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January 7th 1855A boy weeps beside the grave of his dead father; his infant sister clings to his leg It is another pitiless blow for a life already stained with bloodWhen all those you hold dear have been taken from you where do you find solace?In the arms of the dead for the living no longer careThis is novella length and totals approximately 21500 words

10 thoughts on “Seance of the Souls

  1. says:

    45This novella brings stories of the Fettiplace family and links up somewhat to the previous two short story collections Ballet of the Bones and Mask of the MacabreAfter Matthew Napier loses his father then his sister in horrific fashion He turns to alcohol to cope with his loss but finds solace in a spiritualist church and is befriended by some of the members He soon begins to grow suspicious of the actions of some and decides to find out about themDavid Haynes seems to have such a great feel for this era the language and atmosphere that's created are so authentic you feel sucked into the story immediately The tense atmosphere that is created could classify this as 'uiet horror' the general unease is continually built upon but the violence when it comes is very much in the manner of the most gruesome penny dreadful

  2. says:

    Cold calculated and probably insanethat's how I described William Fettiplace and his sister Susanna after reading Ballet of the Bones After reading Seance of the Souls I would like to add evil and vengeful What a horribly nasty pair Horribly fun to read though4 STARS

  3. says:

    A new horror classis from David Haynes Having read his previous two short stories I was sure this would be a good read and I wasn't disappointed The format has changed slightly this is a novella rather than a short story collection The story is set in the same era Victorian London as the short stories but you don't need to have read them to enjoy this although if you haven't read them yet then you should The story itself concerns a young man who has lost everything and his uest to right that wrong The writing describes his journey perfectly and the style fits the period Reading it I am drawn to writings of the greats from that age but also the ornate darkness and gruesomeness of the 'penny dreadfuls' There is nothing in this book not to like The cover is a work or art I loved this book If you enjoy proper old fashioned horror tales then you have to read this book It is simply splendid

  4. says:

    Superbly chillingly creepy

  5. says:

    'Snow fluttered from the sky like feathers from dying angels' wings and awakened the street from its gloomy slumberIts spire pointed into the gloom like a needle through the dirty linen of the street' In this the third in the Macabre Collection author David Haynes proves once again he can set a scene in few words that is so atmospheric it makes you shiver The descriptions dialogue and overall feel of this novella are so authentic that it is an absolute pleasure to read The book sees the return of Fettiplace and his despicable acts are once again on display What we find this time though is that there is some sort of horrific method to his madness We follow the main character Matthew Napier right from the beginning with the death of his father and it is a miserable life that is narrated What makes it so interesting and unsettling is that like Matthew the reader is in the dark much of the time What lies around the corner is unknown and at several points I was almost dreading it At the end of the book and before writing this review I was hovering between four and five stars But then I read the last few pages again where all is revealed in twists I did not see coming and let the revelations sink in In a delayed reaction the power of this book hit me and I realised how everything had been leading up to the grotesue finale without me even realising it The book is a five star hit and I have been left with disturbing images ingrained in my mind I cannot imagine this genre of story better written Readif you dare

  6. says:

    Dear reader let yourself be drawn almost against your will into the swirling misty alleyways of the past to experience the Seance of the Souls With a growing sense of unease you'll recognise some of the hideous characters from your previous travails in the Mask of the Macabre and Ballet of the BonesBeginning with a funeral where Matthew Napier is confronting the loss of his family you will stumble through the bloodstained gutters of Victorian London to witness a fortune teller giving him and his sister a bleak reading indeed Once Matthew's sister is ripped from him too his despair is complete; and he is vulnerable to the advances of pure evil This is embodied by members of a spiritualist church and he is confronted by the past in ways even you could not imagine Is it magic or murder? Who can Matthew trust? Amid corpses skulls and ever shifting masks you will not know which way to turn Be sure to keep your own senses sharp as those around you descend into madnessDavid Haynes's novella carries on from his two short story collections but also stands alone as a great read Highly recommended

  7. says:

    In this novella length story Matthew Napier tells of the deaths of his family He and his sister visit a fortune teller and are given a short but very grim reading Matthew turns to drink in his despair and the dark alleys and gutters of Victorian London infested by dreary and desperate creatures are very evocatively described He comes under the insidious influence of members of a spiritualist church and discovers about his family than ever he suspectedThe author creates a dismal London and gives us a character who is an evil genius If you’ve read his earlier Victorian horror tales you will recognise this man The novella allows us the opportunity to go a little deeper into the main character than the short stories did and we almost come full circle I was struck by the fact that although we are dealing with séances and spiritualism with the supposed terror and pain of the recently dead the real evil in this story comes straight from the human soul An atmospheric chiller

  8. says:

    From the book description on are two lines that do a great job of summing up what this 72 page novella is about When all those you hold dear have been taken from you where do you find solace? In the arms of the dead for the living no longer care This Victorian tale of terror takes place in London in 1855 and the author does a wonderful job of creating an eerie atmosphere and can truly make you feel as if you are thereThe author is currently writing but given the language and syntax it could have actually been written in the 19th century David Haynes is a very talented writer who has found his niche in writing about the Victorian era If you have not read any of the works of this author you have no idea what you're missing If I could have given it a sixth star I would certainly have done so As it is I gave it the highest recommendation possible; read it and you won't be disappointed

  9. says:

    This is a novella by David Haynes which features some of the characters first introduced in his selections of short stories Mask of the Macabre and Ballet of the Bones as well as introducing new ones The story stands alongside the anthologies but it is not necessary to have read them first Once again the author has done a wonderful job of recreating the seamier side of Victorian London writing convincingly in a style appropriate to those timesThis time he turns his mind to the early Spiritualists to chilling effect The result is a very atmospheric macabre story introducing a young man who has lost everything in life that he holds dear It is a tale with a lot of twists and turns in it and it is not until the very final couple of pages that everything slots into place in a very clever ending

  10. says:

    I reviewed the Box Set Collection here