In Old Tales Reborn by J. C. Michael, as the title says, this collection of tales are sure to ring familiar, but are chilling on a whole new level!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Old Tales Reborn by J. C. Michael
I couldn’t wait to see what this collection would bring! As I read, a few things did indeed seem familiar, such as the girl boarded up with her parents as they tried to avoid the plague, the use of summoning by setting coins on graves and walking around them, and the ghostly hitchhiker… I loved how some of these legends were familiar but with more darkness!
Per usual, here are my notes on each:
Kicking off the collection with a wonderful foreword, J. C. tells readers what got him into horror before diving into what to expect from this collection.
After reading this, I was even more excited to dive in! I LOVED this line specifically, “I’d rather that the blend between old and new makes it hard for you, the reader, to tell where the old stories end, and my new stories begin.“
Here Kitty Kitty –
After a little blowout with his wife, this awful man goes to the bathroom and runs into an older man that cautions him to treat his wife better. The young man immediately gets angry, but the old man presses him to let him speak the tale of Kitty. but after the story, will the young man heed the warning?
The tale of Kitty was so unsettling. The perfect local legend with lots of possibilities and unanswered questions.
When breaking into a house to rob a collector goes sideways, the collector gives the robber a chance to do a couple of tasks for him rather than him calling the police. The robber agrees, not understanding what he’s about to get himself into.
This collector was such an intriguing character! I want to know more about him and his journey to grow his collection. I loved all of the tales and legends he told as well!
Little Miss Sunshine and the Race –
Stopping in for a meal after a long workday, this woman is annoyed to be approached by a man that can’t seem to take a hint. Later, he challenges her to a race she can’t refuse.
This was so unsettling. Being a female reading this, it brought up so many memories of instances where a man just wouldn’t leave me alone. I could certainly relate to the main character being annoyed at how quickly and often she smiles to soften the exchange.
Go Out and Play –
A man who just wants to keep sending emails gets frustrated with his kid and tells him to just go out and play…
A gut-wrenching tale that reminds people to slow down and spend time with loved ones before they can’t any longer.
The Immortal Dead –
Going out on a ghost tour after picking up a flyer while at a pup, these two women have very different experiences. One is loving the tour and one thinks something is wrong. Only after they arrive back at the pup where they started do they learn more.
This was such a fun story until it turned extra creepy! I love going on ghost tours myself. What a blast this story was!
To Put a Price on Love –
While away on a work trip, this man reads a book about local legends and the. Winds up listening to stories from the Green Lady. Then she hits him with a terrible ask.
This poor man. With his life in shambles, it’s no wonder he found himself in this situation. That ending though!!
Sadness Under a Byland Moon –
A boy wanders and discusses all the beings he sees on his walks. But he really just wants one thing.
My gosh, realizing what story this one was linked to was a gut punch! This poor kid.
When a woman goes to apologize to an old man who had stopped by to make sure things were alright at the ruins, she learns the local tale of what used to be a grand home. But then she starts to tell the old man of all the things that line up in her life and the story. Spooked, that feeling doesn’t last long as the door opens and something of nightmare arrives.
I loved the build-up with this one. The story within a story was so eerie and horrible!
Lured in by the legends of a haunted place, two kids try to spend the night. But their evening gets interrupted.
Oh my gosh. The things teenagers do… this is definitely something I would have done as a kid. This was so spooky, but that ending was especially terrifying. Humans just can’t help but be curious.
Where the Shadow of a Scorched Wing Falls –
A grumpy man at Christmas remembers his childhood Christmas with his grandmother, filled with stories about family. He’s got a special something running in his veins. But was it all just a tale?
Phew, this one was wild!
Closing the Deal –
A salesman has lost his edge and is tired of the hustle. While on a trip to make a sale, he picks up a hitchhiker for the first time, changing his destination.
Oh man, when the plot here clicks in readers’ minds…
My Favorite Passages from Old Tales Reborn
You know I used to read a lot of horror, and watch horror movies too, but not now. You see sometimes horror is what you don’t see. It’s the what might have been and the bits you don’t know. It’s the missing piece of the jigsaw.
— Go Out And Play
“Why are people so quick to condemn those who believe? To poke fun? Many people have encountered spirits throughout history, but the modern world ridicules those of us that see them now.” He moved closer. “Yet thousands more believe in a God that has never been seen, and that is simply accepted as faith.”
— The Immortal Dead
Because when the Devil tells you to keep a secret, only a fool would betray his trust.
— To Put A Price On Love
The seeds of doubt were now sprouting through the fertile soil of Ben’s thoughts like the first shoots of daffodils in spring.
— Closing the Deal
My Final Thoughts on Old Tales Reborn
A must-read for fans of horror short stories! I highly recommend reading this one late at night to let the tales settle in your brain right before you drift off to sleep. Happy nightmares!