It’s Mad Martha with you today ready to scare the pants (and other assorted items of clothing) off you readers with the spine-tingle-inducing creepy novella that is A Christmas Horror Story by Sebastian Gregory. At only 160ish pages, this is the perfect antidote to cutesy seasonal cheer for all you Grumpy Cats out there. I received a digital copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley. As I’m a bit pushed for time at the moment, busy, as I am, spreading cutesy seasonal cheer (in 30+ degree heat) I have used the blurb from Goodreads. Allow yourself to be drawn in, my little pretties….
On the night before Christmas, lock the doors to the house…
Forget the jolly old man in his red, big-buttoned suit. Because another creature is up on the roof, preparing for his annual visit to little children everywhere.
With a belt of knives round his waist, a writhing bag on his back and a Santa-sized appetite, he’s a little…different to the St Nick you might be expecting.
And you can leave out all the carrots and mince pies you like…but it’s you he’s after.
Coal in your stocking?
He’s coming for YOU my dear
Take your last mince pie
I love a good seasonal terror-fest as much as the next monster – remember we brought you Chris Priestley’s Christmas Tales of Terror last year? – but this little gem really ups the ante in the look-over-your-shoulder-because-that’s-not-Santa-behind-you stakes. I thoroughly enjoyed this atmospheric little tale about three siblings, who, being left alone on Christmas Eve due to their mother’s working schedule, come under threat of the Child Eater – a festive imposter of legend who (rather obviously) eats children while calling out (less obviously) in German in a sinister monster voice.
I won’t go into too much detail because the story is so short to begin with, but the two best parts of this for me were the very ambiguous ending and the continuation of the Child Eater’s legend throughout history. If you are a fan of things that eat children – and let’s face it, we are all acquainted with at least one little pill who we would happily see swallowed up by a Christmas monster – then this little tale will be the perfect bite-sized festive horror experience.
I was unaware while I was reading this that I had very recently attempted another of Sebastian Gregory’s works, which I abandoned for reasons that will become obvious if you read my Goodreads review, but if you read this one and enjoy his style, you may want to check out The Boy in the Cemetery also.
Until we meet again, may all the fat guys coming down your chimney be benign in intent,