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Dark Carnival

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It's The Dark Carnival.

And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there's no promise that anyone can leave...alive.

Contributors include: Kristen Strassel, Meghan Schuler, Claire C. Riley, J. Elizabeth Hill,
Published October 31st 2014 by Pen and Muse Press
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  173 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Mark Matthews
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I write this review under the influence. No, I'm not drunk, but I am listed on the TOC of the book. So keep that in mind.

This is a great collection by a wide range of authors. The Dark Carnival theme brought forth such a cool range of stories. I want to thank the muses for doing the work and putting them all in one anthology. Having them as one piece will allow the reader to visit the carnival and walk through different shades of darkness with all sorts of wild beasts and surprises in the shado
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Writing a late review- I bought this book by accident when I clicked on the wrong book like on Amazon. But, I am so happy my happy fingers made that mistake because this anthology is pretty spooky! If you are like me and love reading horror books for the fall or Halloween then this should be on your TBR list! Carnivals can be pretty creepy especially if you watch those 80's horror movies where carnivals seem to be possessed with the dead and spirits.... There were a lot of great stories in this ...more
Most of the stories in this were fun and entertaining. A few were not that great, but I always expect a few duds in these types of anthologies. Some of the stories were actually pretty disturbing. All in all a fun romp through the world of the dark carnival and worth reading if you like anthologies and want a fun horror/ dark fantasy easy read. It didn't go in the best reads pile but I did have fun reading it. ...more
Jolene Haley
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Yes, I helped published this but I must say that it's one of the best anthologies ever... no I'm not biased. :P ...more
Quentin Wallace
I've always loved stories and movies about haunted carnivals. There's something a little spooky about carnivals, even though they are usually lots of fun. But the thought of them after dark, with no one else around..that's a different story.

This collection was like most in that I enjoyed some stories more than others. None really struck me as a great, but none were really bad either. There were plenty of dark horror tales, some really dark but others not as much. My biggest problem with the coll
Sharon Stevenson
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
'The Dark Carnival' is a collection of 41 short horror stories with a creepy carnival setting.

I picked this up because I've been really into short story collections recently and the theme really appealed to me. The collection gets off to a shaky start with a story that had real potential, but felt like a teaser for a longer story rather than a stand alone short. There were a few stories that seemed to end suddenly like this, and several of the worst culprits for this were right at the start of t
G.A. Miller
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
More 3.5 than 3, and not quite 4, but we don't have that option...a decent collection of stories, some better than others, but isn't that just how it goes with collections? The fun part of reading this one is thinking back to the carnivals you've actually gone to, and wondering what you might have seen if you'd looked deeper, beyond the obvious, behind the bright paint and bright lights.... ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Okay, I tap. At 50% through, this is terrible. Maybe one, two of the stories achieve 2.5 stars, and at middle age, I just do not have the time to waste on finding out if the quality suddenly and dramatically improves.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars.

This was pretty bad.

I don't read a lot of short stories, but I love horror and I love all things creepy carnival themed, so I thought this might be pretty good. Nope. I only found about three of the stories actually scary; some of the stories just downright made no sense. Too many of the stories centered around the same plot -- hamburgers/hot dogs made of human meat, the devil works at the carnival and wants your soul. Maybe it's just me, but if I'm reading a collection of short storie
Jul 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Amateurish and Disappointing...

...this silly collection was a waste of time and money. Most of the stories seemed unfinished; those that were not just seemed silly. Riddled with misspellings, bad punctuation and poor grammar, this was also a waste of a good premise. It's too bad that zero stars isn't an option.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Better than most short horror stories I've read. Several you could imagine being the same fair, though written by different authors. The illustrations lose their impact in ebook form; I didn't spend long studying them. And one writer, who did more of a teaser than a short story, caught my attention enough to look into further. ...more
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a real gem! Not every story is really long enough or scary enough-- but Every one is a well written, interesting, unique story that you have not read a carbon copy of anywhere else!

I like that the stories seem to be mostly ones that come at you sideways- from a point of view I had not read before.

Try it-- at the FREE price tag-- it is worth the time to get and enjoy!
Stephen Gray
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, well written YA collection.

One of the best horror collections I've read to date. Superior stories, well written and well told, without a dud in the group. I wish more anthologies had these high standards.
Chad M. Moore
Twilight Goes to the Carnival

Horrible editing, horrible stories, horrible missed opportunities. All but one story read like a Twilight fan fiction story. Save your money and your time.

Jacob Evans
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Short Reads

For a quick read when time is limited and you have the taste for something a little off the norm, something a little dark.....then this book is for you.
A lot of fun but the State Fair coming this Fall will never be the same.
You've been warned

Tomson Jane Oliver
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
There were a few stories I enjoyed, but it was odd to read an excerpt of a vampire novel, unrelated to the anthology's Dark Carnival theme, tossed in randomly amongst short stories. In my opinion, the collection would have been stronger, too, if quite a few lesser works had been cut. Why publish drivel next to gems? ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally loved this book. Most of the time, you read stories and forget. This summer, I found myself second-guessing and over-analyzing every aspect of our local carnivals as a result of reading this book. Definitely a wide range of variety in this book.
5 Carnie Stars!

Welcome to the Dark Carnival...

The Dark Carnival anthology is a series of mini horror stories all based on carnivals, fairs and funhouses! Some stories were rather boring to read even if they were short, but there was plenty of other stories to make up for those. I've always loved fairs and carnivals, and being to horror addict that I am, I simply couldn't resist reading this. I enjoyed the different concepts that all the authors tried to bring into this anthology as they tried t
Donna Diamond
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

This is one of my favorite anthologies. Good stories,short enough but not too short. I was sad when I realized I was at the end. Definitely worth reading. All of the authors are great.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nifty anthology of short stories centered around a dark carnival. Many of these writers I had not read before but I will be reading more from in the future. Easy book to start and stop.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just ok

Some of these were ok, some left me wondering, and a couple were actually very well done. All in all I might not waste my time.
Deborah Gallatin
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comedy & Horror blend

While this is touted to be a horror collection, I found it to be a mix of dark humor and horror. It was entertaining and a nice way to pass the day.
Laronza Wiley-moore
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
It was okay. My favorite story was the last one. I love when Karma kicks in. Overall okay book.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Most of the stories were fairly repetitive. I know they were all supposed to be carnival themed but not many of them stood out.
Teri Marsh
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great stories!!!! Lots of spooky characters... All stories are about the Dark Carnival... kept my interest, could not put it down.
rated it it was ok
Apr 19, 2017
Kate Griffin
rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2015
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2015
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Jolene Haley is the author of the Woodsview Murder series (Harrowed, Haunted, Hunted). She has edited several anthologies including Dark Carnival, Halloween Night: Trick or Treat, and A Pizza My Heart. She is a Jr. Agent for a literary agency and has worked for three publishing houses since earning her Bachelor’s degree.

In spare time, she writes a free witchy romance called Love Spell on Wattpad,

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