Vaughn Entwistle's The Winter Ghosts Are Calling: Tales of Speculative Fiction was published in August 2017.
Information about Vaughn Entwistle:
Vaughn Entwistle grew up in Northern England, but spent many years living in the United States, first in Michigan, (where he earned a Master’s Degree in English at Oakland University), and then in Seattle (where he worked as an editor/writer and also ran a successful gargoyle sculpting business for ten years. Yes, really!). He currently lives in the ancient cathedral city of Wells (the smallest city in England) with his wife, two cats and a Brittany spaniel.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Winter Ghosts Are Calling: Tales of Speculative Fiction:
A Collection of Ten Strange stories from Vaughn Entwistle, the acclaimed author of The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Angel of Highgate
Frightening, fantastic, and funny by turns, The Winter Ghosts will keep you turning pages from the first story to the last:
Trapped inside a telephone hoarder’s flat, a young woman wishes for caller IDk when the dead start calling.
A tourist’s visit to a medieval dungeon goes horribly wrong when she holds the wrong hand in the dark.
When a young girl reaches her bride day, she resists her tribe’s tradition that she marry a ghost.
When a Drive-In Movie in Northern Canada is plagued by powerful auroras, several giants of the silver screen put in a surprise appearance that is larger than life in the worst possible way.
Even though English schoolboy Wesley is a Ghost Train aficionado, he finds that some dark rides can be altogether too scary.
A REVIEW OF VAUGHN ENTWISTLE'S THE WINTER GHOSTS ARE CALLING: TALES OF SPECULATIVE FICTION
The Winter Ghosts Are Calling: Tales of Speculative Fiction is a delightfully atmospheric and unsettling collection of ten strange stories by Vaughn Entwistle, who is the author of The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Angel of Highgate.
Because I deeply enjoyed The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Angel of Highgate, I was tempted to take a look at this short story collection, for I knew how good an author Vaughn Entwistle is. I'm glad I could read it, because I was impressed by it and couldn't stop reading the stories until I reached the end. I was honestly amazed at how good, entertaining and creepy the stories were, because they were delightfully modern yet old-fashioned with a faint touch of humorous elements.
The Winter Ghosts Are Calling serves as an excellent entry point into the Vaughn Entwistle's fiction. If you've never read anything by the author, I advise you to take a look at this collection, because it's worth reading. If you have a yearning for strange tales, I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed in this collection. I also strongly urge you to take a look the author's novels, because they're something truly special for those who love strange mysteries and witty British humour.
This collection contains the following ten stories:
- Who's Calling?
- The Follower in the Woods
- Ghost Train
- The Lost Heart
- Suits You, Sir
- The Covered Mirror
- The Abandoned Fort
- Hold My Hand
- Attack of the 50-Foot Bogart
- The Winter Ghosts Are Calling
These tales have been written to impress and please readers who enjoy strange and creepy stories. Each of them is a small masterpiece of modern strange fiction.
Some of these stories feature tiny speckles of black and twisted humour, which makes them even more entertaining. I like the author's sense of humour and style, because he knows how to spice up his stories with a few amusing elements without reducing their creepiness.
Here's a bit of information about the stories and my thoughts about them:
- A story about Gemma who is in a flat that is filled with all kinds of telephones. She's waiting for her boyfriend to arrive when the telephones begin to ring and the dead start calling her...
- An excellent creepy tale with a perfect ending.
The Follower in the Woods:
- In this story, a man is begging for food so that he can feed his family. Soon he finds himself being followed by something...
- This is a satisfyingly bleak and creepy story.
- A story about a schoolboy called Wesley who is a Ghost Train aficionado. Wesley finds out that some rides can be very scary...
- The author writes excellently about Wesley's life and his interest in Ghost Trains.
- An atmospheric and well written story.
The Lost Heart:
- A story about a man who finds a beating human heart in the leaf mould in the middle of the path while walking in the park.
- Although compeletely different, there's something in this story that slightly reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart".
- I liked the author's way of writing about the protagonist and his life, because he easily created a picture of a man who has a distinguished appearance.
- This is an excellent short story that will please readers who love strange stories.
Suits You, Sir:
- Taz and Judah are in a theatre where Taz works as a kind of a night watchman. Taz's body is craving for something to get high. Judah gives Taz something that is called Skull Raper and Taz tries it...
- The mentions of Mordred the Magician and what he did add a lot of fascination to the story.
- The ending is excellent.
The Covered Mirror:
- In this story, a man finds out that he has died...
- I loved this short story, because it's very atmospheric and has a perfect ending.
The Abandoned Fort:
- Ashley wants to take photographs of an old fort and hopes to get the shots taken at the right time before people arrive and clutter up her photographs. According to the local legend, the fort is haunted by a ghost...
- I liked the way the author wrote about Ashley and her interest in taking photoraphs.
- A well written story with a good ending.
Hold My Hand:
- In this story, Sharon and Tamzin are on a guided tour in the Lancaster Castle's dungeons. Sharon convinces claustrophobic Tamzin to let themselves be locked up in a dungeon by the tour guide...
- An intriguing short story with a wonderfully chilling ending.
Attack of the 50-Foot Bogart:
- An interesting story about what happens when the Maple Leaf Drive-In in Ontario is plagued by blazing and powerful Northern Lights...
- This story feels like a tribute to classic B movies, because it features a giant Humphrey Bogart.
- I liked this story very much, because it's something different.
The Winter Ghosts Are Calling:
- In this story, a young girl's bride time has come. According to her tribe's tradition, she must marry a ghost, but she doesn't want to do it and resists her fate...
- An excellent final story that will impress readers.
These stories are delightfully versatile and feature different kind of characters and different locales. All of them have a deliciously creepy and unsettling atmosphere that is sure to please those who love strange tales.
The author's fluent and descriptive writing style is one of the main reasons why these stories are good. His prose is a pleasure to read, because it has a fascinatingly old-fashioned feel to it. He effortlessly evokes a sense of eeriness and leads his readers into a world where ghosts and strange events haunt people and cause them discomfort and fear. His way of creating a feeling of something not being quite right is simply uncanny in its effectiveness.
There's something in this collection that slightly reminds me of stories written by John Brhel and J. Sullivan, because the author has a desire to tell entertaining stories and he knows how to hook readers with strange events. The author clearly loves storytelling and has a talent for it.
I highly recommend this collection to readers who enjoy creepy, fantastical and unsettling tales with a faint touch of black and twisted humour. You'll be hard-pressed to find similar kind of stories elsewhere, so please don't let this wonderful collection slip by unnoticed, but read it as soon as possible. When you'll reach the end, you'll find yourself saying: "More, please!".
My final words are:
This collection is excellent, wonderfully fantastical and satisfyingly creepy entertainment!