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Dark Celebrations

(Dark Celebrations #1-12)

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Each year, people all over the world celebrate special festivals and days, shining light on what they wish to remember and revere. But sometimes, inhabitants of the dark arrive with the desire to disturb proceedings. Dark Celebrations is a collection of twelve short stories... and the holidays will never be the same.
Paperback, First, 274 pages
Published March 11th 2020 by Planet X Publications
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Average rating 4.52  · 
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Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read

Dark Celebrations includes 12-short stories from one of my favorite Horror authors, Mr. Calvin Demmer.

Each of the dozen tales is centered around a particular celebration, or holiday, from around the world. I felt this was such a creative way to structure a collection.

This book has something for everyone. Moving through, I couldn't help but think this was a pure monster mash at its finest!

You have everything in here: zombies and vampires and mummies...

No matter what your favorite cre
Having been totally knocked out by Demmer's THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER, (it was my favorite collection of 2019), I jumped at the chance to read his latest, DARK CELEBRATIONS. I don't regret it for an instant!

In this volume, which tells tales of celebrations and/or holidays from around the world, I found
a wide variety on offer, and most of them worked well for me. My favorites were:

THREE DEAD MEN captivated me because it went nowhere near where I thought it was going. Think Kill Bill with mummies
Candace Robinson
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great collection and I loved that I could read through each story quickly! My favorite would have to either be Prom Screams or Trick or Death! There was true imagination that went into these stories and the writing, along with the dialogue, was excellent!! Wonderful and horrific descriptions! My favorite kinds of things!
Janie C.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection takes normal holidays and turns them upside down in macabre ways.  Beginning with the Hungry Ghost Festival in China and ending with an apocalyptic tsunami of events, each story takes a grim turn into the supernatural realm.  A Halloween encounter with a hungry shape-shifter and a devilish rendezvous on Thanksgiving lead two innocents into unexpected confrontations.  A young girl wields her uncle's katana against unbelievable forces before the major holidays begin.  New Year's wi ...more
Calvin Demmer has taken some of the special days and celebrations we all know and love, (mostly) and turned them inside out by inviting his own special guests who are even worse than dear Aunt Bessie who insists on making every event a nightmare.
Prepare to “celebrate” those things that go bump in the night, as Mr. Demmer’s DARK CELEBRATIONS cleverly give us tiny bites to digest, one story at a time, one creature at a time. Trust me, your view of holidays, parties, and special days will never be
Kim Napolitano
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I’m a huge fan of Mr. Demmer’s, his stories do not disappoint and this collection of stories is another celebration of horror. There is just about everything in here, monsters, vampires, werewolves, mummies! ( That was a surprise! ) aliens, and demons and much more! My favorite story was the last one as I’m all about apocalyptic tales and for a short story? Awesome!! The voices are crystal clear, you care about the characters which in a short story collection is rare in my experience and no ...more
Steve Stred
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

Is there really anyone out there who hasn’t yet read ‘The Sea Was a Fair Master’? Released in June, 2018, ‘The Sea…’ is a masterclass in flash fiction/short storytelling and as I said back then, really cemented Demmer’s status as the one to watch and one of the best short story writers out there.

Fast forward and Demmer returns with ‘Dark Celebrations.’ To be upfront, I will say that I had the honour of sharing a table of contents with Demmer

DARK CELEBRATIONS is a collection of twelve tales by author Calvin Demmer. I have previously read his flash fiction in THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER, and some of his other stories--all of which I loved. One of his strengths is the ability to impart a large amount of information into a shorter length. When I read one of his tales, I feel as if I really "understand" the characters and their motivations--no matter how many, or few, pages are there. He utilizes his language to perfection.

In this book, w
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
My review of this author's collection of short stories will be available in an upcoming issue of SCREAM Magazine. As you can see, there is a holiday theme here so it's my recommendation that if you are a horror genre buff like me, you're going to want this book solely based on the idea that you can read the appropriate story on any given holiday--because seasonal horror is delicious. Review soon!
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books, owned
Calvin Demmer is back with another solid collection of stories with DARK CELEBRATIONS. There are 12 stories within and each one is centered around a different holiday/celebration. It is a unique format of storytelling and one that makes these stories even have greater re-readability! Many horror tropes you know will be examined and retold through Demmer's creative mind and you definitely need to see some of these twists firsthand! No story in this collection is too long or too short - they are p ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every single story in this book, just made me
Gerardo Delgadillo
Another strong horror short-story collection by Calvin Demmer. The level of creepiness is high to the point of yikes or ugh! But what I loved the most is how all these shorts tie together toward the end. And what an end it is.
Brennan LaFaro

Okay, so here's the deal. I'm going to start by telling you that Dark Celebrations by Calvin Demmer is excellent, and should be added to your shelf/kindle. I fully anticipate that it will be on my year-end list for collections/anthologies. The problem is I can't exactly tell you why. I can share some of my favorite offerings with you, but telling you the biggest reason I love this book would spoil a reading experience that I'm glad I got to have without knowing it was coming.

Vague, I know, sorr
Nico Bell
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Calvin Demmer weaves a collection of deliciously wicked short stories centered around everyone’s favorite times of year. Witches, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and mummies are just some of the many monsters gracing the pages of this engaging and frightful collection. There is truly something for every horror fan.

The collection contains twelve stories with a common connection of holiday horror and young adult protagonists. Most of the heros in the story are in their late teens, early twenties and
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Calvin Demmer immediately became one of my favorite writers when I read his debut collection ‘The Sea Was A Fair Master’. Many people can agree with me when I say it is excellent. Calvin knows how to pack such a punch in what seems as little words as possible. So it may be hard to believe, but I am here to tell you that Mr. Demmers follow up collection ‘Dark Celebrations’ is a force even better than TSWAFM.

I would honestly love to sit here and type out critiques of my favorite stories for you b
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Demmer has used just about every holiday and other important dates in this dark collection of short stories and used them as the background for these entertaining stories! He brings us ghosts, vampires, werewolves, devils, witches, my favorite, mummies, along with other horrific and classic creatures!

I enjoyed everyone of these tales but Three Dead Men and Spring Outbreak struck my horror chords! The end wraps up the whole collection in Independence Denied! This is a great read using classi
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the length if these stories. I could read a whole story and go do something else, then come back to a whole new story. Luv the way Demmer gives these traditional holidays a dark twist. The storues have paranormal beings, but there is nothing normal about them either! I have to say my favorite story was the one with the mermaid sisters, some twisted "romance" in that.😅
This is a really great book for anyone who likes horror, but especially so for ones on the go. RECOMMENDED
S.J. Budd
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dark Celebrations is a collection of 12 dark horror tales from Calvin Demmer, the author of The Sea is a Fair Master which has become a classic! It was a joy to read all these great tales again which have been re-released in one collection!

It's so hard to pick out favourites in this collection but I'd say Hungry Ghosts and Unidentified Fatherly Object were my faves!

Hungry Ghosts

Ten Tips For Surviving The Hungry Ghost Festival.

1.Do not interfere with any offerings. If done by accident, immediate
William Bitner Jr.
Dark Celebrations
By Calvin Demmer

Genre - Fiction/Horror/Short Story/Anthology
Pages - 401
Publication Information - Planet X Publications, March 11, 2020
IBSN-10: 1732683980 IBSN-13: 978-1732683983 ASIN: B085BDGVN8
Format - Digital (ARC)
Reviewed by: William C. Bitner, Jr., https://booksinmylibraryblog.wordpres...
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

‘Dark Celebrations’ by Calvin Demmer reintroduces us to some of the more familiar horror creatures and scenarios with a very special twist. After reading this book you will look
Sherry Fundin
Dark Celebrations is not my first foray into Calvin Demmer’s world and I look forward to going wherever he wants to take me in this collection of stories.

I was going to review each story separately, but with Covid -19 around and being cooped up for six weeks now, I find my motivation running a bit empty. So…

I enjoyed all the stories and spending time in the world of horror and the supernatural. Calvin Demmer is skilled at crafting tales that give me the creepy crawlies,making me glad that it is
D Gillis
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story collection revisits some classic horror tropes that Calvin Demmer has put his mark on and made his own. There are zombies, vampires, mummies and ghosts along with other creatures. The stories are interconnected and each one has a twisted ending. In the opening story, Hungry Ghosts, Lara Adams and her boyfriend Ray Jimenez are on vacation in China and visit a small village that is having an unusual festival. The receptionist at their hotel gives Lara a card entitled Ten Tips for Surviv ...more
Katrina Kitchen
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book was super enjoyable and the twelve stories each represent a holiday that never goes quite as expected. It has a sufficient amount of gore without going over the top. A recommended read.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a love-hate relationship with short stories. I much prefer tomes, but I’m always willing to give short stories a read. Horror short stories in particular. After enjoying Calvin Demmer’s The Sea Was a Fair Master, a collection of flash fiction, I was eager to give more of the author’s work a try.

Dark Celebrations starts with Hungry Ghosts, a creepy little story that takes place during the Hungry Ghost Festival. It has a rather campfire feel to it – a bit of drama between the characters, a
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I really enjoyed my first read by Calvin Demmer. The 12 stories in this collection are a dark take on holidays around the world. My favorites were Three Dead Men, Hungry Ghosts and Independence Denied but all of the stories were top-notch. Highly recommended for horror fans!

Note: I received this e-book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
What a fun and freaky collection of stories! It’s like watching episodes of Outer Limits!!

Each story was completely unique in it’s own way. Whether it was monsters of the unusual kind, monstrous people or just crazy things happening, each story was completely entertaining and very well written.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: Calvin Demmer offers up a tasty but bloody chocolate box of horrific tales that revolve around holidays.

I had seen Calvin Demmer’s collection The Sea Was a Fair Master around, and so when he contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reading his latest short story collection, I immediately agreed. Demmer’s ratings on Goodreads
Karla Kay
"Lara heard the voice calling from behind. The sound was mellifluous, as if the person was almost singing her name. She sensed her body turning. Must. Not. Turn. She didn’t want to see what terror was still after her. The encroaching fear pierced her like an icicle to the heart. Maybe the ghost of the river wouldn’t let her escape. Even with the dangers thundering in her mind, Lara couldn’t resist."
( How I feel when I'm reading horror, I can't resist!!)

Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm fast becoming a Calvin Demmer fan and if you love short horror stories as much as I do you will want to check out his latest collection Dark Celebrations. As we travel through the calendar not only of holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving but also through special occasions like prom we are treated to a supernatural smorgasbord featuring ghosts, zombies, witches, and more. From pranks gone wrong, to the poor soul who just wanted to take a hot girl to prom after being dumped by his girlfrie ...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
I was lucky to get an ebook review copy of this collection from the author. Thanks Calvin! 😊

Here are my thoughts about each story...

HUNGRY GHOSTS: Lara and Ray go on a trip to China during the Hungry Ghost Festival and things don't go well...

While I loved the Ten Tips for Surviving the Hungry Ghost Festival, the story didn't captivate me as much. There was just something about Lara's story that failed to hook me in.

LABOR DAY HUNT: Jared's inherited business isn't doing well. And after his uncle
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I don't usually like short stories. The reasons vary, but they're just not typically my thing. That being said, I LOVED this collection!

Every story was creepy, fun, and fast-paced. I read this SO quickly because I just couldn't put it down. "Just one more story," I'd say to myself before flying through the next few. Did I mention that I'd been in a reading slump? I haven't finished a single book since MAY. This collection was exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of things and I'm so
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Calvin Demmer is the author of The Sea Was a Fair Master and Dark Celebrations. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. ...more

Other books in the series

Dark Celebrations (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Hungry Ghosts
  • Labor Day Hunt
  • Trick or Death
  • Thanks Sinning
  • Three Dead Men
  • Happy Dark Year
  • Dying Valentine
  • Spring Outbreak
  • She Will Rise
  • Prom Screams

News & Interviews

From independent presses, to tales in translation, to critical darlings and new debut novels, these books (all published in the U.S. this year)...
25 likes · 3 comments
“These were no ordinary celebrations. The world, devoid of color, embraced a somber gray tone, and no sunlight dared to pierce the clouds overhead. A chill in the air caressed Brad’s skin as he searched within for some hope that this was just a nightmare he would awaken from. Nothing but a void of despair presented itself, and still the people rejoiced. No, these weren’t ordinary celebrations. They were dark celebrations.” 2 likes
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