Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Welcome to the Show” as Want to Read:
Welcome to the Show
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Welcome to the Show

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  62 reviews

17 horror Stories. One legendary music venue.

We all know the old cliché: Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now, add demons, other dimensions, monsters, revenge, human sacrifice, and a dash of the truly inexplicable. This is the story of the (fictional) San Francisco music venue, The Shantyman.

In Welcome to the Show, seventeen of today's hottest writers of horror and dark fict

Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published August 3rd 2018 by Crystal Lake Publishing (first published July 20th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Welcome to the Show, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Welcome to the Show

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  62 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Welcome to the Show
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, damn!
17 stories and I liked 16 of them - impressive, to say the least.

There are some great writers involved with this anthology and some great stories about The Shantyman.
Solid stories by Janz, Skipp, Smith, Rolfe (probably one of the best I've read by him), Cesare, Keene and Sangiovanni, if I had to highlight them, but there are three more I want to mention.

PARODY by Jeff Strand - yeah, most of you know how much I love his work. This one was even more special: 'Weird Al' Jankovic...yip,
Sadie Hartmann
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you follow my book reviews or read my blog, you'll know I'm a huge fan of anthologies. I love a big round-up of horror's best, especially in a themed anthology.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW centers on The Shantyman, a bar in the Tenderloin district of San Fransisco. The tales are told from The Shantyman's past and present and not one story is alike because of the wide variety of storytelling voices represented here.
I thought I would highlight some of my favorites from the collection:
4.5/5 stars!

WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a themed anthology with all of the stories revolving around, (or involving in some way), a rock 'n' roll club named The Shantyman. That's it! There's no hard thread connecting all the tales other than the club itself. That makes WELCOME TO THE SHOW different because there's no one "bad guy" to blame things on. In this case, the "bad guy" is anyone or anything the writer wanted them to be. In this regard, I think the authors involved had a lot more leeway as far
Cameron Chaney
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was sent to me from Crystal Lake Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Full video review to come soon!

Welcome to the Show is a horror anthology edited by Doug Murano and created/compiled by Matt Hayward, a new rock star of horror. Each story featured in these pages revolves around a fictional San Francisco music venue called The Shantyman, a place that is all about the music... and the evil, of course. Demonic dealings, ghostly possession, alternate dimensions, murder and mayhem
Frank Errington
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

Welcome To the Show is a shared world anthology. They don't always work, but this one's premise is simple enough and every one of the seventeen stories in the collection is true to the theme.

There's a well-known club in San Francisco where nearly everyone who's anyone has played at one time or another. The place is called The Shantyman. The thing is, despite its legendary status, the place has experienced its fair share of tragedy and there are tales to be told.

I wondered about the or
The Grim Reader
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Themed anthologies are all the rage at the moment and Crystal Lake Publishing usually gets it right with the ones they publish. Welcome to the Show features 17 stories about the goings on at The Shantyman – a legendary music venue.

I sure had high hopes for this book being a big music fan and obviously being a big horror fiction fan too. With writers such as Brian Keene and John Skipp adding considerable literary muscle to the TOC, Welcome to the Show was never going to disappoint me really, was
Tim Meyer
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of anthologies, but I couldn't pass this one up. Lotta talent in these pages and I found the shared universe angle intriguing. Some stories were better than others, but there really wasn't a bad one in the bunch. John Skipp's "In the Winter of No Love" was a real standout, by far my favorite of the lot. Definitely grab this if you're a fan of the horror genre; there's a little bit of something for everyone. ...more
Michael Hicks
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although themed anthologies are common in today's publishing, they are, more often than not, focused on a concept or ephemeral idea, like the recent Lost Highways anthology, also from Crystal Lake Publishing, where each story played on the concept of life on the road. Rarer are those anthologies, at least outside of media tie-in properties, where the stories are united by a shared world concept, with the focus aimed toward a singular location. Matt Hayward's Welcome to the Show could have very e ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Welcome to the Show, edited by Doug Murano, is next on the review shelf, a collection that I was drawn to because of authors like Brian Keene, John Skipp, Jonathan Janz, and Jeff Strand. It's an unusual collection, in that it's based around a fictional concert hall known as The Shantyman, a building that connects the stories and (pardon the pun) sets the stage for the horror.

It's an uneven collection, perhaps because I'm just not that interested in the stories behind the music, but there were de
Adam Selby-Martin
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There were a few crucial things that attracted me to Welcome To The Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue and led to me asking the publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, for a review copy of the anthology. The first thing was the impressive number of first-class, and even legendary, horror authors that were listed as having stories published in the anthology; any collection that includes the likes of Jeff Strand, John Skipp, Rachel Autumn Deering, Max Booth III and especially Brian Keene, i ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
Review: WELCOME TO THE SHOW. (Anthology compiled by Matt Hayward and edited by Doug Murano)

If I should ever be asked to identify my single favourite Crystal Lake Publishing anthology, I couldn't answer--for I deeply admire each and every one. This publisher consistently chooses authors, editors, and artists who produce work of the highest quality.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a themed Anthology, set in the venue of an unusual (and long-lasting) nightclub tucked away in a not-so-classy neighborhood in S
Darrell Grizzle
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Welcome to the Show” is a superb collection of widely-divergent horror stories, centered on a common locale, a mysterious (and fictional) San Francisco nightclub called The Shantyman. The nightclub has been home to a diverse range of musical styles as well as a diverse range of horrors. Some of the stories have supernatural elements; some do not. The stories range from shocking to subtle; from heartbreaking (“A Tongue Like Fire” by Rachel Autumn Deering) to paranoid (“We Sang in Darkness” by Ma ...more
Deborah Lee
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bring your curiosity, but leave your inhibitions at the door. The show is about to begin…

Sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll. It's the age-old cliché with music venues being considered places of hedonism and excess. But what if these places weren't only filled with people looking for a good time but also with the supernatural, the unexplainable, and the psychotic. The seventeen stories collected in Matt Hayward and Doug Murano's anthology, Welcome to the Show centre around The Shantyman, a fictional m
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seventeen stories fill these pages, all linked together by their common setting – The Shantyman, a bar and club, cursed, home to demons and vampires, aliens and madmen across the decades. Each story brings its own visitors to The Shantyman - customers, staff and performers – none of them leave in the same way, if at all.
This is a strong selection and a collection in which all clamour for the title of ‘favourite’. Some though did exert a slightly stronger pull, including What Sort of Rube – a goo
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthologies
Welcome to.....

A great urban legend that just didn’t quite work. So, here’s the thing.... Alan M Clark starts us off with a little bit of history. Excellent story and I couldn’t wait for more. I knew I was going to read tales from Jonathan Janz, Bryan Smith, Adam Cesare, Matt Hayward, Brian Keene, Glenn Rolfe, Patrick Lacey, John Skipp, Jeff Strand, and many more of my favourite horror writers. As stand alone stories, some were better than others. What didn’t mesh for me was the stories never co
Kenneth McKinley
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a collection of tales surrounding the fabled San Franciscan concert hall, The Shantyman. In my opinion, rock and horror go together like peas and carrots, so this should be right up my alley. Without further ado, lets jump right in -

What Sort of Rube - Alan M. Clark

Absolutely loved this one. Such a great voice and I found myself completely engrossed in it. A jealous father, island cannibals, and and old world curse? How can you not love it? This is my first time reading an
Jim Coniglio
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read several anthologies so far this year, and hands down WELCOME TO THE SHOW has been the best. Matt Hayward and Doug Murano have pulled together a who's-who of the top writers around today to weave an unforgettable narrative around the fictional showroom, The Shantyman.

This collection of 17 unique stories has something for everyone. Ghosts, demons, time travel, vampires, curses, rips in the fabric of space,,,it is all here. You might think, "how can all these types of stories fit togeth
David Watson
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
You've probably read anthologies in the past that have mixed horror and music but this one is a little different. Welcome To The Show includes 17 horror stories that are all set in a fictional San Francisco night club called The Shantyman. Edited by Matt Hayward and Doug Murano this book takes you from The Shantyman's disturbing origins right up to it's apocalyptic future. Demons, vampires, other dimensions and the end of the world, its all here under one roof.

One story I liked here was Parody
Debbi Smith
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anyone want to go have a drink , listen to some music at the Shantyman? I guarantee you're life will never be the same!
What an amazing bunch of stories! From shanghied sailors to the future world, the show must go on. All the stories are amazing but Open Mic has got to be my favorite.
This is one anthology you absolutely must read. It's fantastic.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read.

Loved this Anthology. As a musician these stories really struck a nerve and inspired my music. Buy this book, do it!
JohnWayne Comunale
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really dug the concept of this anthology in which all the stories have to do with a long cursed music venue in San Francisco called The Shantyman. The stories don't connect to each other in any way, but they're not supposed to. Each author lays out a different take on the what evil lurks within the club. I looked at it as snippets of different time periods the club existed, which allowed you to see this dark force change and morph throughout. Very cool anthology with excellent, solid stories ...more
David Murphy
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review of an advanced copy provided to me. Without a doubt this is one of the best books of the year. Every story is unique and fantastic. This has some of the best writers in the genre today in one collection all of who have brought their A game. This is a must read for any horror fan.
Kelly| Just Another Horror Reader
I really enjoyed this anthology. I’m a music lover and these stories revolving around the fictional club, The Shantyman, really worked for me. A few stand outs are Matt Hayward’s Dark Stage, Jeff Strand’s Parody, Bob Ford’s Ascending and Adam Cesare’s The Southern Thing. This is a must read for any horror fan!
Noelle Kelly
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best read anytime you feel a longing for a late night in The Shantyman. You may never want to leave.

My Thoughts on the Book

Welcome to The Show is like a brilliant rock song with crashing crescendos and banging stories – it’s bloody excellent.

What Sort of Rube

This story starts off the collection when a beggar promises to tell Beverly a tale that will sell to the papers. Beverly is taken on a voyage of imagination and terror.

Night and Day and In Between

The beautiful voice of Clara lures punters to
John Collins
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The best anthology of 2016, and I read several, in my opinion. There is not a weak story in the group. Standouts from Jonathan Janz, John Skipp, Max Booth III, Mary SanGiovanni and Somer Canon are amazing but the best of the bunch comes from Matt Hayward. Touching and mysterious, it hit all the right notes.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love rock and roll. I love listening to it and I love reading about it. The music genre has spawned its fair share of legends, urban legends and murder all by itself. So naturally I love horror stories that feature it. Although I've read a few novel-length stories that are very good it seems to lend itself to the short story form in particular. Although The Shantyman is fictional it seems to be based on the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles. It's just a guess though.

So grab a drink, kick back and
Yvonne Davies
Based in San Francisco, The Shantyman had been around for years, so long that its history was oozing out of the walls. Now the doors of the club have been opened, come in, sit down and Welcome to the Show.
For this review I am going to choose some of my favourites.
Night and Day and in Between by Jonathan Janz: The year is 1926, Raft a PI has been hired to find Clara. His leads take him to The Shantyman, where a singer matching Clara’s description is performing. The early scenes in the club, were
John J Questore
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
WELCOME TO THE SHOW is another anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing that revolves around a theme. Not only does it contain sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but all of the stories revolve around a dive called The Shantyman, a place in The Tenderloin that has a sordid history, and, as legend has it, gave the start to a lot of famous musicians.

Without giving away too much, I’ll give you my thoughts on each story.

What Sort of Rube by Alan M. Clark - We start with a story within a story. A magazine s
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Until recently, I feel like I’ve somehow been living blind to the fact that horror anthologies exist. I’m not sure how I overlooked so many, but thankfully there are several on my shelves now, with more to come. I love these books-- the mix of voices allows a chance to discover new authors, but also showcases what some of my favorites are capable of when it comes to short fiction.

While many horror anthologies focus on a central theme, WELCOME TO THE SHOW is unique in that all of the stories are
At first, I was very skeptical about reading this anthology - I'm not that much into short stories, and I don't like 'music-themed' stories. But once I read the list of authors collected in this volume, I knew I had to give it a try, and I also liked the idea of a common place for the stories to share. Now I am so glad I took the chance and visited the Shantyman!

The book starts right off with a solid five star piece: Alan M. Clark's introductory story 'What Sort of Rube' tells us about the dark
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road
  • Dear Laura
  • The Horror Collection: Gold Edition
  • Out Behind the Barn
  • The Siren and the Specter
  • Carnival of Horror
  • The Pale White
  • The Switch House
  • Carnival Of Nightmares (Creepiest Show On Earth Book 2)
  • True Crime
  • Kill For Satan!
  • Bring Her Back
  • Collected Halloween Horror Shorts: Trick 'r Treat
  • The Dark Game
  • Halloween Fiend
  • Midnight in the Graveyard
  • The Devil's Bedtime Stories: Volume One
  • Video Night
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've...
45 likes · 25 comments