Few horrors can do justice to the adolescent fears of your youth. When we are young, fear is a driving force behind our growth. We either learn from it and grow stronger…or we succumb to it, and we falter. But regardless of the outcome, the terror we experience during our childhood is many times raw and primal, some of the most powerful we will ever feel. As such, these make for great horror fiction. CHILDHOOD FEARS, an upcoming release from the fine folks at Samhain Publishing, is an excellent look into a few of these horrors. And while most of us survived our younger years without permanent scars, chances are readers of this book won’t be as lucky.
If you are not familiar with CHILDHOOD FEARS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
Four original novellas to make you hide under the covers!
Ah, the carefree, sunny days of childhood. And oh, the terrifying, dark nights. Nights when you closed your eyes tight, afraid to open them and see the painted, eternally leering face of a clown mere inches from your own. Nights when you could look out your bedroom window and watch the scarecrows walk across the lonely cornfields. When every story or fairytale your parents told you seemed to include monsters. And when even the teddy bear by your side had fangs and plans of his own. Travel back to those nights of horror now with four original novellas by four wonderfully macabre authors. And…sleep tight!
I love the concept for this book. It is such a fitting subject for an anthology. And, true to form, the folks at Samhain assembled the perfect group of authors to help create this ominous tome.
Each story in CHILDHOOD FEARS is written well and flows smoothly. Likewise, each embraces a specific fear from our youth and capitalizes upon it exponentially. I found myself literally shivering from time to time, an involuntary response to an exposed memory from my own childhood nightmares.
My favorite story has to be the first one, “Nightmare in Greasepaint” by L. L. Soares and Daniel Gunn. This haunting story tells of a man who goes back to his childhood home after his mother dies. There, he confronts a few demons, both old and new. The subject of this story is clowns, although not in the traditional sense. I love the originality of this piece and the way it ends.
CHILDHOOD FEARS is a major win for me, and I recommend giving it a look. Make a note to grab it when it is released next month, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself sleeping with a nightlight afterwards…