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Book Reviews: Tales From A Talking Board, part 4 + Haunted Nights

Tales From A Talking Board edited by Ross E Lockhart, part 4

Worse Than Demons
A childhood encounter with a Ouija board haunts a filmmaker leading to self-dramatization and inspired lunacy. Okay.

Best Line:
“I was raised New Reformed Atheist.”

The Empress And The Three of Swords
Boring.

Questions And Answers
The tone rips off ‘Beetlejuice’ and this was just silly to the exclusion of all else.

Haruspicate Or Scry
A student hero-worships her teacher and agrees to his dying request. An act that will cause a destructive schism in her life. Good.

Best Line:
“Didn’t even occur to me until years after it would have been too late to do anything about it,”

May You Live In interesting Times
A man is haunted by a spirit or something, this was naff with a twist.

Best Line:
“This is a gateway to the damned with no padlock on it!”

~
Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow & Lisa Moron

Introduction
A very brief summation of the rise of Halloween in America.

Best Line:
“A religion they no longer accepted.”

With Graveyard Weeds And Wolfbane Seeds
By Seanan McGuire. A gang of dumb teens go to vandalise the local haunted house leading to fearful doings. This was excellent and creepy and has a neat twist.

Best Lines:
“Until we find someone whose company is better than being alone.”

“Something had always been wrong with the Holston.”

Dirtmouth
By Stephen Graham Jones. A man recounts a Halloween reunion with his dead wife. It went awry for insurmountable reasons. Excellent.

A Small Taste Of The Old Country
In Argentina, a man invites 2 other men for a very special feast. His guests set aside their permanent state of suspicion to attend. They face the price of their past acts for which they don’t even pretend to repent. This was mediocre.

Wick’s End
Jack of the lantern does his yearly ritual. I had a negative response to this.

The Seventeen-Year Itch
A mental patient hides a secret and people are cautiously silent. This was insufficient.

A Flicker Of Light On Devil’s Night
A mother despairs of her 2 bratty kids on devil’s night. The untenable situation leads her to take preventive action. This was dull.

Witch Hazel
A tale of a curse from Ye Olde Days. This was mediocre.

Nos Galan Gaeaf
By Kelley Armstrong. This is a tale of Cainsville. A boy is bullied by a horrible girl. He tries to get her back. Things go badly. This was bad.

We’re Never Inviting Amber Again
A disliked psychic sister in law ruins yet another party with her drama and woo-woo. This is a very good depiction of the ugly side of human nature.

Sisters
Monstrous things play at Halloween with an abundance of spite. No.

All Through The Night
A whining woman whines and moans and I did not care about her, her emotional motivation or this.

A Kingdom Of Sugar Skulls And Marigolds
A tale of the Day Of The Dead. No.

The Turn
This tale makes no sense.

Jack
Another tale of Jack of the Lantern and a deal in a graveyard. Okay.

Lost In The Dark
A man writes an article about a famous found footage movie and the creepy legend that inspired it. This was excellent with an
ambiguous ending.

Best Line:
“Threatening to find out where I lived and show up at my front door with his shotgun.”

The First Lunar Halloween
In the future, Earth has been destroyed by aliens and survivors on the moon celebrate Halloween. It goes badly. This was okay.
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