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.