by John Brhel, Joseph Sullivan
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A young woman sees an approaching figure in her time-lapse photo project. A small town's strange illness seems to stem from the local cemetery. Two boys make a grim discovery about death and decay when they sneak into a funeral parlor. AT THE CEMETERY GATES: YEAR ONE is an entertaining and eerie short story collection for fans of the strange, macabre, and supernatural.
AT THE CEMETERY GATES by John Brhel & Joseph Sullivan is a collection of fourteen short stories. It shares a nice mix of supernatural, macabre, and urban legend tales. Like most anthology collections it offered a mixed bag of stories. Grab a cup of Joe and read my thoughts on each tale.
A Dark and Desolate Recurrence – This is a tale of husband and wife stuck in a snow ditch. They end up seeking shelter in a haunted cabin. It had that creepy camp site fire tale feel.
A Casket for My Mother – Creepy Go Fund Me story about a young man returning from teaching in China to learn his childhood friend’s mother died. Not really scary, since huge clues were given, but it had an excellent creep factor.
Time’s Harbinger – A young man and his estranged father head to their hometown for his mother’s funeral and end up twenty-five years in the past. A creepy tale with supernatural characters, angels. The ending was a tad weird and left me with questions.
A Tale of Palpable Violence – A twist on a classic urban legend. A young woman and man are fearful when a car following them wants them to pull over.
The Burial Vault – Teenagers, ghost stories and a vault with a terrifying history made for a creepy tale. The twist at the end was clever.
Passion’s Paroxysm – A young married couple begins to have trouble in their third year of marriage when the young man decides he will have no more regrets. This was a very predictable tale.
The Hermit of Russian Lake – Set in the Adirondacks, a young man brings his family to vacation and soon finds himself hiking alone where he encounters a hermit. A strange tale with perhaps a time loop. The twist left me guessing.
A Late Blight – A student sets out to locate the cause of a strange and deadly outbreak in his hometown. Not a bad tale but the twist fell flat.
Delaying Decay – Two brothers are bored as its a holiday and everything is closed. They pass the town funeral home and the back door is open. The temptation is too hard to resist. This was an enjoyable little tale and reminded me of stories from Tales from the Crypt.
The Girl with the Crooked Tooth – This homage to Edgar Allen Poe shared a killer’s first. Weird and macabre.
New Year’s Eve, What a Gas! – I had a hard time accepting the wife’s stupidity when she prepared a German sauce found in an old journal belonging to her grandfather. I was not a fan of this tale at all.
The Call is Coming from Inside the House – In a word, weird. Ancient texts, rituals, and resurrection are usually my cup of tea, but this had twists at every turn and I had a hard time buying into the tale.
An Epistle from the Dead – A clever twist of a tale, and perhaps one of my favorites. Upon her husband’s death, a woman finds a journal with the unthinkable.
Pictures of a Perpetual Subject – Another favorite, this had all the elements I enjoy in these type of short stories. A young girl photographs one subject all tear and when she downloads them makes a startling discovery.
AT THE CEMETERY GATES was an interesting collection and is available for KU and as an ebook. Some of the stories are perfect for sharing around a campfire. All were creepy but none were truly scary.At The Cemetery Gates by John Brhel & Joseph Sullivan offered creepy fireside tales Click To Tweet