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30 review for Irish Gothic: Tales of Celtic Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter Topside

    I really did enjoy this collection of Celtic horror stories. Each one was unique and paid homage to the Irish culture. It also gives some background to the creatures featured at the very end of the book, too. The writing is clear, descriptive, and engaging. Each story also moves at a good pace, not being too drawn out or too abbreviated. It is a quick read, but very enjoyable!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    This was an awesome collection of Irish folklore horror by author, Ronald Kelly! Something different from the southern horror author as he stepped out of the hills of Tennessee and journeyed to rolling green hills of Ireland. Along with an interesting introduction of his Irish ancestry there also includes a section of the Celtic folklore creatures with some history attached as well. There are seven stories within: Flangan's Bride The Wee Village Diabhal's Timepiece O'Sheehan! Postcard from Kilkenn This was an awesome collection of Irish folklore horror by author, Ronald Kelly! Something different from the southern horror author as he stepped out of the hills of Tennessee and journeyed to rolling green hills of Ireland. Along with an interesting introduction of his Irish ancestry there also includes a section of the Celtic folklore creatures with some history attached as well. There are seven stories within: Flangan's Bride The Wee Village Diabhal's Timepiece O'Sheehan! Postcard from Kilkenny A Fine Wake for Nana Ferree The Spawn of Arget Bethir Irish Celtic Creatures & Cryptoids (This section is at the end of the book and it was really cool as it tells a story for each creature that is found in the book.) Some of the creatures within are: banshee, werewolf, leprechaun to name just a few that are found within this book. All in all it was a very cool trip into the Irish countryside where all things spooky reside in the woods and hills of the Celtic culture. Another awesome book by author, Ronald Kelly has been added to my favorites shelf! Giving this one five "four-leaf clover folklore horror" stars!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    What a great treat from one of my favorite authors! We left the hollers of Tennesee behind and venture to The Emerald Isle for this collection. Each story is new and features many creatures of Irish folklore and mythology. I really like that Ronald Kelly tried something new with these stories. I liked each one. I wouldn't give any of them less than 4 stars. The writing is good, as it always is. The stories are a delight. My favorite was The Wee Village. It has a twist I didn't see comin What a great treat from one of my favorite authors! We left the hollers of Tennesee behind and venture to The Emerald Isle for this collection. Each story is new and features many creatures of Irish folklore and mythology. I really like that Ronald Kelly tried something new with these stories. I liked each one. I wouldn't give any of them less than 4 stars. The writing is good, as it always is. The stories are a delight. My favorite was The Wee Village. It has a twist I didn't see coming. But they are all really good. A Fine Wake for Nana Ferree, Flanagan's Bride. There is even a section at the end that explores the creatures in the stories a little more plus a translation guide! Another great collection from a great author!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    A great read. This was my first book by Ronald Kelly. I read it alongside Fear, also by Kelly. It’s a quick read filled with fun shorts. I’ll definitely be reading more of this authors work.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Another fantastic collection by author Ronald Kelly! My personal favorite in the collection was the one that started it off: Flanigan's Bride. This one honestly surprised me in the end. All of the other tales ranged in length and subject matter, and rated between 3-5 stars, in my opinion. (Only a couple of 3 stars, one being a very short tale that I found "predictable"). Overall rating of four stars, and definitely worth picking up! Recommended. Another fantastic collection by author Ronald Kelly! My personal favorite in the collection was the one that started it off: Flanigan's Bride. This one honestly surprised me in the end. All of the other tales ranged in length and subject matter, and rated between 3-5 stars, in my opinion. (Only a couple of 3 stars, one being a very short tale that I found "predictable"). Overall rating of four stars, and definitely worth picking up! Recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marina Schnierer

    Ronald Kelly is the man! He can do no wrong, as far as writing horror that is. He has become one of my favourite authors, and I highly recommend you seek out his books if you haven't done so already. This collection of short stories in Irish Gothic are absolutely delightful, to be sure, to be sure! Steeped in Irish folklore and with writing that is beautiful and seamless, this book is a treasure trove of gorgeous little tales which are highly entertaining, mysterious and spooky. My favourites are Ronald Kelly is the man! He can do no wrong, as far as writing horror that is. He has become one of my favourite authors, and I highly recommend you seek out his books if you haven't done so already. This collection of short stories in Irish Gothic are absolutely delightful, to be sure, to be sure! Steeped in Irish folklore and with writing that is beautiful and seamless, this book is a treasure trove of gorgeous little tales which are highly entertaining, mysterious and spooky. My favourites are Flanagan's Bride, Diabhal's Timepiece and Postcard from Kilkenny, but they are honestly all so wonderful. These stories were such a fun escape to the Emerald Isle and highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    Irish Gothic arrives in plenty of time for Saint Patrick's day as we wait in the heart of winter for the spring thaw, bringing seven stories of myth and folklore to further chill your bones. There's also a crash course in Irish creatures and cryptids included at the end along with an informative Gaelic/English translation for some of the terms that may be unfamiliar to you. I found it quite helpful. My favorites in this collection were Flanagan's Bride, which I could hear play out in a lilting Ir Irish Gothic arrives in plenty of time for Saint Patrick's day as we wait in the heart of winter for the spring thaw, bringing seven stories of myth and folklore to further chill your bones. There's also a crash course in Irish creatures and cryptids included at the end along with an informative Gaelic/English translation for some of the terms that may be unfamiliar to you. I found it quite helpful. My favorites in this collection were Flanagan's Bride, which I could hear play out in a lilting Irish brogue in my head. The lads in the pub don't believe any woman would ever marry Flannigan but they are in for a shock when he brings his bride home. In Diabhal's Timepiece an intricately carved grandfather clock makes a couple feel uneasy and connects to something dark and dangerous in the husband's distant memory. Another favorite was Postcard from Kilkenny, about a man who might have a vampire in the family. A Fine Wake For Nana Ferree finds the towns people in mourning for a much beloved elderly woman. When one young woman upholds her promise to fulfill Nana's final wish things take a dramatic turn. The Spawn of Arget Bethir finds a man of God suffering nightmares of becoming a werewolf. Or is it more than just a dream? I enjoyed this peek into a land of rolling hills, lush green valleys, and dense woodlands, where the luck of the Irish does not necessarily mean good luck and Irish eyes are not always smiling but sometimes wide with fear. I received an advance copy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda (spooky.octopus.reads) Turner

    This collection of Irish horror contains seven stories steeped in folklore and myth from the Emerald Isle. I'll admit, beyond leprechauns and banshees, I am not very well versed in the folklore of Ireland. I found reading about some of the lesser known (to me) lore to be quiet interesting. I think my favorite story of the entire collection is THE SPAWN OF ARGET BETHIR. This one has plenty of guts and gore. At its heart it is a werewolf origin story, but it also seems a little deeper than that. I This collection of Irish horror contains seven stories steeped in folklore and myth from the Emerald Isle. I'll admit, beyond leprechauns and banshees, I am not very well versed in the folklore of Ireland. I found reading about some of the lesser known (to me) lore to be quiet interesting. I think my favorite story of the entire collection is THE SPAWN OF ARGET BETHIR. This one has plenty of guts and gore. At its heart it is a werewolf origin story, but it also seems a little deeper than that. I found really interesting the juxtaposition of the man's faith and the darkness that is overtaking him. Oh, and I was super excited to find that this story is actually a prequel to a book by Kelly titled UNDERTAKER'S MOON. FLANAGAN'S BRIDE is a banshee story, and I adore it!! It was such a charming tale, if horror can be described as charming...I'm not sure. All the men at the pub pick on Flanagan, never thinking that any woman would stoop to being with someone such as him. They are certainly shocked when Flanagan arrives with his bride in tow, and she is clearly not as she seems. POSTCARD FROM KILKENNY had some great vampire undertones, and I liked the element of mystery in this one. I would have liked to have spent more time in this story. I found the guide to Celtic creatures at the end of the collection to be really enlightening and interesting (and I almost would have liked it moved to the beginning so I had an idea about the lore before going into some of the more unfamiliar ones, but this did not detract from the enjoyment of the stories). The collection transported me to the misty shores of the Emerald Isle where horrors lurk just beyond the fog. The dialect and Irish terminology used throughout gave these stories authenticity. I could imagine a group of friend at the pub swapping these tales with one another, or a family spinning these yarns by the fireplace whilst sipping mugs of ale. Overall, this was a really fun, and unique, collection! **Thank you to Ronald Kelly for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review.**

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A great collection of Irish myths/folklore. There's a little something for everyone in here. Leprechauns, the devil, banchees.....you name it and you'll probably find it in this mixed bag of stories. Mr. Kelly is killing it with these holiday collections. A great collection of Irish myths/folklore. There's a little something for everyone in here. Leprechauns, the devil, banchees.....you name it and you'll probably find it in this mixed bag of stories. Mr. Kelly is killing it with these holiday collections.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deb Soward

    Another great short story collection by Ronald Kelly! This book consists of 7 stories all focused on Irish and Celtic folklore. You have a little bit of everything in these stories. I really enjoyed reading the Irish Celtic Creatures and Cryptids section which defined the different creatures and cryptids that you would find in the different stories. I also enjoyed the Gaelic/English translation guide provided in the back of the book. 4.5 out 5 shamrocks ☘

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heather Horror Hellion

    Why did I put off reading this book for so long?! This book was so incredibly fun and entertaining. There are 7 different short stories and they are all about different Irish Celtic creatures. There are werewolves, a funny leprechaun, banshee, and other things that go bump in the night. I really enjoyed the third story "Diabbal's timepiece." It gave me Good Omen vibes and was just such a fun read. Don't be like me and wait a long time to read this one. It's really worth the read. Why did I put off reading this book for so long?! This book was so incredibly fun and entertaining. There are 7 different short stories and they are all about different Irish Celtic creatures. There are werewolves, a funny leprechaun, banshee, and other things that go bump in the night. I really enjoyed the third story "Diabbal's timepiece." It gave me Good Omen vibes and was just such a fun read. Don't be like me and wait a long time to read this one. It's really worth the read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric Hall

    This is great old fashioned Irish folklore at it's best. The book consists of a great introduction to the work and a little background on Ron's Irish heritage. The book contains 7 short stories with the final story, "The Spawn of Arget Bethir" which comes in a little longer more like a short Novelette. The book concludes with a section on the Celtic creatures featured in the stories and a little background of their mythology followed by a Gaelic/English translation guide. This book is loaded with This is great old fashioned Irish folklore at it's best. The book consists of a great introduction to the work and a little background on Ron's Irish heritage. The book contains 7 short stories with the final story, "The Spawn of Arget Bethir" which comes in a little longer more like a short Novelette. The book concludes with a section on the Celtic creatures featured in the stories and a little background of their mythology followed by a Gaelic/English translation guide. This book is loaded with atmosphere and had me chomping at the bit to research Irish mythology and research the creatures featured in the book. A fascinating read and would definitely recommend. My rating is 5 Irish Clovers ☘☘☘☘☘

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pan | Book Reviews and Recommendations

    I always had a profound love for Ireland. I even visited 5 times and stated that one day I will probably live there forever. The Irish folklore and legends always fascinated me as the country is rich in mythology and tales of creatures, cryptids and weird beings. Ronald Kelly was awesome enough to send me a copy of his book 'Irish Gothic' for review, right on time for Saint Patrick's day. A festive day I intend to celebrate with all my heart as lockdown restrictions will be lifted. Fellow horror I always had a profound love for Ireland. I even visited 5 times and stated that one day I will probably live there forever. The Irish folklore and legends always fascinated me as the country is rich in mythology and tales of creatures, cryptids and weird beings. Ronald Kelly was awesome enough to send me a copy of his book 'Irish Gothic' for review, right on time for Saint Patrick's day. A festive day I intend to celebrate with all my heart as lockdown restrictions will be lifted. Fellow horror lovers, adorers of the unknown and the mystical what you will find in 'Irish Gothic' is seven tales that will satisfy your horror needs, feed your curiosity and even spike your desire for further knowledge of the rich Irish folklore. Leprechauns, Vampires and Warewolves, Banshees and Cryptids of many sorts, all hide in the seven tales that the author delivers in the most effective way to both spook you and trigger your curiosity about their origins. The author goes one step further to include a very useful Gaelic/English translation for the terms used and an Irish creatures and cryptids guide/info section (super awesome). Have I mentioned the magnificent, ultra beautiful book cover? All stories are atmospheric, scary, well written and deliciously eerie, making it really hard to choose a favorite but the first and last ones really left a mark. In 'Flanagan's Bride', a man gets mocked that he will never succeed in finding a girl to marry due to his 'ugliness' . Little do they know when Joseph Flanagan announces his marriage. The bride is indeed of a haunting beauty... In 'The Spawn of Arget Bethir', Ian Danaher, a God fearing man is tormented by terrible nightmares followed by deep guilt. Waking up naked in torn garments, he comes to believe that his nightmares of transforming into a werewolf, might not be just bad dreams... This lovely read kept me good company during the cold winter nights and the stuff of nightmares for many more. Sink your teeth into this fantastic and ultimately educational book of terrifying tales and be amazed by the depth of Irish folklore and culture. Get it at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/163789...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Guarino

    Irish Gothic, the latest release by southern horror author Ronald Kelly, pays homage to his Irish roots and shares some of the best creatures and cryptids found in the Emerald Isle. The anthology contains seven stories, all engaging and descriptive. I especially found the Irish Celtic Creatures & Cryptids as well as the Gaelic/English Translation Guide very helpful as there were a few terms that I was not familiar with. All in all, this was a quick and enjoyable read for me. This was the first boo Irish Gothic, the latest release by southern horror author Ronald Kelly, pays homage to his Irish roots and shares some of the best creatures and cryptids found in the Emerald Isle. The anthology contains seven stories, all engaging and descriptive. I especially found the Irish Celtic Creatures & Cryptids as well as the Gaelic/English Translation Guide very helpful as there were a few terms that I was not familiar with. All in all, this was a quick and enjoyable read for me. This was the first book of Mr. Kelly’s that I have read, and I look forward to reading more based on the strength of this book. Disclaimer: Thank you to author Ronald Kelly for providing me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Justin Lewis

    When this book was announced I knew I had to read it. I'm part Irish and I love horror, but I'm not familiar with any of the legends of The Emerald Isle short of leprechauns who have made their way into all types of media (and magically delicious cereal). More than anything, I had a blast tearing through the green hills! IRISH GOTHIC consists of seven stories (one of them being prequel novella to UNDERTAKER'S MOON, also by Kelly), all of which were entertaining and different. No two stories have When this book was announced I knew I had to read it. I'm part Irish and I love horror, but I'm not familiar with any of the legends of The Emerald Isle short of leprechauns who have made their way into all types of media (and magically delicious cereal). More than anything, I had a blast tearing through the green hills! IRISH GOTHIC consists of seven stories (one of them being prequel novella to UNDERTAKER'S MOON, also by Kelly), all of which were entertaining and different. No two stories have the same creature or tone; there's horror and terror here, but there's also comedy- which I wasn't expecting but was most welcome. At a little under 150 pages, it's a very fast read but none of the stories felt rushed or as if they were missing anything. I won't go over all the stories, but I'll mention a few of my favorites: Diabhal's Timepiece - A mysterious clock with no numbers on its face is delivered unexpectedly. It's place of origin and what it keeps track of are of grave importance. O'Sheehan! - Kind of a two-person of the Scooby gang that go around Ireland and help with supernatural issues. This story brought the comedy for sure and I would read a whole novel about these characters without a second thought. The Spawn of Arget Bethir - My favorite story and the longest (this would be the novella). It's the origin story of a werewolf rivalry that continues on in another book, but feels self-contained too. The visceral details will please your inner gore-hound. I want to know what happens next, so I'll be picking up UNDERTAKER'S MOON for sure. As an added bonus, there's a helpful guide to Irish Celtic creatures that goes over their history; I'll admit I wasn't familiar with all the beings mentioned in the stories. There's also a Gaelic translation guide to help with some of the words (not too many) that you'll probably need some help with. Overall, I found this collection to be FUN. It's not heavy or hard to read- and because the collection isn't too long, you're onto the next story before you know it. These stories (even the more modern ones) feel like folktales that would be passed down by a relative. There's a kind of magic here that will have you admiring the beauty of the Irish countryside one minute and then dreading what's lurking in the foggy marsh the next! 3.5/5 stars (rounding up to 4) *I was provided an ebook ARC by the author

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul Preston

    Luck of the Irish? Here are seven tales that may have you rethinking that. Pour yourself a black beer and a jigger of whiskey and Ronald Kelly will spin a yarn transporting you to the darker side of Ireland. The creatures of the night are all here waiting for you; banshees, selkies, leprechauns, vampires, werewolves and more. There is even a story about a constable for the supernatural, a Cryptid Crusader, which I think would spin off into a wonderful novel. Some of these stories describe some d Luck of the Irish? Here are seven tales that may have you rethinking that. Pour yourself a black beer and a jigger of whiskey and Ronald Kelly will spin a yarn transporting you to the darker side of Ireland. The creatures of the night are all here waiting for you; banshees, selkies, leprechauns, vampires, werewolves and more. There is even a story about a constable for the supernatural, a Cryptid Crusader, which I think would spin off into a wonderful novel. Some of these stories describe some disturbing images, not only of the otherworldly but of the darker side of humanity. Not only are these tales eerie and unsettling but they are culturally educational, providing a handy Gaelic/English translation guide, and an Irish Celtic Creatures and Cryptids information section.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Ellis Shea

    Magical, yet horrifying stories lie between these pages. Such lore is shared and much was learned about my husband’s ancestry. I enjoyed each story, but my favorite was Flanagan’s Bride. If you want to read stories full of historical and local Irish accuracy, and still have to cover your head with a sheet, check out Irish Gothic!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Huntington

    I loved this. Really well-written homage to traditional Irish folklore too. Wonderfully creepy tales

  19. 5 out of 5

    Niko

    I absolutely love myth and folklore so this was a major win for me. Every single story in this collection was a great read! I can’t decide if I loved Flannagan’s Bride or The Spawn of Arget Bethir most. What I will say is, this is a must read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received an e-Galley ARC of Irish Gothic, authored by Ronald Kelly, cover art by Zach McCain, for review consideration. What follows below is my honest review, freely given. I rated this collection 4 stars. I appreciated the author giving us a little personal history as the opening of this collection, as well as the cryptid index and definitions of some of the phrases and words found through the collection at the back. FLANAGAN’S BRIDE One of my favorite; tragic, vengeful, beautifully written. It I received an e-Galley ARC of Irish Gothic, authored by Ronald Kelly, cover art by Zach McCain, for review consideration. What follows below is my honest review, freely given. I rated this collection 4 stars. I appreciated the author giving us a little personal history as the opening of this collection, as well as the cryptid index and definitions of some of the phrases and words found through the collection at the back. FLANAGAN’S BRIDE One of my favorite; tragic, vengeful, beautifully written. It did make me wonder when a banshee is created and how that would go about sealing ones fate. Has someone ever come back from starting the transformation into a banshee, saved a love one from death? THE WEE VILLAGE I read the title of this short and then promptly forgot it as I continued reading the story, so I was making all these clever connections (I thought) until the very end and saw everything rolled out exactly as expected. Still very enjoyable, I’ll just hang my head a bit. DIABHAL’S TIMEPIECE The average man helping in the fight between good and evil, speaking directly with the Devil (who is begrudgingly polite, to start), and a glorious grandfather clock of demonic intent made this a perfect Gothic tale by way of the Irish. O’SHEEHAN! Another favorite; I could see chapter books for children with O’Sheehan guiding them thought their first fey encounter, to telly programs where he battles dangerous creatures. A whole country loving him as much as Steve Irwin, for bringing knowledge of the magical creatures of Erin to the world. POSTCARD FROM KILKENNY I would have enjoyed this with more time to set up the ending, which felt, not rushed really, but abbreviated to a few sentences. The reveals sounded so shocking, I just wanted more of the story getting to the reveal. A FII received an e-Galley ARC of Irish Gothic, authored by Ronald Kelly, cover art by Zach McCain, for review consideration. What follows below is my honest review, freely given. I rated this collection 4 stars. I appreciated the author giving us a little personal history as the opening of this collection, as well as the cryptid index and definitions of some of the phrases and words found through the collection at the back. FLANAGAN’S BRIDE One of my favorite; tragic, vengeful, beautifully written. It did make me wonder when a banshee is created and how that would go about sealing ones fate. Has someone ever come back from starting the transformation into a banshee, saved a love one from death? THE WEE VILLAGE I read the title of this short and then promptly forgot it as I continued reading the story, so I was making all these clever connections (I thought) until the very end and saw everything rolled out exactly as expected. Still very enjoyable, I’ll just hang my head a bit. DIABHAL’S TIMEPIECE The average man helping in the fight between good and evil, speaking directly with the Devil (who is begrudgingly polite, to start), and a glorious grandfather clock of demonic intent made this a perfect Gothic tale by way of the Irish. O’SHEEHAN! Another favorite; I could see chapter books for children with O’Sheehan guiding them thought their first fey encounter, to telly programs where he battles dangerous creatures. A whole country loving him as much as Steve Irwin, for bringing knowledge of the magical creatures of Erin to the world. POSTCARD FROM KILKENNY I would have enjoyed this with more time to set up the ending, which felt, not rushed really, but abbreviated to a few sentences. The reveals sounded so shocking, I just wanted more of the story getting to the reveal. A FINE WAKE FOR NANA FERREE So this one confused me a bit. Hard to really get into how without spoilers, but here goes; Nana seems very different than Meriel personality wise, but which one is the true personality? Are they two sides of the same coin to shaping the type of life wanted/needed; does one come first, followed by the second to make the success more likely? THE SPAWN OF ARGET BETHIR The Irish origin for the werewolf has always been fascinating to me, noble and tortured. This is a prequel novella to the novel Undertaker’s Moon, also known by Moon Of The Werewolf. I have not read the novel, but will be rectify that soon. I think the perfect closing story for this collection. NE WAKE FOR NANA FERREE So this one confused me a bit. Hard to really get into how without spoilers, but here goes; Nana seems very different than Meriel personality wise, but which one is the true personality? Are they two sides of the same coin to shaping the type of life wanted/needed; does one come first, followed by the second to make the success more likely? THE SPAWN OF ARGET BETHIR The Irish origin for the werewolf has always been fascinating to me, noble and tortured. This is a prequel novella to the novel Undertaker’s Moon, also known by Moon Of The Werewolf. I have not read the novel, but will be rectify that soon. I think the perfect closing story for this collection.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jody Blanchette

    Close your eyes and imagine fields of green clover. Feel the misting of light rain on your face as you smell the peat smoke coming from the thatched roof cottage down the path. Listen to the soft whispers in your ear as Ronald Kelly tells you a story filled with folklore and legend. Sounds lovely, right? Ronald Kelly doesn't do lovely. The storys he is about to tell you are all terrifying and chilling. Banshee, Leprechauns and Selkies are just a taste of the creatures you are about to meet. So, Close your eyes and imagine fields of green clover. Feel the misting of light rain on your face as you smell the peat smoke coming from the thatched roof cottage down the path. Listen to the soft whispers in your ear as Ronald Kelly tells you a story filled with folklore and legend. Sounds lovely, right? Ronald Kelly doesn't do lovely. The storys he is about to tell you are all terrifying and chilling. Banshee, Leprechauns and Selkies are just a taste of the creatures you are about to meet. So, pour yourself a shot of good Irish Whiskey. You're going to need it after you hear the last story. The best way to see Ireland, is through the eyes of Ronald Kelly. His newest collection of short stories, Irish Gothic, is a different take on the magic of the Emerald Isle. There is no pot of gold, or giggling fairies. Instead we are delighted by blood dripping fangs and corspe brides screaming in mournful wails. It's terrifying and exciting, and everything you would expect from Kelly. I loved this book. Kelly always gives a hint of dark humor with his blood baths. The stories are short and entertaining, with none of that useless character development that drags chapters on. The last story is the longest in the collection, and in my opinion the best. Ronald Kelly is an excellent story teller. If only I could have a mini Kelly to keep in my pocket for when I need a good scary story. Mini Kelly would be really awesome to have when camping or drinking with friends around a fire. I mean, sure I could just read from one of his books..But it would add to the terror of my friends if I pulled a bound and gagged Ronald Kelly out of my pocket. I'd remove the gag then give him a nudge to begin, as my friends stare with their mouths open and eyes wide. Yeah, I like that better.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Lucia

    An excellent collection of gothic tales - an apt title, because not all the stories are necessarily "horror" - rooted in Irish myth and folklore. Very reminiscent of of Algernon Blackwood and Ambrose Bierce. Pick this up today! An excellent collection of gothic tales - an apt title, because not all the stories are necessarily "horror" - rooted in Irish myth and folklore. Very reminiscent of of Algernon Blackwood and Ambrose Bierce. Pick this up today!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erica Robyn Metcalf

    Irish Gothic: Tales of Celtic Horror by Ronald Kelly is a haunting collection of short stories, each with a different creature of lore included. From the spooky, to tales that make you giggle, there was such a great range here! Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. More here: https://www.ericarobynreads.com/book-... Irish Gothic: Tales of Celtic Horror by Ronald Kelly is a haunting collection of short stories, each with a different creature of lore included. From the spooky, to tales that make you giggle, there was such a great range here! Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. More here: https://www.ericarobynreads.com/book-...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm of the Damned

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day! In this episode, I review "Irish Gothic" by Ronald Kelly! https://youtu.be/ubNyr5kIU2w Happy Saint Patrick's Day! In this episode, I review "Irish Gothic" by Ronald Kelly! https://youtu.be/ubNyr5kIU2w

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa S

    If you enjoy seasonal short horror stories as much as I do, this is the St. Patrick's Day reading you didn't even know you were searching for. Thank you to Ronald Kelly for providing me with a copy of this collection in exchange for my honest opinion. Let's start by admiring the collect's gorgeous cover by Zach McCain. He also created the artwork for Kelly's Season's Creepings and The Halloween Store, and he knocked it out of the park on all three. One half of the illustration appears to be a br If you enjoy seasonal short horror stories as much as I do, this is the St. Patrick's Day reading you didn't even know you were searching for. Thank you to Ronald Kelly for providing me with a copy of this collection in exchange for my honest opinion. Let's start by admiring the collect's gorgeous cover by Zach McCain. He also created the artwork for Kelly's Season's Creepings and The Halloween Store, and he knocked it out of the park on all three. One half of the illustration appears to be a bride on a pastoral hillside, the other half a skeleton in a graveyard at dusk. The colors are gorgeous and the split bride/skeleton image is very creepy. I love it. Kelly describes himself as a fan of Irish culture and fiction based on his distant heritage. He has created here a great little collection of horror short stories that are based on traditional Irish and Celtic fiction mythology and folk lore, all set in the beautiful pastoral, dreamy scenery of Ireland. This makes for a fun change of pace from the Tennessee native author who has become known for his usual Southern-fried brand of horror. There were seven short stories in the collection, plus two short guides/lists. Overall they added up to a really unique and enjoyable collection. A few of my thoughts on each… Flanagan's Bride - This was a very sad and tragic story and one of my favorites in the collection. When Joseph Flanagan announces to his fellow longshoremen that he is to be married, the lads can't believe that he found a woman who would have him. Years of dock work by day and bare knuckle boxing by night have left Flanagan grizzled and scarred. They have their fun at his expense and he assures them that they'll see her when he brings her home from Ballymore on the train come Sunday. The lads can't believe their eyes when Flanagan returns with his bridge in tow - there's something about her that's different from any woman they've seen around in Belfast or the surrounding countryside. The lads are surprised and happy for Flanagan, all but one - Sean O'Herlihy holds a bitter darkness in his heart against Flanagan and can't leave him and his bride along, but the bride doesn't turn out to be what he was expecting. Some great scary banshee imagery in this story - as O'Herlihy slowly uncovers her face and reveals her horrifying inhuman visage. The Wee Village - this story is a spin on the tale from Celtic mythology of the Fomiori - who were said to be a hostile and monstrous giants who like to hold Irish folk prisoner. Diabhal's Timepiece - Quinn McDermott is surprised to have a monstrous and terrifying grandfather clock delivered to his home on behalf of his mysterious boarder, Mr. Kavanaugh. He seen a picture of a clock like this before - years before, when he was just a child in the Catholic church back in his hometown of Tullamore. One day a Benedictine friar shared with the congregation a picture of this very clock - ugly and terrifying. He explained it was the Devil's timepiece which kept time forever in hell. McDermott is pressed into service by Kavanaugh to hide the clock away before the devil can take it back. This was a dark little mystery story with some great suspense, exploring good versus evil and the idea of the devil as a man. O'Sheehan - this story is a funny little romp that imagines O'Sheehan as Ireland's answer to a supernatural version of Sherlock Holmes. His assistant, Shannon Reid guides him through a day's work helping the residents of Dublin deal with the odious and troublesome cryptids that haunt their corner of the Emerald Isle. This story is very tongue-in-cheek as O'Sheehan faces off against an oversharing selkie, a perverted leprechaun and the dreaded, malodorous Sluagh, all while fortifying himself with hefty amounts of Irish whiskey. All of these creatures pale in comparison to the horror he confronts at the end of the day - when he returns home to face his harpy of a wife. This story is light and humorously told. Postcard from Kilkenny - Graham Nolan received a postcard from his Uncle Padriag, who he had long believed dead. Graham and his wife, Hannah, travel to Kilkenny to unravel the mystery and determine if Uncle Padraig still lives and how. This story was one of my favorites and was very well done. It delves into the rich vampire folklore and history of Ireland. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this story. Also, I liked how Graham recognized Hannah's natural abilities for investigation and that she was Graham's equal partner in following the clues to solve this mystery. A Fine Wake for Nana Ferree - I thought this story was really unique and creative. Merial "Nana" Ferree was a big hearted woman who never had children of her own, but who helped to raise many of the children of the town. When she passes away, a great number of villager knew her as a second mother and wish to pay their deepest respects. Her wake takes a dark turn, which leads the villagers to recall a similar event at another wake years past. What is the common thread? The Spawn of Arget Bethir Ian Danaher is an Irish monk who is haunted by terrible dreams in which he is a werewolf. Arget Bethir - The Silver Beast. This story was the darkest and scariest of the collection. We get both internal and external horror in this story - Ian's growing terror over his dreams and fears about what he may be doing. Then the external terror and some good gore as he faces the aftermath of the The Beast in his home and village and then face to face. Irish Celtic Creatures & Cryptids - this was a great little list of the various Irish and Celtic cryptids and creatures from the folklore of Ireland. There was a description and explanation of each cryptid and a little bit about their lore. I really enjoyed reading about different things that populated the stories and understanding a bit of the history around each. The final pages were the handy translation guide, broken out by story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Super fun and creepy Irish folklore! I read these tales in March to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and they did not disappoint. As I kid I loved Irish folklore creatures so these stories were a special treat. The author introduced me to some mythical creatures I hadn’t heard of before. This was my first Ronald Kelly book but will definitely not be my last!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brennan LaFaro

    Following Halloween Season and Season’s Creepings, Ronald Kelly is releasing Irish Gothic. Technically, it’s not in line with any specific holiday, more country and culture, but putting it out only weeks before St. Patrick’s Day? Mr. Kelly knows what he’s doing. All three of these recent Crossroads Press releases weigh in at a little over one hundred pages—enough to wet your whistle and prepare you for the season. I alluded to Irish Gothic being St. Patrick’s Day horror, but it’s really not. You Following Halloween Season and Season’s Creepings, Ronald Kelly is releasing Irish Gothic. Technically, it’s not in line with any specific holiday, more country and culture, but putting it out only weeks before St. Patrick’s Day? Mr. Kelly knows what he’s doing. All three of these recent Crossroads Press releases weigh in at a little over one hundred pages—enough to wet your whistle and prepare you for the season. I alluded to Irish Gothic being St. Patrick’s Day horror, but it’s really not. You won’t find stories about drunk people drowning in Chicago’s green river or Leprechauns getting rowdy in Boston. All the stories take place in, or at least have their roots on the Emerald Isle. There are so many fascinating creatures exclusive to Irish mythology that show up here including, but not limited to, Sluagh, Dearg Due, and Formorians. You also get more traditional cryptids such as the banshee, selkie, and of course, leprechauns. All this bookended by a glossary of Celtic beasties at the end. Irish Gothic opens with “Flanagan’s Bride”, a terrifically ghastly take on the traditional banshee mythos. For initiated Kelly fans, it’s a bit strange to find his voice narrating a story not set in the southern U.S., but the reader acclimates quickly and Kelly’s down-home voice adds a unique element to a story set across the sea. This collection shines where Kelly employs his signature brand with non-traditional elements, such as “Diabhal’s Timepiece”, “Letters from Kilkenny”, and “A Fine Wake for Nana Ferree”. “O’Sheehan”, probably my favorite in the collection, eschews the previous element and tells something a little off the wall. It’s unexpected, but an absolute blast, and it’s my selfish hope that Kelly will revisit the character. A short note for “The Spawn of Arget Bethir”—if you have not read Kelly’s book Undertaker’s Moon, it’s in your best interest to save this story until you have. Consider this a plug for that phenomenal small-town horror werewolf book. If you’ve got some Irish in your blood, come read about the critters that terrorized your ancestors on the Emerald Isle. If not, never fear, Ronald Kelly’s churning out can’t-miss short fiction right now and he doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Selena

    Rating: 3.75/5 I received a free copy of Irish Gothic from the author, Ronald Kelly himself in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much! This was a really fun read! When I started this short story collection, I wasn’t really certain what to expect. From the cover, I was getting eerie horror vibes. In fact, I was captivated by its cover the moment I saw it. I love this cover. I thought maybe because of this eerie cover that the stories would entail a bit of horror aesthetic. And maybe to so Rating: 3.75/5 I received a free copy of Irish Gothic from the author, Ronald Kelly himself in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much! This was a really fun read! When I started this short story collection, I wasn’t really certain what to expect. From the cover, I was getting eerie horror vibes. In fact, I was captivated by its cover the moment I saw it. I love this cover. I thought maybe because of this eerie cover that the stories would entail a bit of horror aesthetic. And maybe to some that would be the case. However, I found these to be more along the lines of paranormal than horror. Irish Gothic is a collection of seven short stories around Irish and Celtic mythology. We get to see stories around the myths of banshees and werewolves and vampires. I found these all to be entertaining reads. It was interesting to hear about versions of these supernaturals that were specific to the Celtic culture. I especially appreciated being able to see the information that Kelly included at the end of his book to give some more details and depth of the myths he included for his stories. This was particular helpful for the myths I wasn’t familiar with. These stories flow well for being short stories. They kept me engaged and wanting to keep reading. While I didn’t love all seven stories, I did enjoy them all to an extent. I won’t go through each of them otherwise I’ll spoil all the fun. These are all fairly short for short stories as this whole collection is roughly 130 pages. My favorite I think would have to be about the story around the myth of the banshee! That was a very unexpected read for me! As usual, rating short story collections are hard because some of these I gave only 3 stars, where others I gave 4 stars. I even had a 5 star read among these seven! So I went with the average rating again of the individual stories giving this a rating of 3.75/5. If you’re a fan of the supernatural and love Celtic mythology, then I highly recommend checking this one out! This was a really fun and quick read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aiden Merchant

    Overview: Ronald Kelly recently discovered how much Irish ancestry he had, and decided to write up a collection of folklore horror in the Irish tradition. Irish Gothic features seven entries, one of which is a novelette. In these stories, you meet banshees, leprechauns, giants, and more. The Good: Practically all of the folklore here was brand new to me. I found it incredibly interesting and entertaining, especially Diabhal’s Timepiece and the Irish Sherlock Holmes, O’Sheehan, as he interacted wi Overview: Ronald Kelly recently discovered how much Irish ancestry he had, and decided to write up a collection of folklore horror in the Irish tradition. Irish Gothic features seven entries, one of which is a novelette. In these stories, you meet banshees, leprechauns, giants, and more. The Good: Practically all of the folklore here was brand new to me. I found it incredibly interesting and entertaining, especially Diabhal’s Timepiece and the Irish Sherlock Holmes, O’Sheehan, as he interacted with banshees, leprechauns, and more. Everything was expertly written and smoothly delivered. Each entry was quick and memorable in its own way. I had expected something gory and vicious – having only read one other Kelly book prior to this, The Essential Sick Stuff – but that wasn’t the case with Irish Gothic. For the most part, the violence was very tame here, tame enough I could see me reading this collection to my kids some day. I liked that possibility. The Bad: Nothing stood out as bothersome to me. I suppose I would have liked the collection to have a little more bite to it, but I was genuinely pleased throughout. The Takeaway: Irish Gothic offers an array of Irish folklore that is dark, yet presented in such a way that you won’t be having nightmares. Even so, you get all kinds of great creatures, all of which are delivered wonderfully. The final entry, a werewolf novelette, is especially memorable and exciting. Add in Kelly’s translation guide and glossary of Creatures and Cryptids, and you’ve got an excellent folklore package.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ed Myers

    5 stars -- I have a lot of Irish blood in my family. My mother's maiden name is Shea while my Grandma Myers maiden name is Murphy. So, I read Ronald Kelly's "Irish Gothic: Tales of Celtic Horror" with keen interest. And, I liked it a lot. Ronald Kelly puts a lot of Gaelic terminology in this collection. And, inserts a glossary at the back of the book to help people out. Two short stories offer up new takes on the vampire and werewolf legends. It offers up the possibility that Bram Stoker -- who i 5 stars -- I have a lot of Irish blood in my family. My mother's maiden name is Shea while my Grandma Myers maiden name is Murphy. So, I read Ronald Kelly's "Irish Gothic: Tales of Celtic Horror" with keen interest. And, I liked it a lot. Ronald Kelly puts a lot of Gaelic terminology in this collection. And, inserts a glossary at the back of the book to help people out. Two short stories offer up new takes on the vampire and werewolf legends. It offers up the possibility that Bram Stoker -- who is of Irish descent based Dracula on Irish forklore and legend -- the Abhartach. And, not on Vlad "The Impaler" Tepes. There are a lot of Irish priests here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I recommend my Gulf Coast Facebook friends talk to Father Henry or Father Paddy on this Irish forklore/legend. The story is called "Postcard from Kilkenny." Graham Nolan receives a post card from his long lost uncle Padraig -- who he thought had passed on many years ago. Padraig asks Graham to come to Kilkenny for some important business. It's an understatement that many in the family thought Padraig to be very strange. His skin was very pale and was seen on most occasions to only be seen at night. Many thought Padraig to be an abhartach/vampire. The twists and turns are very good and leads to an ending I didn't expect. The story "The Spawn of Arget Bethir" puts a new twist on the werewolf legend. Arget Bethir is the Silver Beast. And, his arch nemesis is Milcean Bethir -- the White Beast. We also learn of a special amulet that keeps the beastie at bay. There is also a very good story about a very strange grandfather clock that has images of Hades carved into it. Along with the River Styx and the Grim Reaper taking souls to hell. The origin of this grandfather clock is very interesting. Two other interesting stories are "The Wee Village" where we learn about Irish legend of the of a certain type of beings. And, "Oh, Sheehan." A Sherlock Holmes-like detective who takes on strange cases.

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