Title: You Saw Something You Shouldn’t Have
Author: Brandon Faircloth
You receive a text from an unknown sender early in the morning and it says: You saw something you shouldn’t have. Also the title of the book, this tale of a mysterious creature taunting a man as everything and everyone in his life suddenly vanishes is just one of seven short pieces in this collection of spooky stories. Ghosts, murders, magic, and monsters fill the pages of these horror stories that are just as thrilling as they are fun.
Opening the collection is “We made up a ghost. And now it’s killing us.” Five lifelong friends imagine a ghost that comes to life, consuming their childhoods entirely. Now that the friends are older, they realize that the ghost has never completely left them, following them into adulthood, and they fear they’ve waited too long to stop him from taking over their lives for good.
With a scary, unique villain at the center of it all, the story was a great way to start off the collection. The plot twists and the clever unraveling of details that linked the story’s mysteries together along with sympathetic characters made for a compelling first read.
Many the stories take on a journal-style approach, with a character noting what has happened to them. Unfortunately, many of these narratives begged for a change in perspective or a stronger reason for being written in a journal/blog-entry way.
“I wrote a letter to myself. I got a response.” is one that didn’t quite fit the entry-style, and the usage of first-person overall became a bit repetitive if reading each story consecutively. Specifically the title work “You saw something you shouldn’t have” would have benefited greatly from a change in the first-person perspective, perhaps using the second-person as a play on its title.
Each of the seven stories feature a completely different set of characters, plots, and haunted elements that create seven unique, exciting reading experiences. Some of the strongest pieces of the bunch lie in the middle of the book. “Mary Jane’s Pumpkin Patch,” the shortest but somehow the most haunting story, has imagery that will disgust even those with the strongest of stomachs.
The weakest stories were those that lacked organization. The narration in “I wrote a letter to myself. I got a response.” was a bit confusing as it changed often and unexpectedly. Though the fast pace and intense action was anxiety-inducing, too many details were too jumbled for it to be a cohesive, successful horror story.
“Come live in the ashes of my heart” is the most fantastical story of the collection, with whimsical and magical realms that, along with the unpredictable plot twists, will get readers’ hearts racing. Faircloth masterfully leaves these stories on cliffhangers that leave enough questions unanswered, but not so many that the ending feels dissatisfying.
Read these stories with your back against the wall, or prepare for these stories to leave you with shivers and paranoia. Haunting, creepy, and hair-raising, You Saw Something You Shouldn’t Have is the perfect spooky story collection that will keep readers up at night through the dark holiday season. Faircloth’s imaginative book of thrills is a perfect addition to any horror lover’s shelf and will leave them aching for more–while also grateful the horror is over.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Editorial Review written by the Book Review Directory Production Team. To receive a similarly honest, professional review for one of your own books, click here.