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The Fear Report - a Review
The Fear Report, written by Elizabeth Massie, is a collection of thirty-two short stories that are guaranteed to send chills down your spine. She lives in the mountains of Virginia; therefore, she captures so perfectly the way that backwoods people, people who are 'removed from civilization' live and think.
Some of the the stories were great, some were just alright. But that is usually the way it is with most authors. Some of their work is great, some is just so-so. Anyway, I'm going to tell you just a little bit about some of my favorite stories from this book.
Stephen is a really creepy story. Winner of the Bram Stoker Award, it is the chilling story of a lady who overcomes the trauma of her sexual abuse as a girl through her interaction with a horribly crippled man.
The Dwindle-Light is simply an awesome story. Demon hunters would carry dwindle-lights; if the possessed asked to be freed from the demons that were afflicting them at the exact moment the dwindle-light went out, then the demon would be sucked away into the dead wick. Christine, the survivor of a car wreck, is a singer who notices that a demon hunter seems to be following her. He says that she has a demon and that he can free her.
In the Cow Pasture is a story about some little girls that are going to dig a hole to hell. They can't dig in the flower garden, they can't dig in the woods, so they decide to dig in Mr. Adler's cow pasture. What does Mr. Adler do when he figures out these little girls are the ones digging a hole on his land?
Sweeney Todd is one of my favorite movies, so I would have bought the book just for this one story - The Reclamation of Sweeney Todd. The play Maple Grove Theater is putting on at the current time is Sweeney Todd. Coincidentally, there has been a murder every week since the play began. The actor playing the part of Sweeney Todd bears an uncanny resemblance to him. Could he actually be Sweeney Todd? Is he the one responsible for the murders?
The Fear Report is the tale of a young lady who wants to study the epitaphs on the tombstones in Hidden Hollow Church cemetery. Descendants of the Alexander family live back by the graveyard. They are a strange family that rarely comes out of the house. One of the original Alexander family was said to have poisoned a slave, then crucified another slave boy for threatening to tell on her. Caitlin, the young lady accused of this, was rumored to be insane and is buried in this cemetery. The Alexander descendants ask Jenny to leave several times, but she doesn't. What happens to Jenny when they become convinced that Caitlin has taken over her body?
Fixtures of Matchstick Men and Joo is a story about a young lady who leaves home and hooks up with a homeless vagrant looking for a place called Sunrise. When they get there, they notice that the speech of all the residents is slurred and all of the babies born there are deformed. What is this place? What is going on? And why doesn't anyone leave?
The Merry Music of Madness is a creepy story for everyone who has ever been part of a school band. Mark, the new student, notices that there is something really strange about all of the school instruments. His own instrument, which is in perfect condition, just isn't good enough for this band and the band director insists he use one of the school's instruments. These instruments are having some strange effects on just about everyone who plays them. What is so different about these instruments?
In Willy Wonka and the L. Walker BioFair, Denny Grove is the new kid in school. He tries to befriend Roy, who discovers that Denny has been peforming some really strange experiments. For some reason, Denny doesn't want Roy around when his father is home. What is there about Denny's father?
Some scary, painful things happen in The Bath. Something that cannot be seen, but can definitely be felt is in the bathtub. Need I say more? If you have ever been afraid of the bath or the shower, this one will terrify you.
Dooka Dee is a story about a young man looking for a way to move out of the town he grew up in. Snooping in his great-aunt's closet, he finds a shrunken head and discovers that one of his descendants was a headhunter. This discovery gives his ego a boost and he decides to carry on the 'family tradition', especially when he finds someone who will buy the shrunken heads. He finally sees a way out of this little town. But will this lifestyle give him everything he wants or will it turn on him?
I consider the above stories to be some of the best in the book. There is bad language throughout the book, so you may not consider it appropriate for younger readers.
I bought my copy of The Fear Report from Amazon. If you would like to purchase your own copy of this book, I have provided an Amazon link below for you. When you purchase this book through the below link, it will not affect the price of the book any, but it will supplement my income just a bit. The first link is for the Kindle edition; the second link is for a hardcover edition.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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