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Sunday, November 22, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Video Palace by Dr. Maynard Wills

Video Palace 
by Dr. Maynard Wills

Publisher: Tiller Press
Publish Date: October 13, 2020
384 Pages
Genres: Horror, Short Stories, Anthology

A collection of chilling stories from the leading writers in horror and suspense exploring elusive urban legends.

In the popular podcast Video Palace, Mark Cambria, aided by his girlfriend Tamra Wulff, investigated the origins of a series of esoteric white videotapes. Cambria went missing in pursuit of these tapes, but not before hearing whispers of an ominous figure called the Eyeless Man.

Fascinated by the podcast and Cambria’s disappearance, Maynard Wills, PhD, a professor of folklore, embarks on his own investigation into the origins of the tapes and the Eyeless Man, who he believes has lurked in the dark corners of media culture and urban legends for at least seventy-five years. As part of his study, he has invited popular writers of horror and gothic fiction to share their own Eyeless Man stories, whether heard around the campfire or experienced themselves.

Get swept away in this thrilling and terrifying collection of tales from contributors including:
-Bob DeRosa
-Meirav Devash and Eddie McNamara
-Owl Goingback
-Brea Grant
-Merrin J. McCormick
-Rebekah and David Ian McKendry
-Ben Rock
-John Skipp
-Graham Skipper
-Gordon B. White
-Tamra Wulff and Mary Phillips-Sandy

My Review:

I'm not a podcast listener so I wasn't sure how it would be to go into a collection of stories based on the Video Palace podcast. So honestly, I'm not sure if I missed anything or not. What I can say is that I had fun reading this collection. Lots of creepy moments and I had to remind myself to not even think of the Eyeless Man or he'd come for me... which resulted in me actually thinking about him... but I'm safe... so far... I think....

Very reminiscent of Slender Man (which I was obsessed with at one point) with a touch of The Ring with those damn video tapes. I'm so happy I got rid of my VHS player a few years back (yes, I still had one for a LONG time). I did feel at times that while the stories are all from different points of views, they all still seemed somewhat similar to each other. Perhaps it would've been better to read a couple stories here and there rather than binge reading the entirety of it all in one sitting.

If you're a fan of folklore/urban legends then I think you'll have a lot of fun with this collection. Like all collections, some tales grabbed me more than others but I can they all raised the tiny hairs.


Jessica's Review:

I am absolutely fascinated by urban legends and folklore. The creepier the better. While I'm not a podcast listener, this seems like one I should finally give a chance. It's no secret that Slenderman is one I can't get enough of, mainly because you can literally find the exact date of his origins on creepy pasta, and yet he has such a hold on some people. That just shows the power that some urban legends can have.

This book caught my attention because I've never heard of the Eyeless Man before and he seems to be one where you can't truly pinpoint his origins. He feels similar to the Bye-Bye Man (definitely recommend that movie), where you don't want to think of him or he'll come for you. Don't say it and don't think it - easier said than done, right?

This collection of short stories was a great way to introduce him and see people's experiences with this chilling urban legend (and of course resulted in online searches for more). I loved the format, all coming from VHS tapes. A unique way of telling the stories. While to some the stories could feel repetitive, it shows how he manifests and the consistency made it even creepier to me.

If these types of urban legends, folklore, and creepy campfire stories pique your curiosity, then give this one a try! Now, back into the rabbit hole of researching different stories and inevitably freaking myself out. 

5 stars

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