Ghosts of Manor House – Matt Powers #BookReview

Title: Ghosts of Manor House | Author: Matt Powers | Publisher: Powers Publishing | Pub. Date: 09/06/2017 | Pages: 186 | ISBN13: 9781548462741 | Genre: Psychological Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Child death, suicide | Rating: 3 out of 4

Ghosts of Manor House

Edmund and Mary Wilder are very much in love. But the death of their young son, Tommy, has shattered their family. Edmund is determined to bring them back together, drawing on the only bit of strength he has left—his love for Mary and their daughter, Stephanie. But Mary sinks deeper into depression while little Stephanie’s anger grows. Edmund flounders in his attempts to rescue his family from the brink of collapse and doesn’t know where to turn.

Then Mary receives an invitation for the family to become guests at Manor House, a seemingly quaint Bed and Breakfast. This, she assures her husband, is the answer to all their troubles.

Edmund arrives ahead of his family to spend a couple days working on his long-delayed novel. But his growing curiosity about the old house leads Edmund to an encounter that will change him forever. 

What will you sacrifice for love?

An old fashioned psychological thriller with a nod to Stephen King, Manor House will keep you guessing and compel you to turn the page to the very end. 

A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all.

Ghosts of Manor House Review

I really love the cover of Ghosts of Manor House. It has a beautiful and eerie feeling to it. I also like that  the tree was featured rather than the house as is typical with haunted house stories.

In general I did like Ghosts of Manor House. It kept me interested and, even though the end is a little easy to see coming, I still wanted to get there. The writing is very good. This is an author that I would like to keep an eye on as I think that once he moves away from his influences I think his writing will be very good. The main issue with it was the heavy feeling of familiarity with it. There were quite a few passages that reminded me distinctly of The Shining.

I wasn’t enthused with the choppiness of the chapters. I think overall it fit the story but I don’t know whether or not it was intentional. Another issue I had with it was the second person point of view. It made it very hard to get attached to the characters because it seemed to keep them at a distance.

In Ghosts of Manor House there were also a few parts that seemed far too brief and unexplained. What did the psychic have to do with anything? Who exactly is Lucas? How old were the kids? I kept getting fluctuating ideas of the children because they are just not described in depth at all. Which is kind of important, Particularly with two specific scenes.

I would also like to ask the author if, besides being inspired by the classic haunted house stories, he also derived a bit of inspiration from Silent Hill 2 for Ghosts of Manor House. The story of Edmund and Mary really brought that to mind.

I liked the little vignettes and the bits of history that we’re shown about the events at the house and tree. In fact, I wish Ghosts of Manor House had been a bit longer. I know that with some ghostie stories we’re not given the full story and reasons for the haunting but this seemed a bit unfinished. It’s very brief and I really would have liked to know more about the house and people. With the mystery of Mary the end revelation seemed to be a bit rushed and wrapped up in just a page or two. Especially in regards to the Kranes. Their wrap-up seemed to be a bit of an after-thought. For as much as they are in the story and how much feels hinted about them, their wrap-up with Edmund seems rushed. I did like the ‘Epilogue’ though. I really liked the character of Charlie, Mary’s brother. He seemed very real and his actions were what normal people would do. I was very interested in his part of the story. Although, again, his story seemed wrapped up pretty quickly when I was hoping for more.

Ghosts of Manor House is short and moves along quickly and, really, the greatest feeling of disappointment with it was that it was too short. Which is really a compliment because I wanted more. More of the history of the house, more story with Edmund and Lucas and Charlie.

There were a few technical issues with the layout of the paperback. The grammar and spelling was spot-on, no complaints there. But there was an odd format error that resulted in sentences like this:

Lucas’ tall frame fills the doorway. “How is everything else?”

“What do you mean?” “How are you?”*

The “What do you mean?” is Edmund speaking. The “How are you?” is Lucas speaking. This happens often in the book. two separate speakers are together on the same line with no identifiers. This happens quite often in the book and I’m assuming that it’s a formatting/printing error as the lines would be perfectly clear if separated.

All in all, I am looking forward to reading Mr. Powers’ next book as I do think he has talent, he just needs to move away from his influences a bit more to find his own voice more firmly.

*Quotes used fall within the Fair Use guidelines

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #23

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

06/10/2017 – 06/16/2017


The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.



It was a dark and stormy night, GraciKat sat alone at three in the morning, trying to convince herself that the chill was from the rain…and that the lightning wasn’t showing strange and dark shapes moving outside…





I’ve Seen That Look BeforeLarry Segriff

I am not the man I was. Our narrator was someone else, once upon a time. Before They spoke to him. Now he’s not sure who he is. Are you sure you’re you?

It kind of reminded me of that saying: “It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you”. It also shows how quickly paranoia can spread from person to person. Like a virus.

The Jack-o’-LanternScott David Aniolowski

You might want to think twice the next time you brutally gut a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern. They just might get even.

Of course, you could always not give your pumpkin teeth. But the rinds themselves are pretty thick and a tad sharp. Maybe we ought to just leave them alone.

Just Another Good Ol’ Haunted House Terry Campbell

When two boys break into a haunted house attraction they soon find out why the owners don’t need security. And the creatures might not be as fake as the audience thinks they are.

Kind of an updated version of the wax museum stories but still very cool. wax museums always freak me out and really, how different are the statues in a Haunted House? If they are statues, that is.

Just DessertsRobert Weinberg

A prolific author finds himself at the end of his life and is surprised to find himself in Hell (apparently all writers go there, for whatever reason, it doesn’t say) an finds that his punishment will be much more terrible than an eternal lake of fire and torture. Those unsolicited manuscripts have to be edited somehow don’t they?

In the first paragraph alone there are references to Lovecraft (The Silver Key), The Wizard of Oz or Pink Floyd but since the main character is a writer I’m betting on Oz (over the rainbow), The Never-Ending Story and the Twilight Zne. The story itself was pretty humorous. It’s ok Martin, e-books will come along soon and relieve you of your work load.

Just Suppose – Darrell Schweitzer

From childhood a man hears voices in the wind and trees. Whispering to him to do things. Things like cut his wrists and even more terrible thoughts. But are the voices really there to help and take him away from his drab life? Or are they just in his mind?

It was well-written but also a little plain at the same time. Just kind of your typical crazy/not crazy guessing game.

KnockEdward Bryant

A killer answers the door on Halloween fully expecting to find the usual assortment of costumes. But underneath the masks is something far more terrifying.

another kind of iffy one. There wasn’t a whole lot of suspense to it because you know before he even answers the door what be waiting for him.

Lady of the NightJames Anderson

Stan’s wife keeps sneaking out at night. One night he follows her to see where she goes. When he sees her go into his best friend’s house he thinks he has his answer. Unfortunately for him, it’s not the answer he expected.

It wasn’t too bad of a story but it wasn’t too hard to figure out why she was going out at night. It was basically a coin flip as to which creature she was.

Favorite of the Week:
I particularly found Just Another Good Ol’ Haunted House by Terry Campbell. Wax museums creep me out and I’ve always loved stories where the ‘fake’ haunted houses aren’t quite so fake. I also liked Just Desserts in a different way because I love a little dark humour every now and then. It can relieve a book and stories that are starting to blend into each other or start taking themselves too seriously.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s stories as much as I did and come again next week for more flesh-crawling tales!

The Conjuring Review

The ConjuringSynopsis: The Perron family moves into a house in the country, and as you can expect for any horror movie, it shortly starts going to hell for them. This particular movie deals with the demonic possession trope, and in this case pulls in some ‘real deal’ paranormal investigators in the form of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Release Date: 2013-7-19 | MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 3

Trailer: The Conjuring

Continue reading “The Conjuring Review”