Doorbells At Dusk
Edited by Evans Light
August 21, 2018
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis
Hello there, friends! Are you dragging yourself around with a heavy heart? Do you feel angry at neighbors who keep telling you to take your Halloween decorations down? The ones across the street who already have an inflatable Santa lighting up the whole dang street? We feel your pain! But before you do anything rash, like popping their decorations with a steak knife, check out this review first.
What I want to tell you about is a frighteningly beautiful anthology all about our favorite day, Doorbells At Dusk! The chilling cover art by Mikio Murakami is worth the asking price all by itself, but the creative crew at Corpus Press has put together nearly 300 pages of awesome for a very easy on the wallet price of $14.99. Tax extra, your mileage may vary, no warrantee implied or given by this agreement. Just dig a few of the names included therein: Josh Malerman, Chad Lutzke, Evans Light, Jason Parent, and Thomas Vaughn. Yep! This is the good stuff.
Things kick off with, what else? Monsters ringing doorbells in “A Plague of Monsters” by Charles Gramlich. Poor Gus Krebs just wanted to enjoy a pleasant evening of watching the “Wheel Of Fortune,” but no! Instead he finds himself harassed by small monsters. Hell, it’s not even Halloween for Pete’s sake! What’s a man to do when faced with monsters and the police? Well, the best he can, of course! But this story is an excellent bunch of twists and turns that will make you laugh…and scream.
Amber Fallon contributes “The Day of the Dead” to the party. Well, it actually includes a party at one of those rinky-dink bars that always seem to be near large office buildings. Cheap booze and friends to commiserate with can make the workday fly by. Except when said bar holds a very special party to celebrate the Day of the Dead and costumes are required. But instead of a booze-filled good time, the party quickly turns into something very bad. The kicker? It’s not just restricted to the bar…
Whatever date your town deems the appropriate Trick or Treat night, two things are always true. Regardless of the weather, there will always be kids stumbling onto your porch in hilarious costumes and asking for candy. Most neighborhoods also have one house that is always deemed the scariest. No Dollar Store danglers and decals for these folks! They are dedicated to maintaining their title and put in a lot of hard work making things just right. If at least one person runs away screaming, they are happy. Doorbells At Dusk features two stories about places like this. “The Friendly Man” by Thomas Vaughn has the most gruesome house and he is very proud of it. There is nothing fake in his amazing display, especially the main attraction. But, there is something poking a hole in his armor. Evans Light contributes “Rusty Husk” to the lineup and it is a great tale about scarecrows and retribution that will blow the hay out of your shorts. Maybe Rusty should’ve quit the scarecrow business a few years earlier? You won’t forget this one.
It seems like Halloween is custom made for mischief makers of all kinds. Some neighborhoods have a specified mischief night in hopes of separating the rabble rousers from the peaceful families doing the rounds to neighbors’ homes. As mentioned in “Offerings” by Joanna Koch, Detroit has something called Devils Night which is of questionable fun value. It’s a dangerous combination of violence and pranking usually carried out by gang members. I’m sure the Devil smiles with each new soul he retrieves from that night. Besides that, Halloween has often been used to commit robbery. I mean, why wouldn’t a criminal take advantage of it being normal to wear a mask and go calling on rich folks you don’t know? In “Keeping Up Appearances” by Jason Parent, a group of four creeps go from house to house in search of money and valuables. Things are going pretty nicely until they hit one super nice house…
This is just a taste of all the great stories that Doorbells At Dusk is full of. With a numerical rating of 5 out of 5 stars, this reviewer heartily encourages you to grab a copy as soon as possible! All the writing is on point and honed to razor sharpness. Corpus Press also offers many more excellent titles for avid Horror readers to enjoy. Check them out at Corpuspress.com and Amazon.com for speedy delivery. For folks like us, it’s always Halloween!