Thursday, June 6, 2024

Review: A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams by Donald Firesmith @DonFiresmith

A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams

by Donald Firesmith

Published: December 10, 2020

Publisher: Magical Wand Press

Genre: Horror, Anthology, Short Stories


A collection of uncanny short stories to read late at night from the prize-winning author of the Hell Holes series and The Secrets of the Hawthorne House.

Her Mother’s Eyes
. A macabre take on a common phrase.

The Collector. If collectors collect collectibles, then who collects collectors?
Grandma Buford’s Birthday. Grandma Buford prepares for a very special birthday.

The Farmer’s Daughter. A snowstorm forces a young man to spend the night at an isolated farm.

The Haunting of the Ederescu House
. A paranormal investigator discovers a Romanian strigoi.

Madam Kaldunya’s Dolls
. The young woman learns the danger of using voodoo dolls for revenge.

Billy the Arsonist. An arsonist considers working at a crematorium.

A Mother’s Grief. An old woman’s grief disrupts her nursing home.
A Mother’s Love. An orphan learns his aunt’s terrible secret.

The Governess. A governess cares for a troubled child.

Hexendorf. A man visits the village behind a family legend.

Revenge. A man driving down a deserted road happens upon a woman standing alone in the darkness.

The Vow
. Sometimes killing an evil man is not enough.

If you enjoyed episodes of the TV series 
The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Tales of the Unexpected, and Are You Afraid of the Dark, then this book is for you.

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My Review:

 A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams has many wonderful stories that are sure to whisk you away on a dark eerie night filled with many nightmares after.

A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is filled with many shocking twists and turns that will leave you gasping and wanting more. It will surprise you in more ways than one.

Grab a copy of A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams along with a bowl of popcorn, your favorite drink, and a cozy blanket for a night filled with nightmares.

Her Mother’s Eyes

I do believe that Her Mother’s Eyes will stay with me for a long time. Her Mother’s Eyes could mean different things to different people. It could be about a psycho, diminutive kind of person or someone who cares deeply.

I choose to see Her Mother’s Eyes as a warm-hearted kind of story. I see it as how someone feels about others. How they take their most precious memories and lock them in a special kind of container in the back of the mind to keep forever.

The Collector

The Collector reminded me of Stephen King’s Needful Things. The Collector is about a woman who likes to collect things. She gets so obsessed with the things she wants to the point where money is no longer a concern for her.

She gets to the point where she will pay any price for the things she wants. The moral of the story in my opinion is this be careful what you wish for it could cost you more than you truly want to pay.

Grandma Buford’s Birthday

An elderly lady is getting ready to celebrate her birthday. Every year her family comes to visit her on her birthday. She looks forward to this day. Her birthday has become more special to her now that she has gotten older. She enjoys seeing her family. ‘

Grandma Buford’s Birthday is a very lovable story until the ending that will give you a surprising shock. That is one big twist that I did not see coming. What a doozy this twist was.

The Farmer’s Daughter

The Farmer’s Daughter was a very interesting story that turned out to be way different than I thought or expected it to be when I started reading it. The Farmer’s Daughter took me in one direction and then did a complete 360 turnaround. I never expected how this story turned out in the end.

The Farmer’s Daughter had my attention from the first page and held onto it long after I had read the last word. I loved it, to say the least. What a very surprising twist.

The Haunting of the Ederescu House

The Haunting of the Ederescu House is about a man who was just as evil dead as he was alive. He returned night after night to repeat the horrible things that he did when he was alive. Was this a haunting about a house or a man?

The Haunting of the Ederescu House will grab your attention from the very beginning and never let go even long after the last pages are read.

Madam Kaldunya’s Dolls

I’m not sure how to start my review for Madam Kaldunya’s Dolls. This story took a turn and a half. I never expected it to turn out the way it did. It just goes to show be careful what you wish for the cost may be more than you are willing to pay. This story shows you that getting revenge may not turn out the way you are expecting it to or the way you want it to.

Madam Kaldunya’s Dolls surprised me with that big shocker of a twist. This story had me on the edge of my seat as the world around me disappeared. It drew me in from the beginning and I didn’t see the light until I read the last page as my world started coming back to me slowly. It left me wanting more.

Billy the Arsonist

Billy the Arsonist was not the story I thought it was going to be. No, Billy the Arsonist turned out to be a better story than I imagined it could be. The turn it took was very surprising indeed.

It just goes to show that no matter how bad one person may be there is probably someone more evil waiting around the corner. Someone who may be more evil than they are themselves.

Billy the Arsonist tells the story of the price you may have to pay for the evil things you do.

A Mother’s Grief

A Mother’s Grief took me in one direction but then took a turn and led me in a whole other direction. I was shocked at this turn of events as I did not see it coming. What a surprise it was. Who would have thought that was the direction the story was going to take. Not me of course.

A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love tells the story of how far one mother would go to protect and take care of her children. She did what she thought was the best thing for her children. She couldn’t see another way to keep her children with her and not be taken away. She believed her way was the only way.

Did she do the right thing? Or was she being selfish? I can’t answer this question myself as I have not walked in her shoes. I don’t know what is in her heart.

The Governess

The Governess was a surprise indeed. It took a turn that I didn’t expect. The ending left my mouth hanging open as I couldn’t believe what I was reading. But it fits so well. I really thought the story was going in one direction but then took off in another.

The Governess has many twists that keep me hanging on every word wanting to know how the story would end and what was happening next.


A woman and her husband go for a drive looking for a special place. But what they find turns out to be something very different than what they wanted. The husband catches the eye of an evil witch. The woman wants her husband back. She comes up with a plan to rescue him from this evil witch.

Can she save her husband from the evil witch before he is lost to her forever? What will it cost her to get him back? Can the evil witch be defeated?


Revenge is a story about a woman wanting revenge for things done to her. It is a story about how people blame others for the things that happened to them. A story about making others suffer for your pain. It is a story about how sometimes getting revenge can surely backfire.

The Vow

The Vow is another story that may have different meanings for different people. I saw The Vow in different ways myself but the one I see most is a story about how people change or maybe it is more like how we have goodness and badness inside us and we choose which one we want to be or let out at different times for different reasons.

Some of us may let the light out more but then some of us may let the dark shine through most of the time or maybe even all the time. At times we keep one or the other locked away. We may let one out for a time but then call it back and lock it away until the next time.

I think there is light and dark inside all of us for balance. We chose which one we want to be. But then I think do we always? I like to think we do. Maybe one has more power than the other.  

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