Counterphobia: A Collection of Horror by William Hage

I read Porcelain, a horror story by William Hage, the other day and immediately downloaded the collection of which it is a part. 

Counterphobia is a set of seven horror short stories which further demonstrates William Hage's ability to create suspense and write scary stories.

There is a good mix of content in this collection from the macabre and bizarre in Welcome Home to the seriously creepy in Chuckles the Clown.

I particularly liked No One Lives Forever, where the ending is not at all what it seems it's going to be, and The Shape, definitely the scariest story in the collection. I wasn't so keen on The Lake and The Sinkhole which both feature a terrifying creature for the horror aspect of the stories but I liked the writing style which created a good sense of the mundane and routine aspects of life as the setting for each story. And I read Porcelain again and enjoyed it as much as on the first reading.

What I liked in every story was the writer's scene setting and character introduction which created a plausible backdrop for the fantastical events that ensue.

Counterphobia is a good title for the collection. To quote from the book description: The pursuit of situations and instances in direct relation to an individual's fear for the purpose of overcoming this fear, or to find pleasure or excitement in it. Symptoms of counterphobia while subjecting oneself to these fears can include trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, and even panic attacks. You were warned.

Each story explores a different phobia which is identified as a subtitle. I've learnt some new words, for example, Thanatophobia and Limnophobia. It's worth reading the story and trying to work out the phobia before looking it up if you're unfamiliar with the term.

A really enjoyable collection which, with the exception of The Shape, is scary but not too scary.

Check out William Hage's website and Amazon Author Page for details of Counterphobia and other books.