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Night Worms Book Party: VIDEO PALACE: In Search of the Eyeless Man by Dr. Maynard Wills


A collection of chilling stories from the leading writers in horror and suspense exploring elusive urban legends.

In the popular podcast Video Palace, Mark Cambria, aided by his girlfriend Tamra Wulff, investigated the origins of a series of esoteric white videotapes. Cambria went missing in pursuit of these tapes, but not before hearing whispers of an ominous figure called the Eyeless Man.

Fascinated by the podcast and Cambria’s disappearance, Maynard Wills, PhD, a professor of folklore, embarks on his own investigation into the origins of the tapes and the Eyeless Man, who he believes has lurked in the dark corners of media culture and urban legends for at least seventy-five years. As part of his study, he has invited popular writers of horror and gothic fiction to share their own Eyeless Man stories, whether heard around the campfire or experienced themselves.

Get swept away in this thrilling and terrifying collection of tales—which can be read on its own or as a companion to the hit Shudder podcast—from contributors including:
-Bob DeRosa
-Meirav Devash and Eddie McNamara
-Owl Goingback
-Brea Grant
-Merrin J. McCormick
-Rebekah and David Ian McKendry
-Ben Rock
-John Skipp
-Graham Skipper
-Gordon B. White
-Tamra Wulff and Mary Phillips-Sandy













VIDEO PALACE is a companion piece to Shudder's podcast series by the same name. The podcast was written and created by several industry folks exclusively for Shudder subscribers. It's a 10 part series chronicling a young couple's investigation of a strange VHS tape and the video store from whence it came. (I just wanted to say the phrase "from whence it came" Ha!)
The podcast sounds really fun and interactive but I don't subscribe to Shudder and I don't have a lot of free time to give to podcasts-they're pretty low on the totem pole in terms of priorities. However! When Simon & Schuster reached out to see if Night Worms would be interested in a book party reviewing the companion book, we jumped at the chance. I love a good urban legend/found footage experience. Upon starting the book, I got a real sense that I wasn't aware of the larger narrative that most likely evolved from the podcast. So just a caveat here: I think this would be a more entertaining read if you had just finished listening to all the episodes of the show. Which is kind of a bummer, honestly. These stories read like sequels or a continuation of a storyline that isn't clearly defined for readers walking into the whole thing off the street.
I'm a big fan of the Netflix show, BLACK MIRROR and the themes of how technology can be dangerous if used against us, so I was drawn to those aspects in some of these tales. Read back to back, the stories take on that same vibe/mood of doing a deep dive on Reddit threads or Creepypasta--fans of the book PENPAL by Dathan Aruebach would know what I mean by that. Other Worms compared it to Slenderman-but I never really got into that whole thing. I totally skipped over a few stories, to be honest. They were a bit "young" for me. I thought the preface was a great hook, but the first story DOORWAYS OF THE SOUL made me lose interest. As with most anthologies, there are some solid attention grabbers like, Brea Grant's story A TEXAS TEEN STORY (who is also an actress for the podcast). I enjoyed the first person narrative stories--they felt the creepiest. 3 stars

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