Review: Here’s to My Sweet Satan by George Case

Here’s to My Sweet Satan: How the Occult Haunted Music, Movies and Pop Culture, 1966-1980 by George Case
Quill Driver Books (March 2016)
210 pages; $16.67 paperback; $8.69 e-book
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

“1971. I drop the turntable needle onto black vinyl and slip on headphones. I lounge on the waterbed. Later, after a few hits off the hash pipe, I play “Stairway to Heaven” in reverse. There, among the eerily garbled sounds, I detect a mysterious incantation:

Here’s to my sweet Satan/The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan/He will give those with him 666/There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.

The world spins darkly, I fall asleep.”Continue Reading

Review: Nightmare’s Eve by Stephen H. Provost

Nightmare’s Eve by Stephen H. Provost
Black Raven Books (February 2018)
266 pages; $13.95 paperback
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

Presented for your consideration are sixteen Twilight Zone-inspired tales and ten dark poems in Nightmare’s Eve by Stephen H. Provost. Paying homage to Rod Serling, these stories are told in a highly omniscient style that slips between character point of view and occasional god-like narration. Generally this approach provides a satisfying read but this stylistic choice comes at the cost of emotional depth in some of the stories.Continue Reading

Review: Sussex Horrors by Jonathan Broughton, Mark Cassell, and Rayne Hall

Sussex Horrors: Stories of Coastal Terror and Other Seaside Haunts by Jonathan Broughton, Mark Cassell, and Rayne Hall
Herbs House (January 2018)
156 pages; $12.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

Unlike the common horrors of a typical seaside vacation, this anthology doesn’t involve overpriced hotel rooms or poorly cooked meals— although there is one rather nasty gift shop. Sussex Horrors: Stories of Coastal Terrors and Other Seaside Haunts brings together the combined talents of authors Jonathan Broughton, Mark Cassell, and Rayne Hall to surprise and delight with enough gruesome horror to make us immediately rush for the perceived safety of the big city where things simply make sense. Preying on the fear of life outside the predictable and exploring the seldom-trod back roads of Sussex, this volume presents twelve well-crafted tales of terror.Continue Reading