Festival of Ghosts

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
On July 15th of every year in Asia the gates of hell open allowing the dead to roam free and curse the living. Vietnamese children make burnt offerings of valuables from cash to whole homes to appease the dead and ensure, they're not afflicted by the itinerant spirits during The Festival of Ghosts. This year so will Matthew Powell whose father made burnt offerings of his own during the Vietnam war More
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About Kelson Hargis

Kelson Hargis is an author, analyst, and professional technical writer for a Fortune 100© insurer. He has a B.S.|B.A. in Organizational Innovation which he’s found to be completely useless.

He’s also an internet entrepreneur and partner at 1106 & Darkhouse Films where he’s still forbidden from touching any equipment. Their 2016 Cincinnati 48 Hour Film Project entry Abaddon was critically acclaimed by close friends, relatives, and anyone remotely familiar with the disturbing nature of Kelson’s horror fiction. He’s occasionally permitted to relieve himself, eat, or sleep when he meets scripting word counts, casting, sourcing, and project management objectives.

Kelson has published horror shorts such as Elijah’s Phone, Festival of Ghosts, and Acta Somnium under his brand HorrorByHargis. He's determined to prove his sanity to family and friends by publishing a compilation of modern realistic shorts called True Stories & Other Fantastic Tales, then despoil that with a supernatural, thriller novella, Karma, Pleasure & Pain both of which are almost done (really).

Please don’t startle Kelson should you encounter him as he is considered "clinically unstable.” He is a contributing author of the horror anthology, Shadows And Teeth, Volume 2.

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Martini47 reviewed on on Jan. 27, 2014

I honestly didn’t know how I felt about this at first (finding it after Quarry Lake by the same author). This started off great. Then I wasn’t sure where it was heading which became clearer as I continued reading. This did turn out to be a good read though (important). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the writing I really liked in Quarry Lake wasn’t just a fluke.

Kelson Hargis displays the same story telling chops in this one that he has in his other, albeit tamer, ghost story. Matthew Powell is a guy with serious mental issues. Those issues—post-traumatic stress, abuse, or stress over job loss?—quickly ignite (pun intended) explosively. This story segues from comical at times (“Have You Tied Your Shoe for me Lately”) to disturbing in a flash which imparts an unsettling aspect to the narrative.

Kelson Hargis also displays the same writing ability I liked about Quarry Lake with little gems like, “Everything was crystallizing into a broader and broader understanding, a greater wisdom about the events carrying him ever closer to the abyss like a river toward a waterfall.” Though there is less of it. Still this works quite well as horror with a more “in your face” stylization.

Festival of Ghosts doesn’t disappoint.
(review of free book)
Matt St.Clair reviewed on on Jan. 12, 2014

I’m not really into short stories but the cover of this grabbed me. I’m not sorry it did either! It is well written, clear, and to the point. I didn’t even notice any typos or grammatical errors as is so often the case. However, I may have missed something because it drew me in right away. I will say that it seemed a little slow to develop at first after such a great opening, even for a short story, but it all makes sense by the end of the second chapter.

The coolest part is that it is based on a real festival in Asia where people burn things to send into the afterlife for their dead relatives (see the introduction). It then quickly becomes clear why the MC, Matthew Powell becomes a pyromaniac himself. I don’t think that I have seen anything like this from any other authors, established or not, so it is also totally original (always a plus). The beginning mentions other free stories by the author which is also nice, but only one is horror. I will definitely be looking for more from this writer.
(review of free book)
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