I had my eyes on this anthology for a couple of months but other things kept coming between things. So imagine my delight when I saw this book up on Netgalley. Now I would have no excuses to read the book, now I had to!
This book features various spooky, creepy, horrific stories all with Halloween in the spotlight. We see kids going for trick or treating, heads being used as pumpkin lanterns, murder, masks that do crazy stuff, and more. Before I get into what I rate each story and how I felt about them I want to say that I really enjoyed this anthology (because I did, a lot). The essays were a nice touch at the end. We don’t have Halloween here (or at least it is starting up a bit but probably will never be as big as it is in the US, so I love reading stories about them and the essays were just perfect as I learned some more about traditions and what items and things were around during this time. Oh, and I liked that we saw Fear County pop up in at least 2 stories (sometimes I was too far in the story to remember names of stuff).
Story 1: The Halloween Store: 4 stars. I wanted to rate this one 4.5 stars, but the ending… I would have liked to see an epilogue of sorts. Maybe to let us know what happens afterwards. Do the kids remember things? Will anyone be alive? But the story was good and gave a nice dark twist on a story that I have seen more often. Namely Halloween masks and wearing them. Kids, if you need to sign a disclaimer and the masks feel strange? Maybe don’t wear them! 😛
Story 2: Mister Mack is back in Town: 4.5 stars. Dang this was dark and scary! Kids get abducted, some come back organs mixed up, others gone. Events are repeating and boy Kyle isn’t going to let it go any further. I loved the plans that were made, and I loved that they just went for it. I did think it was a shame the time just skipped without any notice, there were things I would have liked to see. Monster
Story 3: Blood Suede Shoes: 4.5 stars. This was rock and roll creepy. I had my suspicions on what was going to happen but I definitely didn’t think it would go this dark. Haha, I should have known after the previous stories. This one really got gory at points and I skipped some sentences as it was just a bit too much for me. My stomach was flipping over. That ending!
Story 4: Clown Treats: 5 stars. Welp, I am not a fan of clowns so this one was even scarier than it already was given what happens in this story.
Story 5: The Cistern: 4 stars. This was scary and I was rooting for our MC. Hell on Earth, for reals. I am giving a bit less rating because the ending and how that just felt short. I would have liked an epilogue of sorts or maybe a few extra pages to expand on things.
Story 6: Pretty Little Lanterns: 3 stars. This just was WAY too gory for my tastes and had me skipping some parts because it was skipping or puking. I prefer not puking so there we go. In this one there is someone making lanterns of people’s head. I definitely didn’t expect JR to appear that is quite an interesting twist. The ending…. 🙁
Story 7: The Amazing and Totally Awesome Fright Creature: 2.5 stars. Definitely the least favourite story in this anthology. It felt very much like a Goosebumps episode. Monster was creepy. There was gore, NOPE. And the ending, I am still not sure what to make of that, it was very confusing and wtf and that is why I also deduce points from that.
The Last Halloween: An Essay: 3 stars. An interesting read about the author’s last Halloween and how he celebrated it.
My Top 10 Favourite Halloween Stuff of the ’60s and ’70s!: 4.5 stars. An interesting read, all these items and things in the top 10 sound absolutely amazing and I wish we had that here. Then again, I wish we had Halloween like the US has here.
I would rate this anthology: