated corpses, her friend and one time lover, Pree, being absorbed into the cave itself.

This is a song that must be heard.

 

“Madness made tangible. 

Contagion by sound.

It spews from my lips – a song of such deadly beauty and unholy allure that I experience only the briefest frisson of horror – an emotion something inside me instantly quells – when their mouths fall open, songstruck, enthralled, and they begin to rend their own flesh and tear each other apart”

 

A story that definitely resonates with today’s busy modern world of chaos is ‘Sounds’, by Kathryn Ptacek. This tells a tale of a woman plagued by sound – the constant din of the town where they live, the never ceasing intrusive soundtrack of life – to the point of madness. 

This is a particularly relevant story I felt, especially as I live in quite a built up area. We never get complete peace and quiet. There is always something going on. Whether it be the neighbours banging, cars revving, the garbage truck or the mail. There is always noise of some description. It is never ending. It’s easy to see how very real this story’s conclusion could become in today’s society.

What is most frightening though, is that we have done this to ourselves.

This is a wonderful anthology of stories from some great authors, which will appeal to all walks of horror fan. It contains a wonderful mix of the paranormal, the supernatural, as well as the most terrifying side of the human condition.

Highly recommended and worth a read as soon as you get the chance.

Available via Amazon (UK) here: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Senses-Horror-Eric-Guignard/dp/1949491048/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538318865&sr=8-1&keywords=the+five+senses+of+horror

Dark Moon Books:

http://darkmoonbooks.com/five_senses.html

4/5 

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

 

 

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