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Step onto the shadowy streets of Victorian London and experience the terror of The Macabre CollectionThree books of horror for your dark and delicious entertainment Mask of the Macabre The date is January 10th 1866 and the snow is falling thick on the blood soaked streets of a murderous LondonMask of The Macabre A travelling magician appears with a gruesome show But what secret does it hide?Doctor Harvey Bethlem lunatic asylum's newest patient has a story to tell but how will he tell it to his doctor? Memento Mori A photographer is given a mysterious assignment with disturbing conseuencesThe New Costume The entertainer discovers a new string to his bow and gives the finest performance of his career Ballet of the Bones London suffocates under the festering reek of its bursting graveyards Ballet of the Bones The curtain goes up on the greatest show on earth but is everything all it seems?The Bone House The grave digger reflects on his morbid life but what does his future hold?The Engineer His creations are beautiful intricate and for a discerning palateEncore The director makes ready for the end of the show Seance of the Souls January 7th 1855Brookwood Cemetery LondonA 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 careA story of Victorian terror where all is not uite as it seems


10 thoughts on “The Macabre Collection

  1. says:

    I have read each of these stories under separate coverMask of the MacabreI love the gritty feel of Victorian horror and Haynes does a great job capturing that feelFour related horror short stories that are certainly worth checking out4 STARSBallet of the BonesCold calculated and probably insane I am really enjoying the murderous exploits of William Fettiplace and his sister Susanna If the Victorian era had a Hannibal Lecter it was William Fettiplaceminus the cannibalism so far4 STARSSeance of the SoulsCold 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 STARS4 STARS as a collection


  2. says:

    Review originally posted at with me if you will to January 10th 1866 Top hats are everywhere pocket watches are falling from the sky like rain and people are dying death by disease and death by intent What is happening on the streets of Victorian London? More importantly what is happening inside the minds of those who roam the streets by day or night allowing the macabre entertainment of the day to become all consumingThe Macabre Collection is an omnibus of three books Mask of Macabre Ballet of Bones and Seance of Souls The first two instalments in this collection of books are collections of short stories the third being a novella but is the formatting of the content what you are reading this review for? Certainly not You want to know what lies beneath the cover of this dark collection and whether it is worth your time Short answer yes Long answerThe GoodThe first thing that stood out to me while reading this collection was the writing style Mask of Macabre starts by telling you it is January 10th 1866 and this is certainly not a lie Not only does David Haynes tell us the date but he draws us into that time using some kind of other worldly mechanic words The #1 tool at any writer's disposal is their words They can be used in many different ways some good and some bad but it is imperative that they are understood Haynes sets the scene right from the first sentence bringing us back to a time when macabre entertainment and all things wild dark and disturbing were normative Not only is the story set in the past but Haynes somehow manages to get his head into the time so completely that even his writing style takes on the flavour of the era He is right up there with HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe the flavour of words holding many similarities to the horror authors who have gone before us David Haynes is able to integrate so well into the time that the reader is no longer sitting on their couch sipping iced coffee from whatever mug they could find clean that day but is standing out in the snowy streets of Victorian London afraid of what may be lurking in the shadowsThough both Mask of Macabre and Ballet of Bones are groups of short stories they are not just a random smattering of Haynes writings slapped between two covers Not only are they set in the same universeworldtime as each other but one story builds off of the next in a refreshing engaging and uniue way All of the stories in this collection are in the same world but each book focuses on a different character telling their story from a variety of different perspectives When starting the second story in Mask of Macabre I wasn't sure how or if it would be connected in any meaningful way By the time I reached the end of the third story I was so drawn in that I wanted to know what happens next not next in the strictest sense of a natural chapter progression but next nonetheless It goes without saying that each short story has its own conclusion as any story should but the package of Mask of Macabre and Ballet of Bones each tell their own story in their own right By the time the conclusion of the first book roles around you see how everything comes together and may say clever or applaud Haynes with a slow clap The problem is that the writing style does not allow for such cultural relevances as a slow clap and Haynes being stuck in Victorian London would not understand the implications of such applauseEach short story on its own comes together with some grotesue ending in the final paragraphs which reveal a lot about the over arching story The reader is enjoying a nice little day on the beach or rather a dark day on the streets of London and all of a sudden everything makes sense The sun comes up and the shadows of the night are lifting revealing the twilight demons who have been stalking there The final paragraphs of each story often left me with an appropriate gross feeling vs the simple darkness the rest of the tale emanates It's like walking through a swamp at night not thinking anything of it but when someone shines a light you can see the slimy mess that you are really walking through The almost abrupt realizations that are thrown at the reader upon story's end reveal just enough about the over arching story to keep you interested but not enough to be obvious Even after finishing the entire Macabre Collection there are still a few things that I was scratching my head about but not in a bad way David Haynes does not believe in hand holding but allows his readers to think for themselvesThe BadNo matter how good something is there is always something that isn't perfect Fortunately the opposite is true as well Concerning Mask of Macabre and Ballet of Bones each short story within these books are from a different point of view There is some character cross over and the connectivity of the stories is astounding but though the POV changes add some flavour they don't allow for as much character development as I would have liked Because of the different format in Seance of Souls this is not the case Haynes does a good job of getting the reader into the POV character's head but sometimes I wished that there was going on within their head before the story came to a close knowing that I wouldn't hear anything from them again or if I did it would be under very different circumstancesThough each book has a distinct conclusion of its own I wasn't as impressed with the conclusion of Ballet of Bones The book was not un entertaining but I do feel that it is the weakest of the collection It is through much pondering that I come to a conclusion as to why this is Mask of Macabre and Seance of Souls are closely connected to the over arching story than Ballet of Bones is Yes there is some character cross over and yes Ballet of Bones is still set in the same world but it tells a distinctly uniue tale of its own Seance of Souls brings up a lot of things that were introduced in Mask of Macabre answering some uestions and asking even The close relation of the first and third instalments was excellent but I feel that Ballet of Bones fell a little bit when it came to thisIt should go without saying that if you don't like the grotesue you probably shouldn't read horror but I will comment on it here The extremely disturbing content of this book could put a lot of people off thus limiting the collection's audience immensely Despite this fact taking away the overly grotesue aspects would take too much away from the feel and never did it feel too over the top or gross just for the sake of it The disturbing images were less overt descriptions and psychological disturbances which are as much as if not so off putting for someConclusionAll in all this is an excellent collection and I highly recommend to anyone who likes a dark tale especially if you are tired of the zombie hordes and over used ghost children If you are not turned away by potentially disturbing content and like to get your hands dirty in the mind of some pretty disturbed individuals this book is for you Also if you have ever read and HP Lovecraft and enjoyed it this book will make you feel right at home The psychological turmoil of the characters is believable and David Haynes never ceases to draw you from your reading chair placing you right into the scene with his beautifully crafted words


  3. says:

    I've previously read the components of this collection and can say that this is some of the finest horror I've read in a while the author truly gets the feel of Victorian horror here's what I thought of the individual partsMask of the MacabreThis is a collection of four stories that connect with each other They are set in Victorian London and is written in a style reminiscent of the penny dreadfuls of the time The writing is excellent and stands out compared to the economical modern style we're used to The description is lovely and the horror of the stories is remarkableBallet of the BonesAfter reading the previous collection 'The Mask of the Macabre' if you haven't read that yet you should I picked this up immediately hoping for of the same and I wasn't disappointed While it follows on loosely from 'Mask of the Macabre' you don't need to have read that to read 'Ballet of the Bones' but as I've already said if you haven't you should 'Ballet of the Bones' follows the same format of four short stories that weave in and out of each other My favourite was the story about the grave digger but they were all good The setting is Victorian London and the writing matches that of the period Seance of the SoulsA new horror classic from David Haynes Having read his previous two short story collections 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 splendidAll in all this collection is a must read for all horror fans


  4. says:

    This collection of short stories is an omnibus edition of Mask of the Macabre Ballet of the Bones and Séance of the Souls to give a total of 12 very gothic creepy short stories portraying the underbelly of Victorian London the slice of the city that is made up of macabre entertainment such as freak shows and séances and populated by conniving showmen mediums spiritualists and charlatans preying on the Victorians' morbid fascination with all things death related The stories can be read as stand alone tales but the same characters do crop up throughout the collection to give a feeling of continuityThe stories are very well written characters behave and talk appropriately for the times the stories are set in and the descriptions of London are so evocative that you can almost smell the London fog The tales are gruesome grisly and macabre with very much a Tales of the Unexpected feel to them and you can almost picture Christopher Lee or Vincent Price as some of the characters Highly recommended


  5. says:

    Different and EnjoyableThis was a different sort of story I liked it so much that I read it in one sitting Fast paced with some intriguing twists to the story Kept me entertained Three stars for this one


  6. says:

    I adored reading this book and highly recommend it especially for those who enjoy a good creepy story andor the darker side of Victorian London This is made up of 3 books the first 2 are made up of short stories and the third is 1 longer story The 3 books in this are available to buy read separately but if I can offer this one really useful piece of advice in this review it is to not read them separately get this version and read it from start to finish The reason I suggest this is that each small story is linked and as you go through and read about William Fettiplace and his sister Susanna the you think they can't possibly get any worse Of course they do get worse and again you're forced to continue further through the stories I found it un putdownable a real page turner Perfect for reading on a dark winters night when you're curled up alone The books are deliciously ish the scenes of the underbelly of Victorian life are addictive I won't give any away just read it


  7. says:

    David Haynes’ “The Macabre Collection” is a paperback that contains three stories originally released in ebook format At the reuest of his fans Mr Haynes released this box set for your “darkly delicious entertainment” Mask of the Macabre Ballet of the Bones and Séance of the Souls takes you to the streets theaters shops and yes graveyards of Victorian London I’ll not lift the veil on Haynes’ morbid world but suffice it to say if you are a dark horror enthusiast look no farther than “The Macabre Collection” You will not be disappointed Very highly recommended


  8. says:

    David Haynes takes you on a dark and cruel journey into the perversion in Victorian London See the horrors perpetrated by the blackest hearts and minds of society Discover the true depths to which mankind can descend all brought together in vivid detail I look forward to books by this author His stories are uite bizarre not for the faint of heart


  9. says:

    This is the first book I've read by David Haynes and I haven't read much Victorian horror and I really enjoyed this Very atmospheric and I liked the fact that even though the first two were short stories there was a link between all of them very cleverly done Will definitely read by David Haynes


  10. says:

    Fantastic Really enjoyed this book It put together the fascinating and gory trends of the Victorian era in page turning stories that intertwine with each other You know a story is good when your left with wanting I just hope the author hasn't finished with the grisly brother and sister duo