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Publisher's Summary

Dead of Night is a compilation of turn-of-the-century-era horror stories with a Victorian flair and traditional horror story plots with unexpected endings. If you like ghosts and ghouls and demons and werewolves, these stories are for you.

©2016 William Todd (P)2018 William Todd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect little horror collection for a dark night

Suspense and horror! These six tales show different sides to each one. Each was chilling and three I felt were excellent. I do wish there were more female characters in the collection but two of my favorite tales have them as the stars. All told, 4.5/5 stars.

WHITAKER HOUSE CURSE: While the plot was straight forward on this one, the author did a great job building the suspense. Old creepy house, a couple of men drinking and talking late into the night, a wicked storm raging outside. Yep, perfect setting for something devilish to take place. 4/5

I’M STILL ALIVE: At first, I thought this was a continuation of the first story, which ends on such a note that the title to this book fits in as a twist… except it’s now obvious to me it’s another story. In my mind, these two stories are entwined and the specifics of this one have become blurred. 3/5

JACK: This was a deliciously wicked story. Syphilis and serial murder! There’s also a nice little twist at the end, shedding a new light on Jack the Ripper. 5/5

THE THING IN THE SHADOWS: This was my favorite tale. It has several layers. On the surface, it’s about a man trying to fight a demon and save souls. Toss in some family dynamics (absentee father, opium, black sheep of the family, etc.) and there’s plenty here to ponder after the story is over. 5/5

BUMPS IN THE NIGHT: I loved this one too. A Down Syndrome daughter tells the tale about her father’s affliction and his best attempts to keep her safe while also fighting his own demons. No one makes it out unscathed! 5/5

IT’S JUST JOHNNY: This was very short and it was OK. Just a little petite four to end the collection. 3/5

The Narration: Ben Werling was very entertaining. His one weakness is the lack of femininity for the lady characters. He has distinct voices for all the characters and he did a variety of ages as well. Those coughing fits for the old man in The Thing in the Shadows was very well done. I liked his very creepy, lightly accented Stregoi from Whitaker House Curse. Werling also tossed in a few sound effects. Sometimes it was a little music, sometimes a baby crying, sometimes a door being kicked. The effects didn’t detract from the narration, staying in the background where they belong. 4.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by William Todd. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Don't listen in the dark, alone...

Holy sh*t, most of the stories in this collection scared the bejeezus out of me! As in, I had to stop listening once it got dark and I was alone, because I'm an enormous fraidy-cat and couldn't handle it. But, since I'm one of those fraidy-cats who love being scared….

WHITAKER HOUSE CURSE: Is it ever a good idea to make a deal with the devil or sign a contract you can't/didn't read? (2/5 stars)
A priest, a nosy neighbor, and the devil walk into a bar—well, it was a house, but you get the idea. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t QUITE that bad, but this was my least favorite of the bunch. It had promise but turned out to be utterly predictable and even a little dull. I actually found the introductory and closing diary entries to be more interesting and creepy/chilling than the story they were telling.

I'M STILL ALIVE: Murder is never the solution, and one man finds out why. Guilty conscience, anyone? (5/5 stars)
So, this one scared me pretty badly, and only part of it was the creepy sound-effect voices. It was the one that had me fighting the urge to lock myself in the bathroom with all the lights on and huddle in a safe corner till my husband got home from work. It was the one that lurked in my mind when I was trying to fall asleep and had me avoiding making eye contact with myself in the mirror at 2 a.m. While the terror came from what a lot of people would likely deem ‘jump scares’, I’m one of those wimps who is susceptible to that kind of thing. I could feel, in my gut and bones, the main character’s feat, anxiety, and growing sense of insanity. I’ve also always been both fascinated and completely freaked out by the whole dead-ringer thing, so even though it didn’t pan out like I expected, the concept still added another level of discomfort.

JACK: A tale about Jack the Ripper with an unexpected twist (5/5 stars)
“Jack” was definitely my favorite, even though it wasn’t scary. Intense, thought-provoking, and really interesting, but not scary. Being more a psychological thriller than a horror story, it brought the sinister and macabre into the mix and was a nice follow-up to the terror that preceded it. Mr. Todd used a subtle brush when painting the imagery and descriptions of Jack, and the twist at the end was one I never saw coming. It was so surprising that I wanted to go back and listen again, to see what I missed that might have tipped me off to the revelation. What foreshadowing did I miss under all the grittiness of London and emotional stream-of-consciousness? This one will be a re-read for sure.

THE THING IN THE SHADOWS: And you thought you were the only one who could sell your soul…. (3.5/5)
This story was mediocre, and I found that my appreciation was related more to the craft skill of the author than any visceral, emotional connection to the story. Sure, a lot of really messed-up events unfold, and the idea of a parent being able to sell the soul of their child is freaking terrifying, but the pace was slow enough that it sapped some of the intensity. There were enough breaks in the demon-main interactions to let the tension taper off a bit. On the other hand, Mr. Todd’s ability to paint vivid descriptions really shone here, and he also proved himself able to create a fairly complex main character—one who was able to grow and make hard decisions despite the shortness of his story.

BUMPS IN THE NIGHT: Werewolves (4/5)
This was another story that was only a little scary, though there’s a much more noticeable ramp-up in the dread and dawning horror than in the others. I enjoyed the child’s POV and Mr. Todd wrote her very convincingly. It was easy to feel the story she was telling, and I wanted to just pick her up and hug her until it was all better. Enough scene-setting was done to give a good sense of her father’s desperation and the world they lived in, which for me at least, added an air of almost forlornness to the narrative. The ending may perhaps have been a little predictable, but that didn’t stop me from whispering “Oh, hell no!” once I realized what was happening…and all it took was one brief, almost in-passing observation from our main character.

IT'S JUST JOHNNY: What happens when the monster under the bed isn’t what you think. (5/5)
This one was so short, and that’s part of what made it the creepiest of the whole collection. Creepy enough to make me REALLY happy that my bed doesn’t have an ‘under’. The lack of character development, world-building, or backstory left us with just the bare-bones, need-to-know details, inducing a much sharper fear, at least for me. There wasn’t anything to get in the way of what unfolded. Thanks for the nightmares, Mr. Todd.

Ben Werling was the perfect narrator for this collection. His voice had the right tone, pitch, and gravity to convey the mood of the stories, the emotions of the characters, and the intended pace of the various plots. His use of sound effects only enhanced his performance. They were particularly well-used in “I’m Still Alive”; that wife’s voice still gives me the shivers. The audio quality was clean and professional, with only the intended background noises audible to the reader.

Bottom line: While this tour would have felt more appropriate in October rather than July, I’m beyond glad I participated. If you like being scared and are looking for a variety of ways to get there, then I can’t recommend this collection of shorts enough. Oh, and get the audio version; it has a life and ambience you’ll never get with the print copy.

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Spine Chilling

A short listen to, but a fun one at that! Todd’s six short horror stories will make you have goosebumps and shivers running down your spine. I really enjoyed each story for what it was. There is no continuation and they all end on this ambiguous note that works well for horror stories. I would definitely read or listen to a longer horror piece by this same author! Nothing is too scary, but it has this creepy atmosphere with the music and sound effects that really works with the stories being read! Werling does an excellent job at narrating different characters. By far my favorite voice he did was a Scottish man in the first short story. I highly recommend if you like darker, spookier tales and want to listen to something quick. I give the narration a 5/5 and the story a 5/5 as well!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by William Todd. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Keep The Lights On!

If you love things that go bump in the night, then this is definitely the audiobook for you. These tales are well written with fantastic characters, and they are dark and twisted. The narrator's voice is perfect for telling the tales as his voice has a melancholy tone which enhanced the creepy factors of these tales. You'll get the chance to meet a despicable husband, and even a vampire so come and get lost in the darkness of these macabre tales and don't forget to keep a light on.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Unique Gothic horror

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by William Todd. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Dead of Night is a collection of six short horror stories, all very Gothic or Victorian-eque, if you will. Each story has its own unique brand of horror, from a pact with the Devil to Jack the Ripper and more.
The stories are interesting, although I didn't find any of them to be too scary or spooky. But if you enjoy Gothic horror, then you'll definitely like these stories.
I've always had a fascination with Jack the Ripper for as long as I can remember, and I think the story titled Jack is my favorite. There's a bit of a twist with that one, and I rather liked the direction it went. I wasn't expecting that.
The narrator, Ben, does a good job bringing each story to life, and each character. He's easy to listen to, and whenever an accent is needed, he does it perfectly. Like in the first story, there's a man with a Scottish accent. Ben really brought that character to life. Plus, there were sound effects and bits of background "music" if you will that added in making the stories feel a bit creepier.
All in all, it's a good collection of stories, and I enjoyed listening to each one. I'd give Dead of Night 4 stars.

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A gripping and scary horror story!

Dark Of Night by William Todd is a gripping and scary horror story that was narrated in a way that took the spook factor to an entirely new level.

I loved this book, more than many other horror books I've read (that have totally failed to spook me.) This book was everything the short blurb promised - dark and macabre. I love reading short stories (the main reason why I picked this one up) and, to my relief, in this book all the short stories were good, some very good and some plain good, but good nonetheless.

All the stories were well-written and maintained a good pace. They all had a good beginning with a really good hook, a good middle point and a nice ending - even if it was an open ending. I enjoyed reading all the stories and plan to read more (or listen to more audiobooks) by the author.

The narration was really good and I loved the deep and dark voice of narration that leant this book a constant eerie air. My only complaint is that in some stories (especially in the first one) the background music seemed a bit funny at times and I felt that the audiobook could really do well without it.

I'd recommend this book to all horror readers and to anyone who's looking for a nice spooky read around Halloween.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Great Collection for Halloween!

This was an interesting collection of gothic horror stories. William Todd sets the scene beautifully with each one. This reminded me of a Victorian men’s club on Halloween where each tell a tale of horror riddled supernatural entities. This is a collection of six stories, they are not long, but the scene is set so well you are there with each of the poor souls in danger.
This audiobook is only 4 hours long, and Ben Werling’s narration is superb, with the different voices executed so well. It was like listening to a cast of many, and my attention never wavered all through the six stories. This is one to keep for Halloween so you can share with your friends.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by William Todd. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Perfect Quick Hit of Horror

4.5 STARS. Audio Book Review. It’s always difficult to review a book of short stories, but for Dead of Night, I can categorically say that it was good spooky fun. Of course, I have my favorite of the six stories (which was titled “Jack.” Oooooh, that TWIST!), but every story was thought provoking and creepy in its own disturbing way. DELICIOUS. I like the Victorian vibe to them all that allowed for significant chills without making me too uncomfortable in the safety of modern times. (I know, what safety? Don’t burst my bubble). Readers will enjoy stories that include a variety of narrators, subtle little hints of things to come, and interesting and unique premises that enrich the stories and set them apart from standard horror.

"I must confess that for someone who is about to die,
writing in my diary is a most odd notion."

From one of the earliest lines in the first story, “Whittaker House,” the reader is drawn in with the dread, doom, and heaviness surrounding the story. Author William Todd masterfully works his words so that the reader is right there with the characters, a fly on the wall that can see something terrible is coming but can’t do a thing about it. The pictures he paints are vivid and range from the most picturesque to the most macabre. Todd’s use of figurative language and non-standard words adds extra impact and raises the writing a literary notch.

"The sky was bathed in blue -- a sea in the heavens that matched any on earth…The serried tops of beech, oak, and elm trees swooned like sozzled sentries between all the properties.

Since I read Dead of Night with my ears, I cannot speak to the quality of the editing, but the sentences flow from narrator Ben Werling’s mouth, and the writing is top-notch. I cannot imagine that someone who writes like William Todd doesn’t take care to make his sentences clean in print. I am likely to buy this book so that I can re-read the stories, so we will see if I’m mistaken.

Speaking of the audio book, I listened at regular speed for a bit, which is best to feel the real gloom of the stories. However, as usual, I am too impatient, so I sped it up to 1.25x, which still worked very well and added anxiety to the mix of feelings listeners experience. There are some sound effects added in, and they were fun but somewhat random. I’m not sure if they added anything, but they didn’t really detract or distract. There is some background noise, a clicking/crackling that starts about seven minutes in and then can be heard sporadically for the rest of the book, but that is really the only technical issue with the audio.

Narrator Ben Werling does a great job in matching the moods of each story and voicing the wide variety of characters and accents. There aren’t many female characters, but those few are important, and Werling (thankfully) doesn’t make much effort to distinguish between the voices of males and females. The result is just right and is never confusing or cringe-worthy (there is nothing worse than all the women sounding Monty-Pythonesque). Werling’s delivery was mostly even, though there are times when the volume of his voice isn’t consistent. His emotion and expressiveness were excellent, and his pacing perfect. My only complaint were the numerous mispronounced words (particularly in “I’m Still Alive”); those were distracting to me and took me out of the story a time or two.

My nitpicking aside, I highly recommend the audio book of Dead of Night for fans of classic scary stories in the style of Edgar Allen Poe. At just four hours in length, it’s perfect for a short little road trip or to listen during the daily commute. And as I said, I plan on buying it in print so I can get a quick hit of horror any time. Thank you to Audiobookworm Productions and the author for the free audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderfully spooky read!

Each of the six tails are unique and intriguing in their own way, full of rich detail and realistic renderings of the time period they represent. The narration of each of these stories is crisp and exciting- a wonderful performance! I highly recommend to anyone looking for an enjoyable short read. Perfect for history lovers, and fans of gothic fiction!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Book Addict
  • 07-06-18

A Spooky Collection, Great for Halloween!

This was an interesting collection of gothic horror stories. William Todd sets the scene beautifully with each one. This reminded me of a Victorian men’s club on Halloween where each tell a tale of horror riddled supernatural entities. This is a collection of six stories, they are not long, but the scene is set so well you are there with each of the poor souls in danger.
This audiobook is only 4 hours long, and Ben Werling’s narration is superb, with the different voices executed so well. It was like listening to a cast of many, and my attention never wavered all through the six stories. This is one to keep for Halloween so you can share with your friends.