Horror Review: Halloween Carnival Volume 1

I apologize in advance for the deluge of new but quickly getting old reviews that is about to hit you this week. I am terribly behind in posting them!

Halloween Carnival by Robert McCammon, Kevin Lucia, John Little, Lisa Morton & Mark Allan Gunnells
Horror Short Story Collection 
Released October 2017
Amazon ♦ Goodreads
STRANGE CANDY by Robert McCammon
Chocolate bars and sour suckers are trick-or-treat staples, but beware the odd sweet at the bottom of your bag. You never know who it’s from—or what it might do to you.

Father Ward should have heeded the warnings about hearing confession on All Hallow’s Eve. Because a man is about to tell him a secret more haunting than any he has heard before.

DEMON AIR by John R. Little
Fear of flying is not uncommon. But on this transpacific airline, the real danger isn’t the flight itself. It’s whoever—or whatever—is up in the air with you.

Trick McGrew, former cowboy star of the silver screen, has never believed in tall tales. But down in Mexico, the land of La Llorona, he’s about to find out just how real urban legends can be.

Some people will go to any lengths to rack up retweets, likes, and follows on social media, no matter who they end up hurting . . . or even killing.

My Thoughts:

Halloween Carnival is a collection of three short stories and two novellas. It would’ve been perfect reading on Halloween night but I’m a slacker and watched movies instead.

Strange Candy by Robert McCammon

A man thoughtlessly and rather stupidity (if you ask me) eats a strange looking piece of unwrapped candy out of his child's Halloween bag. Seriously, who does that?! After ingesting the gross thing, he finds himself no longer in his living room and begins to meet strangers who give him final messages to pass along to their loved ones. He writes nothing down but manages to remember it all. Ah, to have such a brain, what must that be like? Anyway, it has a twisty-twist at the end. It’s sad and I really enjoyed it all. 4 Stars

The Rage of Achilles or When Mockingbirds Sing by Kevin Lucia

Father Ward wasn't expecting a visitor on Halloween but he got one anyway. A grief stricken father begs for absolution. This is another sad story about love, grief and regret and a dedicated priest who witnesses the supernatural. It’ll haunt you with its beautiful sorrow. 4.5 Stars

Demon Air by John R. Little

This story? I don’t know what it was besides a great disappointment to me. A woman is on a flight to find herself and she does a lot of navel gazing for most of the story until things finally go strangely awry. When the pilot thanks everyone for flying “Demon Air” I was entranced. Gross things begin to happen, passengers are tormented and then it abruptly ends and the fun is over nearly before it’s begun. Such a tease! This story had quite a bit of promise but in the end was a total let down. It felt rushed and unfocused and as if two stories were smashed together and neither ended up satisfying in the end. 2 Stars

La Hacienda de los Muertos Lisa Morton

Trick is a washed up actor ready to film a horror flick in the most haunted town in Mexico. Before the film can get going, Trick must deal with the supernatural. I thought this was interesting but pretty standard stuff. It wasn’t sad, or horrible or particularly scary either. I’d give it a 3.

#MakeHalloweenScaryAgain Mark Allan Gunnells

A horror writer posts a hashtag on his Facebook page hoping to drum up a little interest in his novels but he attracts a weirdo who takes it way too seriously instead. Now he’s involved in a murder investigation and spends the days leading up to Halloween hunting down the madman terrorizing his town. This was a decent, if slightly predictable, tale of mystery, murder, and Halloween that kept me turning the pages to discover if I was right about the killer and I was! I feel so smart :) 3 Stars

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Other Creepy Collections I Have Reviewed:
Bad Apples 2: Six Slices of Halloween Horror

Do you have a favorite short story collection of horrors to recommend?


  1. I'm a movie on Halloween night gal too. Sounds like a decent mixture here.

    1. Yeah, it's hard to focus on a book when kiddies are banging at the door for hours on end :)

    2. Oh I have you beat. We sit outside on the steps, hand out candy for an hour, then call it a night and turn off the lights and watch movies!

    3. That's a great idea. It might keep my poor dog from going crazy too.

  2. I think I have this one. And I've read some of those other collections too. I enjoy short story collections. Especially ones that contain authors I really like and some I've been meaning to try.

    1. There's usually a gem or two in these. I hope you unearth it and give it a read but I know how that is :)

  3. I don't read a lot of short stories, but I'm going to have to make an exception for these. Particularly Strange Candy! That one sounds awesome. :)

  4. I think I just sat around eating chocolate on Halloween. This sounds like one to pick up and just read the first couple of stories. I have no problem skipping the others.

    1. There's nothing wrong with eating chocolate on Halloween, Carole!

  5. Hm, I thnk I'll have a pass. that first one looks good though!

    1. I'm glad I read a few of them but they are pretty sad.

  6. Don' t feel bad I'm so behind with posting reviews too I have no idea how I will eve catch up! "La Hacienda de los Muertos" is such a good title! too bad it wasn't that unique

    1. Ugh, I NEVER allow myself to take a break again. I'm still behind.


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