book: the best of true philippine ghost stories

"true philippine ghost stories" by psicomit’s hard to review a book that isn’t written by an actual writer. though, between you and me, i doubt that these so-called “true stories” are real true stories. so that does bring up the question of whether or not THE BEST OF TRUE PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES was written by a real writer, or not.

there are some gems in this compilation; stories that will definitely tingle your spine. but they are few and far in between.

the thing with true stories is that they’re supposed to be believable. and because these are “true ghost stories” they should be believable and scary. but most of the stories in this compilation are either scary but not believable, or believable but not scary.

and you’ll actually notice when a story is consumer-generated–they have no concept of good storytelling. they build up the haunting for too long, and drag out a forced moral lesson in the end. or they’d give an ending that doesn’t sound plausible, if the actual story is to be believed.

i’m not one to cast stones against these “true stories.” i’ve had my share of haunting experiences, and i do believe that there are some things that just can’t be explained. it’s just that demonic possessions that are too-easily escaped, and hauntings that are easily cast out by a simple prayer, are really too much to believe.

ghost stories don’t have to have an ending, in my opinion. that’s why they’re ghost stories, they’re just supposed to scare you. when you force an ending on your ghost story, it would mean it’s not a real ghost story anymore, since you already fabricated a part of it.

overall, i did like THE BEST OF TRUE PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES. as i said, there were some gems in the collection. but did it succeed in being an actual horror compilation? maybe not. it’s a good book for instilling values to children though. what with the “don’t open doors to strangers” vibe the book has going on.

i must say this though: whoever thought of putting illustrations randomly throughout the book was a genius. almost all of the stories weren’t scary, but when you suddenly turn a page to a draft-like drawing of a ghoul–it’s enough to make you drop the book in fright.

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giveaway: filipino horror — the entries!

"waking the dead" by yvette tanthis november, i’m giving away four books to two bloggers (two books each) who recommended horror novels/books written by filipinos.

initially, i was going to pick the winner by october 31. but since looking for some of the books are proving harder than i thought, i’m giving myself an extension. also, i’ve yet to start reading the books i already do have because i’m finishing MARLEY & ME.

the prize, to remind you guys, are these:

one winner gets WAKING THE DEAD and ILUSTRADO. the other winner gets WAKING THE DEAD and TIME FOR DRAGONS. what is WAKING THE DEAD? here’s a review by artseblis.

now, i’ve actually decided to change the rules a little bit in picking the winner. the book/novel i like best will get the WAKING THE DEAD/ILUSTRADO prize. as for the WAKING THE DEAD/TIME FOR DRAGONS prize, i’m making you guys choose.

recommendations were closed as of 12 midnight this morning. and the entries are:

fantaghiro23: TRESE series

will: NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES, AFRAID: THE BEST PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES, CRAVING and TAKOD

ivanbookworm: TRAGIC THEATER

kwesifriends: THE BEST OF TRUE PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES

jzhunagev: NEWS OF THE SHAMAN

blooey: TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY and SPOOKY MO: HORROR STORIES

this is a bit of a gamble, and i am hoping for your cooperation. i want you guys to pick the scariest book, in your opinion, off these entries. and you can’t pick your own recommendation. the book/novel that gets picked the most will have the person who recommended it win the WAKING THE DEAD/TIME FOR DRAGONS prize.

both winners will be proclaimed by november 15.

also, if you guys can help me locate the books. the TRESE series, CRAVING, TAKOD and NEWS OF THE SHAMAN i’ve already found in fully booked. the NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES recommendation came with a where-to-buy. as for the other books–a little help, please? directions would be nice too. thanks!