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Doorbells at Dusk

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Halloween has always gone hand-in-hand with horror. The holiday gives many children their first taste of terror, the discovery and overcoming of fears. For those who find they love a good scare, that first taste can grow into a voracious appetite.

That might be why you’re looking at this book right now. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Doorbells at Dusk is a treasury of brand-new Halloween tales from both modern masters and rising stars of dark fiction, horror and suspense.

These are the thrills you crave, packed into a collection of stories that's pure Halloween.

Carve your pumpkins and turn on the porch light, Halloween frights begin with the sound of…DOORBELLS AT DUSK.

Featuring stories by:

• Sean Eads
• Amber Fallon
• Charles Gramlich
• Joanna Koch
• Curtis M. Lawson
• Lisa Lepovetsky
• Adam Light
• Evans Light
• Chad Lutzke
• Josh Malerman
• Jason Parent
• Thomas Vaughn
• Joshua Viola
• Ian Welke
• Gregor Xane

290 pages, Paperback

First published September 3, 2018

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About the author

Evans Light

35 books409 followers
Evans Light is author of Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, the upcoming I Am Halloween, and more. He is editor of Doorbells at Dusk and the ongoing In Darkness, Delight horror anthology series, and is co-creator of Bad Apples: Halloween Horrors and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love.


Evans lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, surrounded by thousands of vintage horror paperbacks.

Author links:

Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/EvansLight-AmazonUS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheEvansLight

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvansLightAu...

Corpus Press: https://www.corpuspress.com/authors/e...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 105 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,747 reviews5,293 followers
October 10, 2019
October 9, 2019: SALE ALERT! $0.99 on the Kindle store! This is one of my favorite horror collections of all time and there's no better time to read it than right now!

Like most horror fans, it should come as no surprise when I say that Halloween is positively one of my favorite days of the year. It has so much to offer, and given that October is general is my favorite month, Halloween is always the icing on top of the cake of excellence that is October. That said, there’s a shockingly low amount of actual Halloween representation in most of the horror books I read, so when I heard about this anthology full of horror stories taking place on Halloween, I didn’t hesitate.

Candy and costumes were all well and good, but Halloween was about that breach between the worlds and the magic which poured in.
—Curtis M. Lawson

Let me tell you, this anthology is one of the most fun horror collections I’ve ever read. True to its claim, each story very heavily focuses on Halloween—many of them including costume parties or trick-or-treating as a prominent feature—and this was one of those rare anthologies where I can say I genuinely loved almost every single story. There were two stories in particular that didn’t jive with me as well, but even they were still worth a read!

I’m not going to give a full breakdown for this anthology because many of the stories are hard to describe without spoiling (as is often the case in horror shorts), but I would like to tell you a little about my favorites from the collection:

A Plague of Monsters—Charles Gramlich 💀💀💀💀💀
What a twisted way to start things off! We follow a homeowner who’s become convinced that the children seeking candy at his doorstep are foul, wicked creatures. Things get dark quickly, and the unreliable narrative makes it hard to guess who the real villains are here.

Rusty Husk—Evans Light 💀💀💀💀💀
Every year, one man’s Halloween decorations include a scarecrow that he builds through some shockingly sinister means—what happens when the scarecrow fights back? I’m a sucker for a good revenge story.

Keeping Up Appearances—Jason Parent 💀💀💀💀💀
A gang of burglars spends their Halloween breaking into ritzy homes and making off with anything they can carry, but their night goes very wrong when they find themselves in a house that simply looked too good to be true. Quick, fun gore with a fascinating twist.

Vigil—Chad Lutzke 💀💀💀💀💀
The house on Summerdale has been abandoned so long that the townsfolk have taken to decorating it for Halloween every year, but their innocent plans screech to a halt when someone discovers the mass graves hiding in the overgrown yard. I’m always taken aback when a horror story can break my heart as solidly as this one did.

The Friendly Man—Thomas Vaughn 💀💀💀💀💀
One man is infamous in his neighborhood for having the most terrifying Halloween decorations anyone’s ever seen. The only thing is… don’t the heads on those spikes seem a little too real? The idea of using brutalized human corpses as decoration is one I’ve seen before, but never done this well.

I had so much fun reading Doorbells at Dusk, and I’ve definitely found a few new authors to check out full works from. My favorite thing about reading a good anthology is the way these collections always expand my TBR, and this one was no exception. Whether you’re a long-time horror lover or just someone looking for a spooky Halloween read, I highly recommend picking up this anthology.

Thank you so much to Corpus Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts!
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews691 followers
October 18, 2018
You can pick your poison with this bag of Halloween treats that masquarades as a book of short stories.  As the streets fill with little monsters, pay close attention.  Some of those costumes seem all too real with what is going on.  Be on the alert for jack o'lanterns that may be more than empty pumpkin heads.  Make your way through corn mazes meant to confuse and confound, and discover a hidden pumpkin patch with its gruesome bounty.  Regard the unmothered baby carriage from afar, and have a care when eating homemade Halloween treats.  Beware, trickery is afoot.

No clinkers in this collection.  These two were particularly good.

Keeping Up Appearances by Jason Parent
Losing face in front of his band of cohorts shouldn't have been such a big deal.  He should have gone with his gut in the first place.    

The Friendly Man by Thomas Vaughn
A neighbor known for his lifelike Halloween decorations revels in adding to his collection each year.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,740 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2018
DOORBELLS AT DUSK: Halloween Stories, is a Halloween-themed anthology featuring fourteen all new short stories, edited by Evans Light. As is usual in any collection, certain stories will appeal more to different people. However, the background of Halloween gives these tales an additional boost of interest, as most horror-readers can't get enough of this season. The stories range from psychological, to visceral, and even pure observation.

Here are a few of the stories that really stood out to me, personally.

--"The Rey-Mother", by Curtis M. Lawson: In this tale, it was the setting that caught my undivided attention--a cornfield maze. This one just doesn't want to leave my mind, and keeps popping up when I least expect it (always a good sign with a book). ". . . he had no desire to be "better". David did not wish to change." You will NOT catch me in one of these mazes, ever again . . .

--"Adam's Bed", by Josh Malerman: Ronnie may not be the most "attentive" of fathers, but when his young son spends his birthday--on Halloween--with him, he sure makes up for it by sparing no expense to impress the neighbors. Or is there another reason Ronnie likes to have his house filled with people? I just loved the internal "voices" of the main character in this one.

--"Keeping Up Appearances", by Jason Parent: I really enjoy Parent's writing style--atmospheric, strong, and with an unapologetic dose of dark humor. There were some moments where I caught myself smiling at certain scenes . . . This makes me question my own outlook on occasion. A riveting tale from beginning to end. ". . . The pieces of the puzzle were coming together slowly, yet he had no idea what picture they were forming . . . "

--"Offerings", by Joanna Koch: I can't say much about this one without giving anything away. However, here is a word of caution--be very careful with what you say to strangers on the street. This one could be nightmare inducing!

--"The Friendly Man", by Thomas Vaughn: This one gets the dubious distinction of being my favorite in the collection. A great story all around with visceral descriptions, a street full of trick-or-treaters, and a dark thread of comedy laced all throughout. (Seriously, the way I enjoy these morbidly sarcastic moments so much makes me wonder about my own sanity . . .) Nonetheless, the tone really made this story memorable. "Death is always standing right behind you."

There were many other tales that stood out strongly in this anthology, all for various reasons and styles. Overall, a great seasonal collection that you'll want to re-read in the years to come.

Highly recommended!

*Thank you to Corpus Press for the review copy. All opinions stated are my own.*
Profile Image for Char.
1,682 reviews1,557 followers
September 4, 2018
DOORBELLS AT DUSK: HALLOWEEN STORIES was an above average anthology that challenged me to take my time and savor the tales of Halloween mischief. I failed that challenge!

There are 14 spooky tales included within, and these were the ones that stood out the most for me:

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Jason Parent. I just adored this story of Halloween thieves picking the wrong house to burgle. I laughed out loud at the eyeball scenes. (Not sure what that says about me.)

VIGIL by Chad Lutzke. This wasn't a gross-out or even a very scary story. (Unless you're a parent.) It was poignant though, something Chad has mastered in his tales.

THE FRIENDLY MAN by Thomas Vaughn. I don't even know what to say. This story was so darkly macabre that even though what was happening was just AWFUL, I found myself gleefully turning the pages. This was my favorite story in the book. Well done!

OFFERINGS by Joanna Koch. I absolutely loved the concept and execution of this story. It's not complicated but it is MESSED UP. The take away? Don't escort any trick-or-treaters to your bathroom whilst others are briefly left unattended at your front door.

TRICK 'EM ALL by Adam Light. A disturbed and misguided (?) boy. A talking Jack O'Lantern. What could go wrong?

THE RYE-MOTHER by Curtis Lawson. This tale spoke to me more loudly once I finished this anthology, because it was unlike every other story and because it kept popping into my mind at weird times. It has staying power. (Also, I'm opting out of the corn maze this year.)

I had a great time with this anthology and liked almost all of the stories included within, which is pretty rare for me. Evans Light did a great job of bringing these authors together and the stories flowed well from one to the next. If you're looking for a great anthology to fill out your Halloween reading this year, make it DOORBELLS AT DUSK: HALLOWEEN STORIES. (Oh, and stay away from those corn mazes!)

Highly recommended!

*I received a paperback ARC of this collection in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,854 followers
October 21, 2018
Thank you to Erin and Corpus Press for sending the Night Worms review copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Doorbells at Dusk is a no-brainer for horror fans looking for a Halloween anthology stuffed full of October mood and atmosphere.
My favorite stories were as follows:

Rusty Husk by Evans Light- Straight-up horror. Evans pulls no punches and goes right for the throat with this story. You think one character is pretty messed up and terrifying but then someone else comes on the scene and makes that guy seem Psycho-Lite in comparison. Really, really scary.

Adam's Bed by Josh Malerman- I loved this story. I think it's one of those type of stories that are almost target preaching to a certain type of people. You know how in scary movies, there is that not-so-subtle target preaching to teenagers not to sneak off to the woods to party and have sex or else they'll get axed to death by a psycho-killer? Well Josh's story here is target preaching to neglectful, self centered parents that don't keep a good eye on their children or have children and then live a lifestyle that puts their kids on the back burner. What can happen to them? Read this story and learn the lesson. *evil grin*

Keeping up Appearances by Jason Parent- I read They Feed by Jason Parent a few months ago and his voice was still very present in my mind as I read this story and it worked so well in this short story. Perfect for a Halloween anthology.

Vigil by Chad Lutzke- I am a HUGE Chad Lutzke fan and his unique narrative and worldview that is characteristic of Chad's writing. This short story was no exception. It's haunting and tragic with a huge dose of emotions. I'd expect nothing less from Lutzke-he never disappoints.

Offerings by Joanna Koch- this one was so disturbing and had a wicked twist that made me smile.

The rest of the stories were not as on par with some of the standout voices in this collection but overall, I think the stories I highlighted here are worth having in your Halloween library. The cover is so perfect for the season--I'll be taking pictures of it for my instagram for years so come and re-reading some of my favorites.
Profile Image for Latasha.
1,297 reviews384 followers
October 26, 2019
Doorbells at Dusk! What an awesome collection. Great to read anytime but really great around Halloween. Each story is unique and has something different to offer. I thought of them like this: the book is your trick or treat bag and the stories are the candy. A surprise but oh so sweet! Some that I enjoyed the most: the Rye-Mother, Rusty Husk, Many Carvings and Offerings.
Profile Image for Bill.
1,592 reviews113 followers
October 9, 2018
A very good anthology for the Halloween season. There is something in here for everyone and I enjoyed all of the stories, but of course, some more than others. Standouts being “The Rye-Mother”,” Keeping Up Appearances", “Vigil” and “The Friendly Man”.

“Mr. Impossible” was probably my favorite as I am a huge fan of Gregor Xane’s work and it may have been the most unique tale in the bunch. Possibly slightly out of place amongst the more straight forward stories in the collection. That’s why I dig Gregor though.

I knew as soon as I got wind of this one that I was going to enjoy it. I am familiar with many of the author contributors, so it was really a no-brainer to pick it up. Glad I did. I was not disappointed and may have found a few more authors to keep an eye out for as well.
Profile Image for Evans Light.
Author 35 books409 followers
September 3, 2018

Doorbells at Dusk: Halloween Stories is an anthology featuring both modern masters and rising stars of dark fiction, covering a gamut of horror, literary fiction and suspense that is sure to thrill both horror aficionados and casual readers alike.

Carve your pumpkins and turn on the porch light, the night of frights begins with the sound of… Doorbells at Dusk .

Authors include: Josh Malerman, Lisa Lepovetsky, Chad Lutzke, Amber Fallon, Curtis M. Lawson, Sean Eads, Joshua Viola, Ian Welke, Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch and Thomas Vaughn, along with contributions from Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent.

Doorbells at Dusk: Halloween Stories is available on discounted pre-order on: Amazon (e-book).

Available at book retailers worldwide in paperback and e-book on September 3, 2018.

More details about the release can be found here:
INK HEIST Cover Reveal – Doorbells at Dusk

Additional Purchase Links:

Worldwide Universal Link for Multiple Retailers

Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia
Barnes & Noble

Profile Image for andrea.
691 reviews132 followers
September 3, 2018
I saw a tweet about this anthology and immediately headed over to Amazon to purchase my copy. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a Halloween fiend, so a new Halloween anthology to read in the middle of what I call Pre-October (the months after winter that come before October itself - I hate spring and summer) is something that is completely up my alley. All in all, this is a great anthology and one that I would call a favorite. Most stories in this book were perfectly on point and soothed all of my spookier cravings, though a few felt out of place in this anthology, either because of tone or because they centered on Day of the Dead which, to me, is a completely separate holiday from Halloween itself.

Here's the story breakdown -

"A Plague of Monsters" by Charles Gramlich - 5/5:
A paranoid old man questions whether trick-or-treaters are actually actually trick-or-treaters when they show up on his doorstep too early. I thought I knew where this one was going, but was surprised in the end. Exactly what I signed up for.

"The Rye-Mother" by Curtis M. Lawson - 4/5:
A kid named David, stifled by his parents no-Halloween rule, can't fight his compulsion to visit a corn maze on Halloween night where he discovers secrets to who he really is. It was well-written, but ultimately I felt like the focus was less on Halloween and more on David's true identity.

"The Day of the Dead" by Amber Fallon - unrated:
From one of my updates - I feel awfully odd rating the Amber Fallon story because I don’t think Day of the Dead has anything to do with Halloween (aside from date proximity) and I also felt like it wasn’t appropriately appreciated or celebrated in the story.

"Rusty Husk" by Evans Light - 5/5:
Rusty Husk takes his Halloween decorations seriously. Each year the crowning jewel of his Halloween display is always a scarecrow that he makes fresh every single year. This story was quintessential Halloween for me and my favorite in the entire collection. I absolutely loved it.

"Adam's Bed" by Josh Malerman - 4/5:
Ronnie puts together a birthday party for his son on Halloween. Later, he puts him to bed and sees a creature lurking underneath. It was well-written, but the fact it took place in hot Florida and read more like a bedtime story made me take it down a star.

"Keeping Up Appearances" by Jason Parent - 5/5:
A group of people think they're going to break into a mansion with its owners out for Halloween night. Little do they know, the owners are home and have a trick to play on them.

"Vigil" by Chad Lutzke - 3/5:
A neighborhood is rattled by the discovery of loads of bodies buried on the lot of an empty house on their street. This story was really sad and kind of a weird tone for this anthology. It wasn't poorly written, it just felt out of place.

"Mr. Impossible" by Gregor Xane - 5/5:
Children consume Halloween buckeyes containing a drug which makes them believe that they are their costumes. I loved this story; it was probably my second favorite in the anthology. It reminded me of a Buffy Halloween episode with a similar plot.

"Between" by Ian Welke - 3.5/5:
A story discussing the concept of Halloween/Day of the Dead being the one night a year when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. A girl takes a combination of drugs to try to reach her dead parents to ask them about an important life choice. Another story that felt really out of place in this anthology, but really well-written.

"The Friendly Man" by Thomas Vaughn - 5/5:
A man decorates his home for Halloween and uses someone that has knocked at his door as a scare attraction by connecting his doorbell to a cattle prod poking his victim in the back. I loved this one. I also loved the way it ended.

"Many Carvings" by Sean Eads and Joshua Viola - 2/5:
An old witch delivering babies carves their faces into pumpkins, effectively making them her "children". Kind of a confusing story for me; my least favorite in the collection.

"Trick 'Em All" by Adam Light - 3/5:
A burgeoning psychopath carves a jack-o-lantern in his closet. The jack-o-lantern then starts whispering to him to do unspeakable things in order to give him a body. Honestly, this was going to get a 5/5 from me, but there was some unnecessary animal death which brought it down.

"Offerings" by Joanna Koch - 3/5:
A single chef invites a haggard mother over to her home on Halloween and the mother leaves her three little monsters behind. This was fine.

"Masks" by Lisa Lepovetsky - 4/5:
Parents discuss their daughter's bizarre behavior at a Halloween party while their daughter stalks them. This was fine. I want to re-read this one because at this point I was excited about finishing the anthology.

So, all in all, I give this anthology a 4/5 stars. Kind of disappointed there was no story about my favorite Halloween cliche - what happens to people who forget to leave out treats for the kids.
Profile Image for Michael Hicks.
Author 36 books442 followers
September 3, 2018
Nothing says Halloween quite so much as a new horror anthology devoted to carved pumpkins, witches, ghouls, and murder as we turn toward the darker half of the year. Doorbells at Dusk is a solid entry into the annals of such anthologies, gathering fourteen short stories from a range of the horror genre's talents like Josh Malerman, Amber Fallon, Chad Lutzke, and more.

Doorbells at Dusk showcases a broad range of Halloween horror themes, as well. There are some truly fun and occasionally depraved and psychotic stories (my favorite kind, personally), as well as gentler, spookier slice of life riffs. I always find anthologies to be a mixed bag, and this latest from Corpus Press proves to be no exception. While there a few stories I didn't care for, I still found plenty of others that impressed and delivered exactly what I was looking for in terms of haunting effectiveness and unbridled mayhem. Most of these latter were from authors whose works I've enjoyed in the past, and I found them delivering the best of the bunch here.

Adam Light's "Trick 'Em All" was easily my favorite of this antho. As I said, I like my Halloween stories depraved and bloody, and Light delivers with his story of a psychotic teen receiving messages from his newly carved pumpkin to kill his family. This is a brutal, crazy gorefest and I'll be damned if it wasn't straight up my alley.

Jason Parent serves up a fun little treat as a group of thieves break into the wrong house in "Keeping Up Appearances." Gregor Xane's "Mr. Impossible" is a fun bit of science gone wonky as a neighorhood is drugged and costumers believe they actually are whatever they are dressed as. "Rusty Husky," from Dusk's editor Evans Light, delivers on its premise of revenge on a serial killer in a nastily inventive way that's all about its tricks and treats.

Amber Fallon's "The Day of the Dead" puts a cool little The Twilight Zone spin on Día de los Muertos, one that will definitely make you want to dress up for Halloween this year. Chad Lutzke's "Vigil" goes in an entirely different direction and stands proudly as a bit of the odd man out here. Eschewing the paranormal entirely, Lutzke focuses on a different sort of monstrosity altogether as a stunned and shaken neighborhood gathers to watch the police discover and exhume a score of bodies from an abandoned house. There's no shocks or scares, but Lutzke writes so well, and so honestly, that this small town vignette captivates the whole through. Sean Eads and Joshua Viola present a historical slow-burn work of Halloween horror that good and truly sticks the landing once the full scope of "Many Carvings" atrocities are fully revealed.

Doorbells at Dusk is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Halloween horrors. Not that this is much of a shock, mind you. Evans Light knows how to deliver a great Halloween antho; you don't need to look past any of the three Bad Apples books he co-created to find proof of that, and Doorbells at Dusk serves as further evidence to this claim. Doorbells at Dusk, in fact, is a natural outgrowth from those earlier anthologies, and this one is larger and more diverse in both its stories, their premises, and contributors. Unlike Bad Apples, though, it also seems rather deliberately aimed at a wider, more general audience of horror readers, forgoing the occasionally vulgar, gruesome, splatterpunk sensibilities of its harder-edged, dare to offend cousins. This isn't a bad thing, certainly, but I still found myself wanting Doorbells at Dusk to get a bit meaner and dirtier than its raison d'être permitted. It's safe to say, though, that Light has deftly generated a small library of Halloween attractions to satisfy any number of tastes.

Doorbells at Dusk presents a fine sampling of tricks and treats for readers jonesing for some good and proper seasonal reads as the leaves turn color, a chill sets in, the world turns a little bit darker, and it arrives just in time as the membrane separating this world from another grows thinner and thinner day by day.

[Note: I received an advanced reading copy of this title from the publisher, Corpus Press.]
Profile Image for Mindi.
863 reviews271 followers
October 23, 2018
This book was sent to the Night Worms group by Erin and Corpus Press in exchange for an honest review.

I'm so glad I waited until later in the month to read this anthology because it's such a fun Halloween read! I was only familiar with 3 of the authors going into this one, and I love that, because it means that I'm about to potentially find some new favorites. This book has a number of creepy stories that stick with you, and a number of them are from authors that are new to me. I absolutely love it when I find a new writer that I can connect with.

The stand-outs for me start with a story called Rusty Hustk by Evans Light, who also happens to be the editor of the book. This one took me totally by surprise, and was a grisly fun read from start to finish. I knew I would probably like Josh Malerman's story Adam's Bed, I just didn't quite realize how unsettling it would be. I've thought about that one laying in the dark at night since I've read it, and it still gives me a delightfully creepy chill. Keeping Up Appearances is the second work by Jason Parent that I've read, and it was ghoulishly entertaining. I love it when bad people get what's coming to them in a very unexpected way. By now I've read enough by Chad Lutzke to know that I will read anything and everything he publishes. His writing has so much heart. I mean, Lutzke can take you to some really dark, dark places, and yet no matter what, it's like he's always there offering a hand to the reader and helping to lead the way. That's the best way I can describe his writing, and Vigil is pure Lutzke. I was so excited to read that story, and like always with Lutzke, it did not disappoint.

Mr.Impossible by Gregor Xane is one head trip of a story. I really enjoyed it. I just wish that Xane had gone all the way and given the story a body count. The Friendly Man is straight up horror. I remember houses on Halloween that did things to scare trick or treaters, and I know that I would have loved the scare that The Friendly Man sets up. But his trick is way more gruesome than anyone would care to acknowledge, except for a young, solitary trick or treater.

I could go on and pretty much mention every story in this book, but I think it's best to just say that this anthology is perfect reading for the Halloween season, and a whole lot of fun. It's definitely put me in the Halloween spirit.
Profile Image for Andrew Robert.
Author 3 books465 followers
October 28, 2021
This is a book that comes HIGHLY recommended and has appeared on  many best of lists not just for Halloween but the best of the best as well. Evans Light and Corpus Press knocked it out of the park with this Halloween horror anthology. It includes some of the most renowned authors in the genre including: Sean Eads, Amber Fallon, Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch, Curtis M. Lawson, Lisa Lepovetsky, Adam Light, Evans Light, Chad Lutzke, Josh Malerman, Jason Parent, Thomas Vaughn, Joshua Viola, Ian Welke and Gregor Xane.

This is one of those books people are going to be talking about for a long, long time. Doorbells at Dusk is must have modern horror collection that'll be sure to put you in the mood for those autumnal evenings.
Profile Image for Jon Recluse.
381 reviews256 followers
October 10, 2018
A stand out Halloween anthology that delivers a trick or treat bag full of tasty chills.
Editor Evans Light has gathered a coven of 14 excellent tales from some brilliant writers, and kept the quality high.

Personal favorites include:

THE FRIENDLY MAN by Thomas Vaughn, and
THE RYE MOTHER by Curtis Lawson

Highly recommended.

*I received a paperback ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Peter.
373 reviews22 followers
October 19, 2018
Doorbells at Dusk, is the Halloween anthology that you have been waiting to sink your teeth into. Of the 14 tales, I listed some that were my favorites.

Keeping Up Appearance by Jason Parent
A group of greedy Halloween thieves, decide to rob the wrong house.

Trick "Em All by Adam Light
A boy parents have no faith in him, so he begins to talk to a carved up jack O' Latern.

The Friendly Man by Thomas Vaughn
The Friendly Man, loves to scare the hell out of the trick or treaters. This year, The Friend Man is going all out.

It is good to see most of authors back from The Bad Apple Series. These authors, have brought along some new friends, to make this one Halloween anthology that you don't want to miss.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,261 reviews296 followers
August 26, 2018
(Various Authors; edited by Evans Light, Gregor Xane)

A delightfully rich collection, suffused with horror of many flavors and degrees, some subtle, some "up front." Whether you choose to sample one at a time, like bonbons, or devour the entirety, here's a fine selection designed to keep you eager for (or fearful of) that special holiday, when leaves drop, woodsmoke scents the air, children quest for candy...and the Veil thins...

"A Plague of Monsters" by Charles Gramlich: In a peaceful, quiet, Louisiana community, a middle-aged man gaslights himself during an earlier-than-usual "trick or treat" event--or does he? Paranoia doesn't always ensure no one's after you. Sometimes what's disguised as "paranoia" is simply Instinct and Intuition. Yes, Virginia, Monsters do exist.

"The Rye-Mother" by Curtis M. Lawson: Halloween is the very most magically powerful night of the year-Celtic New Year--and surely on All Hallows Eve a misunderstood boy who "doesn't belong" in this mundane routine world can find a way--carve a bargain--to return to the real life he deserves--with a little helpful guidance--from the Rye-Mother.

"Day of the Dead" by Amber Fallon: As an old-fashioned anachronism, I always enjoy contemporary versions of medieval morality plays and "Be careful what you wish for" cautionary tales, such as the classic "The Monkey's Paw." In this story, the traditional holiday "Dia de muertos" gains an entirely new and vivid twist.

"Rusty Husk" by Evans Light:" Okay. I am now officially Halloween-terrified, afraid to open the door, afraid to look out the window, afraid to turn off the lights. From the first terrifying sentence to the last, this story's terror is unrelenting.

"Adam's Bed" by Josh Malerman: How scared am I? Terrified! The horror in this story is so subtle, as if creeping in on little cat feet, or tendrils of fog...But so frightening! Sometimes the Monstrous is in human form...but sometimes it's not!!

"Keeping Up Appearances" by Jason Parent: When I was a child, the popular phrase for social climbers and conspicuous consumers was "Keeping Up with the Joneses." Nowadays, it's "Keeping Up With the Kardashian." But nobody keeps up appearances like the family in this spooky tale--where the next "appearance" could be your own--countenance!

"Vigil" by Chad Lutzke: A tale both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, of an upper-class neighborhood with sturdy residents, bonded as neighbors and friends, apprised of each other's lives. A neighborhood where every resident participates in maintaining a long-abandoned property, preventing an eyesore. But ultimately, evidence of abandonment is not the problem: tragedy is.

"Mr. Impossible" by Gregor Xane: and sometimes the monsters are human. Greed, cupidity, hubris, make monsters out of "normal" folks...

"Between" by Ian Welke: A young woman at the crossroads of a life decision combines "weird mathematics" and hallucinogenic mushrooms with the thinning veil of Halloween and Dia de Muertos, and the magic of her native Los Angeles.

"The Friendly Man" by Thomas Vaughn. Out of the mouths of babes....Predators are not made but born...

"Many Carvings" by Sean Eads & Joshua Viola: Subtle and implacable horror, in a medieval type setting and framework. Pumpkins are not just for carving. Beware the one you trust the most.

"Trick 'em All" by Adam Light: gory Halloween horror, with masterful characterization. I reiterate: predators are not made but born.

"Offerings" by Joanna Koch: Terrifying! The implacability! There is no escape.

"Masks" by Lisa Lepovetsky: Subtly terrifying..There but for the grace...


Profile Image for exorcismemily.
1,265 reviews337 followers
October 3, 2018
"His interest in Halloween could not be explained in the limited vocabulary of man. To him, it was simply magical." - Curtis M. Lawson

Doorbells at Dusk is an anthology of 14 horror stories related to Halloween. It starts out very strongly, but the stories wound up being hit or miss for me. I had only read one author from this book before (Josh Malerman), so it was awesome to be introduced to a lot of new horror writers.

This anthology is such a fun idea, and I loved getting to stay in this Halloween world for a while. The cover is amazing, and it sets the fun & spooky mood for the stories inside.

My top 5 stories in this book were Rusty Husk by Evans Light, A Plague of Monsters by Charles A. Gramlich, The Rye-Mother by Curtis M. Lawson, Trick 'Em All by Adam Light, and Offerings by Joanna Koch.

Even though I didn't care for some of the stories in this book, this anthology is full of creativity. All of the stories have intriguing concepts, and I love that so many writers are passionate about Halloween.

Thank you so much to Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi & Corpus Press for sending Doorbells at Dusk to the Nightworms for review!
Profile Image for Cameron Chaney.
Author 7 books1,889 followers
October 24, 2018
You can see my video review HERE, but here is a look at my written thoughts:

Evans Light, most known for bringing us books centered around the Halloween season, is responsible for Bad Apples, a series of Halloween-themed anthologies featuring tales from many dark and creative minds of the genre. While I have yet to read those books, I have heard marvelous things. So when Evans Light announced his latest Halloween anthology Doorbells at Dusk, I had to get a copy for review. I'm very glad I did.

While anthologies are some of my favorite books to read, the stories are always hit-or-miss no matter what. If there is an anthology out there where each and every story is perfect, I have yet to find it. Doorbells at Dusk is no exception to that, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed most of the stories here. There were only a couple that didn't jive with me, but I feel the rest really hit the mark. It seems the authors captured the mischievous spirit of the season and trapped it in these pages.

Halloween is my favorite holiday and it has been for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Ohio, a place where Halloween comes through like a tornado of autumn colors. Say whatever you want about Ohio, but I'm glad I got to spend my childhood here. Halloween is still a gorgeously spooky experience in these parts with all the changing leaves and haunted attractions and decorations and, most notably, the trick-or-treating. All these nostalgic images are perfectly placed in the pages of Doorbells at Dusk, capitalizing on the nostalgia and mystery of All Hallows' Eve. It made me feel like an 8-year-old trick-or-treater again!

Therefore, I can safely recommend Doorbells at Dusk, especially if you are seeking out something to read while passing out candy to beggars on the 31st. You really can't go wrong here.
Profile Image for Douglas Hackle.
Author 22 books236 followers
October 29, 2018
Get your Halloween on, son! This short story anthology showcases an entertaining assortment of Halloween flavors ranging from the gorily fun and unnervingly suspenseful to the darkly droll and mythically fantastic. Standouts for me were “Rusty Husk” by Evans Light, “Mr. Impossible” by Gregor Xane, “The Friendly Man” by Thomas Vaughn, and “Adam’s Bed” by Josh Malerman. Fun stuff. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Tracy Robinson.
491 reviews151 followers
September 30, 2018
I enjoyed this anthology of new "trick or terrors" offered up by editor Evans Light and associate editors Gregor Xane, Jason Parent, and Adam Light. New from Corpus Press this year, Doorbells at Dusk has some great stories within its covers. Here are a few favorites of mine:

A Plague of Monsters - Charles Gramlich
*is it insanity or reality?

The Rye-Mother - Curtis M. Lawson
*the wall between worlds thins a little - should we break through?

Rusty Husk - Evans Light
*Husk takes great pride in his annual scarecrows

Keeping Up Appearances- Jason Parent
*memorable quote: "we don't play with our food

Vigil - Chad Lutzke
* a quiet tale of neighborhood horror

Mr. Impossible - Gregor Xane
*new levels of cos-play; fun tale

Offerings - Joanna Koch
*Ah. Spooky kids.

Overall, I had fun with this anthology. I think it makes a good October read👻🎃
Profile Image for lee_readsbooks .
411 reviews64 followers
October 16, 2018
If u enjoyed these Halloween stories you're bound to enjoy the Bad Apples series with stories from Adam Light, Evans Light, Jason Parent, Gregor Xane, Edward Lorn, KPB, Craig Saunders & others.
Profile Image for Audra (ouija.reads).
741 reviews258 followers
October 11, 2018
An anthology all about the most glorious of holidays for those of us who delight in darkness and revel in terror and frightful stories? You know I’m more than game.

These fourteen all-new stories feature a few writers I was familiar with, but mostly people I’d never read before—which I consider a plus, as one of the things I really enjoy about anthologies is finding new voices to love. I would have liked to see a little more balance between genders: there were eleven stories by men and only three by women in the collection.

This was a very fun-loving (in the darkest way possible) set of stories and I really settled in to reading each story just for the pure fun of it. Each one takes on different ideas about what makes Halloween creepy, from body-snatchers, to serial killers with a thing for decoration, to things that go bump under the bed, to creepy kids, and more.

The stories are not always well-written, often sliding into that “telling” instead of “showing” zone that inexperienced writers fall prey to. I ended up rating each story individually between 3 and 4 stars, which is why the collection as a whole gets 3 stars from me. But what it lacks in sophistication, it definitely makes up for in imagination and pure originality.

All the love seeping off these pages for Halloween is clear and these stories truly evoke the season: carving pumpkins, leaves crackling underfoot, never quite knowing who is behind the masks around you. . . It makes me want to seek out more Halloween-based stories and collections!

My two favorite stories in the collection were “Vigil” by Chad Lutzke—dark and compelling with excellent visuals, and one of the quieter stories—and “Masks” by Lisa Lepovetsky, which really pulled me in from the start and created believable characters and a tense, darkly delicious situation.

I definitely recommend this book to horror and Halloween fans. It is a lot of fun and a very enjoyable read that is perfect to get you gearing up for the big night later this month!

My thanks to Corpus Press and Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi for sending the Night Worms copies of this one to read and review.
Profile Image for Irene Well Worth A Read.
877 reviews81 followers
October 10, 2018
Sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover. Look at this gorgeous work of art. This anthology contains more treats than tricks, so step away from the Halloween candy, and put this in your goody bag because horror can taste as sweet without packing on the pounds. Among my favorite treats were The Rye Mother by Curtis M. Lawson about a young boy who longs to experience a Halloween that is forbidden by his Jehovah's Witness upbringing.
Rusty Husk by Evans Light is a deliciously disturbing tale about a man who makes the most lifelike scarecrows anyone has ever seen. Adam's Bed by Josh Malerman finds us in the midst of a birthday party for little Adam who was born on Halloween. What could be better than having his drunken lothario of a dad in charge of the celebration? Keeping Up Appearances by Jason Parent takes us along on a crime spree gone wrong as a small band of criminals use the cover of Halloween to rob the wealthiest looking homes. There is a dark neighborhood secret kept in
Vigil by Chad Lutzke.
Trick 'Em All by Adam Light is a splattery gore soaked tale that begins when an angry 16 year old is relegated the lowly task of staying home to hand out candy.
As much as I love short horror stories it's always a bit difficult for me to review them without giving too much away. That is why I have just touched briefly on my absolute favorites. The whole collection is delightfully gruesome.
5 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy for review.
Profile Image for Mike.
316 reviews6 followers
October 14, 2018

Y'all like Halloween, right? I don't need to sell you on the theme of this one.

My five faves from the anthology:

"The Rye-Mother" by Curtis M. Lawson

"Rusty Husk" by Evans Light

"Vigil" by Chad Lutzke

"Between" by Ian Welke

"Offerings" by Joanna Koch

This one was fun. Dug a lot of the stories, and even the ones that weren't my favorite got me in the mood for the season.
Profile Image for Red Lace Reviews.
289 reviews60 followers
November 8, 2018
Halloween is a time where even those that normally dismiss horror bask in the shadows. Celebrated in this volume are thirteen stories, delving into the lives of the lost, the wicked, and the guilty, with a prominent theme of October. Including works by Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch, Curtis M. Lawson, Chad Lutzke, Jason Parent, and others.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Corpus Press for giving me the opportunity.

Halloween was a challenging and exciting month this year, and this anthology, perfect for the season, held the spotlight over on my blog, Red Lace Reviews. I did something a little different with it, in that I reviewed each and every individual story leading up until that final day. There were some truly fantastic tales to behold, and only a few that didn't particularly appeal. Most notably, The Day of the Dead by Amber Fallon, Adam’s Bed by Josh Malerman, Between by Ian Welke and Trick ‘Em All by Adam Light failed to hit the mark, where I either outright disliked, didn't entirely understand, or merely found nothing special in the premise. Of course, I'm only one reader, and I can admittedly nitpick at something I consider not to my taste.

The rest, however, each offered something new for me to enjoy, and I welcomed their dark delights. There was variety; blending of forces, from natural to unnatural. Going from one author to the next, their voices fought to be heard, and I very much relish being introduced to new talent; it will inevitably expand my library, after all. Now let's get into my top three, shall we?

The Rye-Mother by Curtis M. Lawson - His interest in Halloween could not be explained in the limited vocabulary of man. To him, it was simply magical.
This story eagerly delved into European folklore, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. The whole concept it was themed upon just excites me to no end, and it was only ten times more engrossing due to how skilfully it was written. David’s awareness of something not being quite right – of that nagging feeling of not belonging – was depicted with an eerie sense of atmosphere. His venture into the night brought forth a magic of its own, and I swear, I would happily read an entire novel all about him and his connection to the Otherworld.

Vigil by Chad LutzkeWith each body removed and loaded into a van, our bond strengthened.
This one was by all means a different kind of beast from the tales involving supernatural forces. It was innately disturbing not only because of its poignant subject matter, but because the story didn’t actually include much at all. The lack of events only added to the unnerving atmosphere, and the accentuation of emotions running amok brought with it a sense of realism. It was captivating, eerily so, and despite being the odd one out, it certainly made a positive impression.

Rusty Husk by Evans LightHe only wanted it all to end.
This was one of those thought provoking pieces; something that took a simple concept and twisted it into a freak show. It painted the picture of normalcy – of a simple man with a simple tradition – yet it efficiently depicted a sense of wrongness. I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading, and I appreciated the mystery surrounding the Farmer, as whilst vaguely knowing his reasoning, he barely said two words. That, in particular, made a huge impact; it sure gets tedious when a villain destroys their image by gloating or, in general, being overly talkative. Although, to be fair, calling him a villain doesn’t feel right under the circumstances!

All of the reviews, paired with their respective additions, can be found here.

In conclusion: With thirteen tales revolving around Halloween, I favoured the majority of them. The great thing about anthologies, is that there's something for everyone, especially when a range of sub-genres are explored.

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Twitter
Profile Image for Rachelle.
368 reviews82 followers
October 15, 2020
I loved this Halloween collection of horror! While all the stories are great in their own way, the standouts for me were; A Plague of Monsters it had a classic horror feel to it and I loved the ending & Malerman's story Adam's Bed was super creepy playing on the age old fear of what may be lurking just beneath us late at night! BUT .. The Friendly Man & Rusty Husk were the most gruesome both are vividly written and these characters were pretty brutal.
Profile Image for Frank Errington.
738 reviews57 followers
March 16, 2019
Review copy

Finding a Halloween anthology at this time of year is the equivalent of finding a fun-size Snickers in your trick-or-treat bag. Finding a really good Halloween anthology is like getting the full-size candy bar. Doorbells at Dusk is definitely the full-size treat.

Fourteen scary stories to keep you up late and possibly give you a nightmare or two.

A Plague of Monsters by Charles Gramlich - What if you forgot it was Halloween and all these monsters started showing up at your house? What would you do? What if they weren't trick-or-treaters after all?

The Rye-Mother by Curtis M. Lawson - A delightful story of one boy's quest to return to the otherworld. "Candy and costumes were all well and good, but Halloween was about that breach between the worlds and the magic which poured in."

The Day of the Dead by Amber Fallon - A Day of the Dead celebration at Los Calavera's Cantina. Come in costume and drink for half-price. What happens next is anything but joyous. This is a good one. Nice to see Amber appearing in more and more anthologies

Rusty Husk by Evans Light - "Halloween was his favorite holiday, and each October for the last decade Rusty had made a new scarecrow." But, oh there is so much more to this story. An intense tale which I found truly frightening.

Adam's Bed by Josh Malerman - Halloween was Adam's fifth birthday. A story for every reader who, as a child, was ever afraid of what was hiding under their bed.

Keeping Up Appearances by Jason Parent - Robbing homes dressed for trick-or-treating. A delightfully macabre tale.

Vigil by Chad Lutzke - Mr. Lutzke has some genuine writing chops... "For a while, the talk was pure testosterone. A grill tends to do that. Mix it with trying to be strong around your woman while bodies are dug up across the street and you'll sprout hair on your chest just standing nearby."

Mr. Impossible by Gregor Xane - A new designer drug which makes the user believe they are the mask they wear. Distribute it to kids and adults at a Halloween block party. Things are sure to get crazy in this wonderfully well-crafted story.

Between by Iain Welke - Día de los muertos, 'shrooms, and Mr. In-Between might not be the best combination for making life-altering decisions.

The Friendly Man by Thomas Vaughn - "Mortal terror is an essential part of childhood development." It's one thing to get into the spirit of Halloween, but The Friendly Man may carry things a bit too far.

Many Carvings by Sean Eads & Joshua Viola - The darkest story in a collection of dark tales. About a midwife who is much more than what she seems.

Trick 'Em All by Adam Light - According to Travis Raines' parents sixteen is too old to trick-or-treat and too young to chaperone his siblings while they collect the goodies. So he gets to stay home and hand out the candy, but when his pumpkin starts telling him what to do things go bad. Very bad.

Masks by Lisa Lepovetsky - A twisted tale from the dark side of life and Halloween.

I love Halloween, and a collection like this is just the thing to get me into the spirit of the season. Like an elegant display of jack-o-lanterns, not everyone is perfect, but as a whole the effect is stunning.

Certainly recommended

Published by Corpus Press, Doorbells at Dusk is available in both paperback and e-book formats.
Profile Image for Chantelle.
93 reviews
October 15, 2018
My favourites from this collection of Halloween themed stories include The Day of the Dead by Amber Fallon, The Friendly Man by Thomas Vaughn, and Many Carvings by Sean Eads and Joshua Viola.
Profile Image for Jim Coniglio.
63 reviews5 followers
September 1, 2018
If you have been in a store lately, any store, you will see Halloween decoration and candy already lining the shelves. Halloween time is here already.

Just in time to help kick off the season comes DOORBELLS AT DUSK, an anthology of Halloween themed tales from an amazing collection of authors. The 14 tales within lead us down a darkened street, well aware of the monsters, supernatural and mortal, that wait just out of sight in the shadows.

Evans Light has pulled together a great collection of stories. There is not a disappointing one in the mix, and no two tales are alike.

Lets take a look at whats inside........

A PLAGUE OF MONSTERS by Charles Gramlich
Gus wonders why no one else sees the monsters coming to his door. He must protect himself no matter what.

THE RYE-MOTHER by Curtis M. Lawson
David has always felt like he doesn't belong. This Halloween night he will finally search out his true family.

THE DAY OF THE DEAD by Amber Fallon
A Day of The Dead party at the local bar will turn into an event that some patrons will never forget.

RUSTY HUSK by Evans Light
Rusty always has the best scarecrows on his porch at Halloween, and this year's is the best yet.

ADAM'S BED by Josh Malerman
Ronnie loves his 5 year old son Adam, and his birthday is on Halloween. It all makes for an epic party. But why does Ronnie feel dread when he looks at Adam's bedroom, and what does a mysterious party crasher have to do with it.

A group of thieves on a Halloween crime spree have just picked the wrong house to hit.

VIGIL by Chad Lutzke
The residents of a quiet block gather to watch a horrible scene unfold in their own backyard.

MR. IMPOSSIBLE by Gregor Zane
Two friends journey to a block party hosted by an old school pal know as Mr. Impossible. Hoping for a night of booze and drugs, they are about to learn that some side-effects may occur.

BETWEEN by Ian Welke
Halloween night in Los Angeles, and spirits walk the streets. Yolanda is in search of two special spirits to give her an answer she longs for.

THE FRIENDLY MAN by Thomas Vaughn
The house at the end of the street always has the best decorations every year. But this year the home owner has a special surprise for the trick-or-treaters.

MANY CARVINGS by Sean Eads & Joshua Viola
A sickness has come to Alester's village. But something much darker has come with it.

TRICK 'EM ALL by Adam Light
Travis hates his parents. He is stuck at home handing out candy when he would rather be out. But tonight he has made a new friend, and things are about to spiral out of control.

OFFERINGS by Joanna Koch
Blaine loves her new home and neighborhood. Everything about it makes her happy, except for the strange woman who wanders the street pushing a stroller, with three children in tow.

MASKS by Lisa Lepovetsky
Halloween night. Party guests hide behind the animosity of a mask. But some guests cannot get into the Halloween mood. Something else is coming from the darkness with other ideas for the night.

So turn on your porch light, grab your bucket of candy and prepare yourself for DOORBELLS AT DUSK.
Profile Image for Courtney Tetreault.
12 reviews9 followers
September 5, 2018
This book was great !

This was an amazing horror anthology . Kept me on the edge of my seat. No stale horror tropes here .
Profile Image for Krystle Marie.
85 reviews192 followers
October 17, 2018
This is the perfect anthology for the Halloween Season. It is a bunch of short stories that take place on Halloween! I did not love all the stories, but majority of them were great! Josh Malerman's story was pretty creepy!!
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