book review, Christmas, horror, short story

12 Days of Christmas: Collected Christmas Horror Shorts Edited by Kevin J Kennedy

Twenty four tales of horror for those seeking an escape from holiday cheer.

Better Watch Out by Willow Rose: It’s the little details that tipped Sara off as a child that Santa wasn’t a good guy. His long fingernails and blood flecked beard. The trouble is getting someone else to believe her.

My parents never tried to convince us about the lie of Santa Claus, and I’m very grateful to them. However in this story the fiction isn’t that he exists, it’s that he’s nice.

A fun short story.

Tommy’s Christmas by John R Little: Little Timmy surprises a man in the house on Christmas night. A short tale that didn’t go in the direction I expected.

Naughty or Nice by Veronica Smith: Robert doesn’t get paid enough to work in a department store at Christmas.

All Naughty, No Nice by Michael A Arnzen: A tragic depiction of Christmas in the times of a zombie apocalypse.

Slay Bells by Weston Kincade: An odd Alaskan Christmas custom destroys a family.

This story had interesting ideas, but with little information about why the custom was necessary or how it benefitted the people, ignorance on behalf of the characters despite growing up in the community, and a plot development that made me wonder if it would work as described, I found it ultimately unsatisfying.

Santa’s Midnight Feast by J. L Lane: A little girl gets an unpleasant surprise on Christmas Eve night.

The Christmas Spirit by Lisa Morton: An unhappily married couple move into the family home over Christmas.

A wonderful Christmas ghost story, this tale had me holding my breath to find out how it ended. A real treat and my favorite of the anthology.

Thy Will Be Done by J. C. Michael: A couple find a written murder confession.

Psychopath Remix by J. C. Michael: A demonic version of the 12 days of Christmas song.

The Tome of Bill Christmas Carol by Rick Gaultieri: Dickens’s A Christmas Carol retold with Bill the vampire.

Christmas Market by Amy Cross: Jessie takes Emma to the Christmas markets in an effort to cheer her up, but instead Emma finds she’s the one on display.

Deck the Halls by Xtina Marie: A dark Christmas poem.

Merry F***in’ Christmas by Kevin J Kennedy: After his family are killed in a car crash, Alec takes brutal revenge on those he considers responsible.

Santa Came by Peter Oliver Wonder: A look at Santa’s sex life.

Hung with Care by Ty Schwamberger: Santa Claus goes on a homicidal rampage.

Killing Christmas by Andrew Lennon: Jeff disagrees with Christmas celebrations starting on November 1st.

A Disappointed Shade of Blue by CS Anderson: A sad poem.

The Present by Israel Finn: Delightful story of domestic abuse and what might be.

Christmas Carole by Lisa Vasquez: A strange tale with links to a larger story.

Stuffed Pig by Steven Murray: A Christmas home invasion story.

The Last Christmas Dinner by Christina Bergling: Susan feels tired after forty years tending to her family.

The Veil by Rose Garnett: A very unpleasant man gets an unusual gift while shopping at the Christmas markets.

The Night Before Christmas by Suzanne Fox: An unexpected visitor ruin a couples Christmas Eve.

In the bag by Tim Curran: A man helps the homeless on Christmas Eve.

I was disappointed in this collection of stories. With few exceptions, the stories either were about Santa Claus being evil or describing graphic murder at Christmas.

I’m not a fan of Santa Claus at the best of times, but reading story after story of how he was a deranged psychopath wore out his welcome quickly.

It’s such a shame there wasn’t more variation in the subject matter in this anthology. It would have got a two star rating from me if it weren’t for Lisa Morton’s 5 star Christmas ghost story, which is worth purchasing the anthology to read. I also enjoyed Israel Finn’s offering.

I award Collected Christmas Horror Shorts

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts is available for $2.65 ebook and $12.99 print book on Amazon.

7 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas: Collected Christmas Horror Shorts Edited by Kevin J Kennedy”

  1. “Santa Came” heehee. When I read an anthology, I don’t expect to like every story because of different genres and different authors’ writing styles. I’m not too surprised you only found a couple of the stories to be really good.

    Liked by 1 person

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