Shadows At The Door: An Anthology – Edited By Mark Nixon
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
Shadows At The Door: An Anthology, Edited by Mark Nixon, Caitlin Marceau, and Kris Holt, first published by Shadows At The Door Publishing in 2016, is one of my favorite books that I read last year. The short stories within this dark novel include the works of Pete Alex Harris, K.B. Goddard, Christopher Long, Mark Nixon, Kris Holt, Andrea Janes, Helen Grant, Caitlin Marceau, M. Regan, Mark Cassell, Daniel Foytik, J.C. Michael, and Cameron Trost. As you dive into to this anthology, you will ‘immerse yourself in the eerie locales of Durham, Norfolk, Derbyshire, Rugby, the Scottish Highlands, Montreal, Pennsylvania, New York, Lake Superior, Rural Yorkshire, East Sussex and the darker corners of southern England.’ There are thirteen short stories in this anthology, and though I enjoyed them all and the reason this book is one of my favorite reads from last year, there are a few short stories that stood out to me the most: ‘Under Shiel Croft’ by Pete Alex Harris, ‘A Macabre Melody’ by K.B. Goddard, ‘The Gallow Glass’ by Christopher Long, Helen Grant’s ‘The Watchmaker’, and ‘The Commission’ by Mark Cassell.
‘Under Shiel Croft’, by Pete Alex Harris, is about a stubborn Auld man, as his thirteen-year-old daughter, Mhairi, calls him, an ancient book, and a mysterious creature who hides beneath their cabin. K.B. Goddard’s ‘A Macabre Melody’ is set in Derbyshire, England during one of the villages annual festivities known as the wakes and dressing of the wells; a tribute to God for the life-giving waters. Ned, the main character in the story, is pining after the beautiful Ellen and when he learns that she has eyes for someone else, Ned does something that will haunt him forever. ‘The Gallow Glass’ written by Christopher Long, is narrated by a mysterious man, a people watcher really, who travels a lot in his line of work, on buses, sharing a taxi with a stranger, searching for what he needs. But on this day, however, he’s riding on a commuter train that makes an unexpected stop in Rugby, and he has his eyes set on a Mr. Goodweather, as he calls him. Helen Grant’s ‘The Watchmaker’ is about a married couple, Justin and Marietta, who are having their cottage renovated, and when the construction workers come across a box beneath the floor boards, Justin becomes obsessed with what’s inside it.
‘The Commission’ by Mark Cassell is about a photographer who’s hired by an author to take photographs of Camber Castle, and when given specific instructions he must follow, the photographer agrees. I know this description is a bit vague, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
What I like about this anthology, is that each short story takes place in a different part of the world. I enjoyed researching some of the locations mentioned in the book, specifically Durham Cathedral and Camber Castle. After reading the ‘The Gallow Glass’ by Christopher Long, I was interested in learning the meaning behind the title, other than being the name of a location as mentioned in the story, does the meaning itself tie into one of the characters in some way? Though I don’t have a definitive answer to that question, I am curious to find out.
In closing, if my review or the synopsis of Shadows At The Door: An Anthology sparks your interest, then, by all means, take a bite, and delve into the creative mind of the authors – you may be surprised what you find lurking within.
‘After a moment she inched back. Something had moved, out there in the dark. Something thin and pale.’
Shadows at the Door Publishing brings you thirteen chilling tales inspired by the ghastly, the ghoulish and the macabre.
Landmarks stained in death, spectres lurking outside, old legends rising from the dark, these stories bring unique and chilling horrors from around the world.
Immerse yourself in the eerie locales of Durham, Norfolk, Derbyshire, Rugby, the Scottish Highlands, Montreal, Pennsylvania, New York, Lake Superior, Rural Yorkshire, East Sussex and the darker corners of southern England.
So dim the lights, pull up a chair by the fire but keep one eye on the shadows at the door.
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
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Please visit D.K.’s official website www.dkhundt.com