Howls From Hell: A Horror Anthology from HOWL Society Press

Howls From Hell was a thoroughly refreshing anthology to read. Filled, as it was, with names largely unfamiliar to me from my extensive reading, I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this ARC of the book.
The stories are as diverse as a horror anthology can be, with tales that entertain, unsettle, or force the reader to question what they’ve just read.
The foreword provided by Grady Hendrix took me back to my teens in a way I enjoyed. Though I must admit that my friends and I never played a game quite like “rehash” and I’m not sure I could have convinced anyone that it was a game worth playing, no matter how hard I might have tried. The theme of that foreword is one many–perhaps all–horror fans will find familiar, the way the films and literature of our youth provide us comfort as adulthood takes its toll, and we often find ourselves returning to the unconventional things that help to reinvigorate us and, at least temporarily, return us to those golden years of our youth.
It was no surprise, after reading that, to find the fantastic selections collected in this anthology. These were horror stories written by those who deeply and unabashedly adore horror in the way one does when it was one of their first loves.
There isn’t a bad story to be found in this book, but there were some that stood out more for me than others, so I’ll focus on them.
The infernally-oriented urban fantasy of J. W. Donley’s “The Pigeon Lied” paints a fascinating picture of a Seattle underground that puts the underground music scene there to shame.
“She’s Taken Away” by Shane Hawk is an entertaining and disturbing take on the evil twin tale.
The surreal, horrific folklore underlying Solomon Forse’s “Gooseberry Bramble” reminded me of the late 19th and early 20th-century horror stories of the American gothic authors.
“Possess and Serve” by Christopher O’Halloran blends a bit of Philip K. Dick’s “The Minority Report” with Richard K. Morgan’s “Altered Carbon” to produce a near-future mystery/suspense tale that kept me focused on the screen of my tablet until the end.
Finally, “It Gets In Your Eyes” by Joseph Andre Thomas showcases an eye infection from hell…something I found personally disturbing because I’ve got a bit of a phobia centered around eyes and injuries associated with the eyes.
These were just my favorites, your favorites might be different. You’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself.


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