Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole by Kristi Peterson Schoonover

The subtitle of this book says it all: Tales from Haunted Disney World. Each of the the short stories ties into this theme. This book is hypnotic and in many ways it’s not what I expected (to be completely honest, I am not sure what I did expect given the title and concept).

The stories span everything from albino adoptees to haunting childhood memories of a mother’s final days. It explores ideas like what happens to closed attractions at the eerily magical theme park to the religious implications of, of all things, Epcot Center. The book keeps you wondering where each story leads, what brought these characters to this point in their lives, and why Disney World ties each of these lives together in such interesting ways. What this book doesn’t do is disappoint you by giving into the temptation of cheap thrills. Its is a series of well crafted tone poems, each one designed to chill you in a way you do not expect.

My favorite story in the is collection is a whimsical morality tale aptly entitled “All This Furniture and Nowhere To Sit,” a tale of a man whose wife hoards collectibles.  He sees his life devolving and is powerless to break the spell that holds his wife, home, and wallet in perpetual terror as the house terrifyingly brims to overflowing and he loses control of everything he holds dear.

Kristi shows an precision in her writing that sometimes gives you just a quick glimpse of the picture she is painting, just enough to let the reader form the inevitable conclusion she is drawing you into. Her literary choices are very clean and clear; little is ambiguous. The terror she brings to the reader is on the surface almost pleasingly simplistic, but as you are ensnared in the web of her adroit storytelling you begin to be caught up in the complexities and the stories become even more chilling. It is very cool to read horror fiction that gives you something that you can work with as a reader. These stories don’t just beat you over the head with a bloody arm, instead they hold that arm out to shake your hand. Seriously, who else could write a horror story about Flash Mountain?

You can purchase Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole on Amazon

For the purposes of full disclosure, this book was a review copy sent to SFSN. No other remuneration was given or implied.



One Response to “Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole by Kristi Peterson Schoonover”

  1. TalkCast 112 – Kristi Petersen Schoonover | Sci Fi Saturday Night
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