Haunting Fireside Stories: Ghostly Tales of the Paranormal
Theresa Paltzat is the Smart Search librarian at the Edmonton Public
This collection contains five very different stories, from humorous and
romantic to frighteningly gory. “Happily Ever Hereafter” is the tale
of a husband and wife tragically separated by death (don’t expect a
traditional fairy tale here). “The Hunt” is the frightening story of
a young man forced into the wilderness with his future father-in-law
(this is a truly scary adventure). “The Living Dead” deals with the
complex and sensitive issue of the degree of consciousness that remains
when a person is in a coma or is being kept alive only by machines.
“Samantha’s Diary” is the sad story of a young girl who dies
during a nose job; after her death, she remains in her childhood home,
keeping a diary of her life after death.
The last story, “Reality Television,” is the most frightening.
Contestants agree to spend the night in a haunted sanatorium, and
whoever stays inside until the end wins a cash prize. Right away things
begin to get creepy. When the host and some of the participants die
violently, the remaining contestants still believe it’s an elaborate
set-up. All this leads to a deadly finale.
Haunting Fireside Stories is a wonderful collection, each tale sparking
a different emotion. Furthermore, A.S. Mott has a real talent for
getting the reader involved in the characters’ lives … or should we
say afterlives? Any reader who enjoys a scary fireside tale will enjoy