All in all, the stories work and are 5 star reads. There is just one that felt a bit unfinished and honestly way too goofy to be in this collection. But this is a nice little appetizer if you want to read something to get you in the Halloween mood.
“Strange Candy” by Robert McCammon (5 stars)-What to say. This man can write anything and even if not all of them work for me, he can still get you in the feels. I loved this story of a man deciding to eat an odd piece of candy from his daughter’s bag. It transports him somewhere else where the dead still walk, and they are not alone.
“The Rage of Achilees” by Kevin Lucia (5 stars)-What a great story. A man named comes to a confession on Halloween and tells a priest named Father Ward about his son Evan. It’s a long and sad tale with a surprise in the middle and the end. This was definitely one of the story’s that I wished had a follow up to it. You wonder what next steps Father Ward is going to take.
“Demon Air” by John R. Little (3.5 stars)-Too slapstick for me. A young woman finds out she was adopted and decides to travel to Australia, New Zealand, and another country I am blanking on to find her roots. Pretty much the airline which was cheap (think Spirit Air) somehow turns into a plane full of demons flying it. I don’t know the whole thing was kind of dumb and I think if I had been on a plane, no I wouldn’t be talking crap to demons. I feel that’s how you get murdered first in horror movies.
“La Hacienda De Los Muertos” by Lisa Morton (5 stars)-So good. I thought Morton did a great job of evoking Hollywood’s Golden Age and moving it to Mexico. The main character we follow, Trick, a slightly racist former Western actor that is down on his luck. When he is offered a role in a Mexican production he jumps at the chance. However, the location of the movie, a deserted hacienda with a ghost of a woman named La Llorona walking and demanding that her children be returned to her causes the production to be scarier than anyone anticipated. I loved the history behind La Llorona and how Trick slowly becomes a believer. The ending was very good I thought. This story, “Strange Candy” and “Demon Air” were the only stories I thought had a happy ending.
“#MAKEHALLOWEENSCARYAGAIN” by Mark Allan Gunnells (5 stars)-A horror writer that has not hit the big time finally despairs of how lame Halloween has become. Doing a Facebook post (has anything good come from Facebook?) he says that people need to #MakeHalloweenScaryAgain. Too bad someone takes him literally and the town of Greer is left paralyzed and frightened as a killer in a scarecrow costume starts racking up the kills. I thought the ending was nicely done and you do get to know who was behind this and why.