Wednesday 4 February 2015

REVIEW: Evans Light - Screamscapes: Tales of Terror.

Genre: Horror / Collection
Publisher: Corpus Press
Publication Date: 30th Sept 2013
Pages: 427


A collection of short stories from Evans Light.

It’s no secret. I love Evans Light’s writing. This collection of short stories cements that feeling in an immense way. Normally when I do a review of a collection I would skim over the stories highlighting one or two that I felt deserved individual praise. With Screamscapes they all deserve their own credit. So to that end, below are short individual reviews of each story in the book. It’s a long review so I don’t blame you if you don’t read it all but you will only be forgiven if you’ve bought it and are currently reading it yourself!


This is a story about a husband looking forward to his wife going away to her mother’s for a week so he can have some time alone with his mistress……as long as he completes the job tidying the crawlspace under their house first. When he climbs under to start the work, he gets some unexpected surprises.

This story is not for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia. It is beautifully written to scare the living shit out of you if you do. Can’t reveal too much without giving away the story but it portrays, perfectly, what the atmosphere would be like under a house for someone who does not like small spaces. My skin crawled quite a few times. It’s horrific but psychologically horrific instead of physically horrific.



If you are one of those people (like me) who read and read and read and have always had an idea that you could someday write a story or book yourself, then this story will scare the bejeesus outta you.

Gerard takes a sabbatical from his current job to write the novel he has always wanted to write. Straight away he gets writers block. He goes to his local bookstore for some inspiration and a stranger gives him a piece of paper and asks him to read what is printed on it out loud. From this moment on he becomes possessed by pure evil. Will his book ever get written? And at what cost?

This story is creepily brilliant. You get very scared for the main character Gerard. You feel his pain as sometimes things are taken completely out of his hands. There are two or three twists in this story that you just never see coming and an ending that leaves your imagination running wild for an hour after you finish it.



A very short tale about a man who has a symbiotic twin called Gertrude. Can’t tell anymore because I would ruin it. Two or three pages long, this is an exercise in how to mesmerize and gross someone out in such a short space.

Creepily gory, this is not one you want to read over dinner.



A band of pioneers head west in 1839 moving to a new “promised land” that their zealot leader is convinced awaits them. At the edge of death from starvation, the small wagon train eventually reaches what seems to be a new Garden of Eden. Two unusually large apple trees in a lush garden complete with 2 empty houses and enough provisions to last a year.

Their leader is convinced it is a sign from God but young Micha is not so sure. Before he can learn to explain some weird happenings he is distracted by the charms of Anna. Their distractions mean they are ill prepared for the awakening of a long dormant evil that will punish anyone that cannot resist the temptation.

I have reached the conclusion that Evans Light is somewhat of a master at short stories. This is (in my opinion) a modern day twist on the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It’s beautiful. The writing is almost poetic in its description of the surroundings, the characters and the plot. The tension and horror builds and builds to a climax that is both horrifying and unexpected. Another story that looks under the skin of the human being and our faults. This is quite possibly my favourite ever short story.

Huge ★★★★★


George lays down for a nap but can’t get to sleep because of people talking. He soon discovers the voices are coming from his nose. With the help of a microphone he can fit in his nostril he confides in a friend for help. He, and his friend, get more than they bargain for.

This will give you a laugh and when it’s finished will leave you thinking what the hell did I just read.

Superb ★★★★★


A man and his young daughter are waiting in a subway station in New York in the dead of night. As the train approaches, the little girl screams that she saw the “mole people”. Once on the train, some intrigued out of towners ask the man what the “mole people” are. He starts to tell them all about the urban myth. Then the lights go out.

This is a creepy tale. It’s quite easy from the outset to see where it’s going but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment in any way. Evans says that this may be developed into a longer story at some stage. That, I would be really interested in reading.

Another ★★★★★


Stephen and Joe have been going to an amusement park with each other on the same date for 15 years since they were little kids. Now grown up they do it for what could be the last time. They both hold secrets. They both hate each other. It’s coming to a head but who will get payback? Stephen the wise guy or Joe the Nard.

A tongue in cheek story that saves the horror until the last few pages. This is a lot of fun and has quite possibly one of the thickest, dimmest characters I have ever met.

And another ★★★★★


James and Claire have just bought a new house. Well, it’s new to them but a very old property. James used to play there as a child with the little girl Sophie who lived there. She is unfortunately no longer alive. When her parents sell the house to James they have one stipulation. Never remove the curtains from the tower room. When they move in, strange things seem to start happening. The curtains seem to be to blame.

This is one very creepy ghost story with a rather surprising ending. In fact it includes an alternative ending just in case you fancy a different slant on things. This one really made my skin crawl.

Once again ★★★★★


Santa is depressed. His “package” is shrinking and he’s just read a newspaper article about a man with the world’s largest penis. He is at a very low point in his life due to having to lay off most of his elves, and not getting any “action” due to his shrinkage problem. When a man with dyslexia sends Santa a legally binding contract to sell him his soul, Santa sees a way of using this to his advantage.

This is hilarious in its own dark way. It’s a side of Santa we don’t often see and many would believe impossible. It’s short and punchy. It’s funny but scary at the same time. When you think of it afterwards it actually leaves you with a very dark impression of the man kids love the world over.

Just the ★★★★★


Three kids and their dad are in a hurry to get packed and set off on a journey that will take them to Camp Eustace for a week’s summer camp. When they eventually get there, after a few detours, the camp is deserted. There are no cars. No excited kids. No staff. The only thing they find is a black door. What’s on the other side will change their lives forever.

This is a very creepy short that although is billed as an all ages story, certainly gave me goose bumps. Again Mr Light mentions this may be developed into a novel. I can’t wait.

A lowly ★★★★★

So there it is. A short description of all the wonderful stories you can find in Screamscapes. I have to quite honestly say that this is probably one of my favourite short story collections by a single author that I have ever read. I especially like the way Evans adds little commentaries at the end of each story to give you an idea of how they came about. You have variety. You have horror. You have laughs. All you could ask for in a collection instead of the same old things over and over.

I can’t wait for the next collection by Evans Light or indeed anything he writes.

General rating:

★★★★★ Absolutely loved it. Highly recommended.

Horror rating:

★★★★★ I need a change of pants!

You can buy Screamscapes here:

Book Synopsis:

SCREAMSCAPES: TALES OF TERROR is a collection of uniquely twisted tales designed to delight fans of modern horror.

Razor-sharp scares and TALES FROM THE CRYPT-style mayhem lurk within these dark stories of possession, obsession, deception and revenge...this is one collection you don't want to miss!

Evans has lived here and there across the United States, from the mountains to the beaches to the desert, and currently chooses to reside in a southern state where the weather is warm and living is easy.

He is the proud father of fine sons and the lucky husband of a beautiful wife, and is currently hard at work completing his first full-length novel.

You can see more about Evans at his website.

Evans’ authors page is here.

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