Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Forsaken: Stories of Abandoned Places

We’ve all seen them.
The abandoned gas station, its pumps gone to rust. The once popular diner, now boarded up, its bright colors fading. A luxury yacht, adrift and alluring. An amusement park, once filled with the laughter of children, now a place of eerie silence.
A church, a factory, a drive-in. Once hives of activity, now they stand mute, each one containing its share of memories…and secrets.
In this collection, editors Joe McKinney and Mark Onspaugh select twenty-two guides who take you to those places of barely glimpsed phantoms and uneasy mysteries, including contributions by Deborah LeBlanc, Harvey Jacobs, Gene O'Neill, Piers Anthony, Lisa Morton, and many others!


I love short horror stories and these 22 dark tales  will make you wonder whether abandoned places are really as empty as they appear.
My favorites were The Storybook Forest by Norman Prentiss in which a small group of friends gather in an abandoned children's theme park for a few beers and a night of terror. Along that same theme was Lullaby Land by Mark Onspaugh. A once crowded theme park long since closed after a tragedy... but children still manage to find their way there as kidnappers Mitch and Del are about to discover. The Theater by Dennis Copelan finds Leonard Brown, taking a bittersweet final walk through of  his movie theater before signing the final sale papers.
Drive-In of the Damned by Michael Arruda was another of my favorites. Three paranormal investigators stake out a haunted drive in hoping to gain enough popularity on their YouTube channel to get a tv show. Bodies Without Souls by L.L. Soares finds Michael about to give a beach party while his parents are away, when an empty yacht mysteriously floats into easy reach. What's the worst that could happen if he turns his beach party into a boat party?  Emily by JW Schnarr is the story of a missing girl and what happens to two friends who joined her search party in the woods.
High Desert by Lisa Morton finds Kara seeking shelter from the heat when Tadd goes off for help after they have car trouble in the desert while checking out an area where a religious cult mysteriously disappeared. Dream Home by D.L. Snell  is not exactly about a haunted house, but a house that will haunt you. The Pressboard Factory by Peter N. Dudar was my absolute favorite. Billy and Ryan grew up together, but were not much alike. Ryan was picked on, belittled and bullied not just at school but abused at home right up until the day he just couldn't take it anymore.
All of the above, for me were the 5 star stories in this collection.

I received a complimentary copy for review.