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House of Justice: A Horror Short Story

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Halloween only comes around once a year, and the Justices do it right. They turn their house into a museum of torture, sectioning off each room with a velvet rope. The exhibits are so terrifying that the local amusement park asks them for their secret. It's quite simple, actually. And four lucky--or unlucky--fans get to find out what it is first hand. Halloween only comes around once a year, and the Justices do it right. They turn their house into a museum of torture, sectioning off each room with a velvet rope. The exhibits are so terrifying that the local amusement park asks them for their secret. It's quite simple, actually. And four lucky--or unlucky--fans get to find out what it is first hand.


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Halloween only comes around once a year, and the Justices do it right. They turn their house into a museum of torture, sectioning off each room with a velvet rope. The exhibits are so terrifying that the local amusement park asks them for their secret. It's quite simple, actually. And four lucky--or unlucky--fans get to find out what it is first hand. Halloween only comes around once a year, and the Justices do it right. They turn their house into a museum of torture, sectioning off each room with a velvet rope. The exhibits are so terrifying that the local amusement park asks them for their secret. It's quite simple, actually. And four lucky--or unlucky--fans get to find out what it is first hand.

30 review for House of Justice: A Horror Short Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Too much torture and gore for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    This short story was written reasonably well and gets quickly into a rather graphic and gory set of scenes. Once a year this special house is opened up to visitors coming to see the haunted house and it's displays. But all is not as it seems and WHY do those exhibits look so real? That blood is very realistic right? Yeah, it's gory and bloody but it's such a short read that you don't get a lot of it. I like short stories but felt this one was a little TOO short, even another 20 pages might have This short story was written reasonably well and gets quickly into a rather graphic and gory set of scenes. Once a year this special house is opened up to visitors coming to see the haunted house and it's displays. But all is not as it seems and WHY do those exhibits look so real? That blood is very realistic right? Yeah, it's gory and bloody but it's such a short read that you don't get a lot of it. I like short stories but felt this one was a little TOO short, even another 20 pages might have added some more depth. Very hard to get a strong story going over a few pages. It was okay, it was a Kindle freebie so I shall not complain. Read better and read much worse.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sci-Fi & Scary

    Good idea, but it was so short that there was no time to get into the story at all before it was over. A slightly longer version would fare much better, I think.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I was beyond unimpressed with this story. The concept was interesting even if it was not high in originality, but choppy writing and poor execution dragged this short down to the point of "please un-waste my time". I was on board for the whole " How do they make such a great haunted house?" even though I knew the answer before I ever started. As a fan of haunted houses on Halloween ( or anytime of the year), I find this idea hard to swallow as I've never seen anything so realistic that I question I was beyond unimpressed with this story. The concept was interesting even if it was not high in originality, but choppy writing and poor execution dragged this short down to the point of "please un-waste my time". I was on board for the whole " How do they make such a great haunted house?" even though I knew the answer before I ever started. As a fan of haunted houses on Halloween ( or anytime of the year), I find this idea hard to swallow as I've never seen anything so realistic that I questioned whether or not it real and I've visited Horror Houses that were $50 apiece to enter. (Don't look at me like that, I didn't shell out that kind of cash, a friend did!) So I have trouble with the idea of these people not getting it and thinking everything is fake and for show. The writer would have us believe that the Justices have been at this for a few years, yet never once has a disappearance been linked to them? No one that received a "prescreening" invite ever tells anyone where they are going? I would buy into the tale a bit more if they used hobos or hookers, not THEIR own customers. I'm all for suspending disbelief when needed in stories, but not when there is no outlandish supernatural occurrence or anything resembling magic but just basic "hey, it could happen" fiction. There are far too many plot holes and loose ends that are never addressed. The guy picked out of line for next year? How does that fit into the prescreening ruse that we are handed at the beginning of the story? I seriously believe that if I listed half the questions I had pertaining to this tale... the list would be longer than the story itself.

  5. 5 out of 5

    megHan

    (short story) I found this one day on Amazon for free and had to check it out. It's about a family that turns their house into a haunted one for one day only each year - on Halloween. They do have preview the haunted house to a couple of people a few days before - and this is what happens when they do. Definitely not what I expected to happen, but I enjoyed it. (short story) I found this one day on Amazon for free and had to check it out. It's about a family that turns their house into a haunted one for one day only each year - on Halloween. They do have preview the haunted house to a couple of people a few days before - and this is what happens when they do. Definitely not what I expected to happen, but I enjoyed it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Im clearly desensitised, i found this neither gory nor unnerving. Glad it was only short, lord knows what nonsense would be included if this was stretched to a novel,

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Not bad for a creepy story. This was a good read, it's a bit on the psycho side, so I'd use caution if young readers want to read, as it is certainly not four the faint of heart or squeamish. I will say this, I'm not much into the visit "haunted houses " during Halloween, but if that sort of thing did interest me, this book would make me think twice before going to visit and I certainly would never volunteer as an actor. This is a great read for Halloween, sleepovers, and camp-outs. Not bad for a creepy story. This was a good read, it's a bit on the psycho side, so I'd use caution if young readers want to read, as it is certainly not four the faint of heart or squeamish. I will say this, I'm not much into the visit "haunted houses " during Halloween, but if that sort of thing did interest me, this book would make me think twice before going to visit and I certainly would never volunteer as an actor. This is a great read for Halloween, sleepovers, and camp-outs.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Banton

    I thought this book was an ok read. Everyone in the book were lured into a trap. I felt that it was wrong. Everyone was invited to something that would change their lives forever. The book was detailed well, but I think for me, that it is a good short horror story to read on Halloween night or if you feel like reading this while camping or during a storm. Overall, this was an ok book and would read this again when it's dark or when it's a stormy time. I thought this book was an ok read. Everyone in the book were lured into a trap. I felt that it was wrong. Everyone was invited to something that would change their lives forever. The book was detailed well, but I think for me, that it is a good short horror story to read on Halloween night or if you feel like reading this while camping or during a storm. Overall, this was an ok book and would read this again when it's dark or when it's a stormy time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    A house of horrors every Halloween that has everyone wanting to visit because the house's themes are so frightful and the sets are so realistic, but there's a reason for that. I felt there was room for more description in the scenes and more back story to the choices made in the "set design". It jumps right into the gore, but lacks tension building and fearful foreboding. A house of horrors every Halloween that has everyone wanting to visit because the house's themes are so frightful and the sets are so realistic, but there's a reason for that. I felt there was room for more description in the scenes and more back story to the choices made in the "set design". It jumps right into the gore, but lacks tension building and fearful foreboding.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zombie_Phreak

    As a fan of haunted houses, I have to say I loved this story! It made me even more creeped out to know that these rooms had people in them who were really being tortured and help was within reach, but their would be rescuers were completely oblivious to what was happening. I can't say enough good things about this story. Check it out! As a fan of haunted houses, I have to say I loved this story! It made me even more creeped out to know that these rooms had people in them who were really being tortured and help was within reach, but their would be rescuers were completely oblivious to what was happening. I can't say enough good things about this story. Check it out!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Krieger

    Nice twist This is not what I thought would happen. There is an interesting twist on how the get the different exhibits for their haunted house. I would definitely not like to be invited there!!! Crazy!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Travis Mays

    Loved the story, but knew the ending way too early in the book. The story was very well written with a lot of detail. I liked the story itself, but it was too easy to figure out the end early in the story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Donna Bohn

    It was kool.sounded realistic something that some psychos would do for fun I liked everything about it made me want to fine out what happens next.scary.attention getter.realistic.to want more.the author wrote a great book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thelma Coots

    I loved it I love short spooky stories. It's not often I will read a full book of horror but I like reading short stories around October. I loved it I love short spooky stories. It's not often I will read a full book of horror but I like reading short stories around October.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Higgs Quinn

    Not what I expected Pretty good short story, loved the ending. Long enough for a distraction but short enough so as not to feel guilty.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barb VanderWel

    I love this & I can't wait for more. I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon. And letting everyone know about it. So i gave it a 5 Stars. I love this & I can't wait for more. I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon. And letting everyone know about it. So i gave it a 5 Stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    DarkRaven Reviews

    This book was fantastic and really sparked up my imagination. I could imagine walking through and observing every "exhibit". Really well written and I would love to read more from this author. This book was fantastic and really sparked up my imagination. I could imagine walking through and observing every "exhibit". Really well written and I would love to read more from this author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    C. Adekoya

    Wow great read Spooky, bloody, creepy and intelligent. I makes you think of what folks can get away with if they try hard enough.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emma louise

    A good concept for a story loved the horror just felt it could have been longer. Overall I enjoyed it though just a bit short

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    Not my cuppa, sorry.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lennie Grace

    Awesome Short and sweet and very creepy. More gross and slashery than scary. An excellent choice for fans of short horror stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dwayne Fry

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "House of Justice" reads like a rough draft of a junior high creative writing assignment. I wish the author had reread it and cleaned it up before publishing it. It has some promise, but the author just didn't seem to care enough to nurture the story beyond an idea. The writing is poor. In the first paragraph the house in which the story takes place is described and then we're told that it looks "scary", even though there was nothing in the description that would necessarily be scary. We know tha "House of Justice" reads like a rough draft of a junior high creative writing assignment. I wish the author had reread it and cleaned it up before publishing it. It has some promise, but the author just didn't seem to care enough to nurture the story beyond an idea. The writing is poor. In the first paragraph the house in which the story takes place is described and then we're told that it looks "scary", even though there was nothing in the description that would necessarily be scary. We know that the house needs painting and some of the wood is splintered. It's a bit of a fixer-upper, then, but not frightening. Further we're told that scary looking houses are usually haunted. I'm not sure why this was mentioned, since the house in the story doesn't seem to be haunted. If it is, the author didn't mention anything about ghosts. The third paragraph is completely pointless. We know that there is an amusement park that is in competition against the House of Justice but they fail to draw the crowds, but we're not really told why. At any rate, we meet the Justice family, most of whom seem to be named for angels. We're told that they are "odd" and then told that one is a butcher, one is a dentist, one is a beautician and one helps around the house. I'm not sure what is odd about any of that. So, the story goes on and the Justice family starts torturing people in fairly predictable ways (fat guy likes to eat - make him eat his own flesh - mwah-ha-ha-ha). It's one of those stories in which we're supposed to feel that the victims deserve their punishments due to them being overweight or vein or neglectful of their teeth. And this is the haunted house. People come in and see real people being tortured. And no one calls the police. It's bad enough to watch that the haunted house passes out barf bags, but not bad enough to call in the law, I guess. Wonder what the dumb bumpkins in this town have to witness before they see it as a serious crime. Then a character gets bored with watching people get tortured and - guess who is the next victim? I might think about giving the thing two or three stars, but I won't. The story goes on a bit more and then abruptly stops. The story itself takes less than half the file downloaded (about 35%). The rest is a tiny message from the author, and lots of excerpts from other stories by the author. I don't mind when writers give us a tease of other stories. I do it myself. But, don't pad out your super short story with page after page of other stories. I was terribly disappointed to find that all this stuff about the haunted house was the whole story. I thought it was a set up for a bigger story. I really wish it had been longer and developed into a real story, rather than just a lot of meaningless blood and guts with no real payoff. Who is this Justice family? Why do they do the things they do? Why do they feel they have the right to torture people for being unpleasant (or whatever the reason was)? Why doesn't anyone seem to mind that these people torture and kill as amusement for the town on Halloween? Don't the families of the victims mind at least? None of this is addressed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Vasilaki

    Not bad as an idea, yet lacking in execution. Unfortunately, I guessed what the story would be about as soon as I read the beginning of the third paragraph. And I was right. All in all, it's not bad. The language is quite fluid. The descriptions are decent. But. The reader does not sympathize with any of the characters. Victims and killers are seen under the same light. Bam, boom, chop, chop. And they get trapped and killed. Question is, so what? There is an attempt to justify the actions of the ki Not bad as an idea, yet lacking in execution. Unfortunately, I guessed what the story would be about as soon as I read the beginning of the third paragraph. And I was right. All in all, it's not bad. The language is quite fluid. The descriptions are decent. But. The reader does not sympathize with any of the characters. Victims and killers are seen under the same light. Bam, boom, chop, chop. And they get trapped and killed. Question is, so what? There is an attempt to justify the actions of the killers towards the end of the story, where it appears that the victims are chosen due to their lack of ethics. However, this is not how we're introduced to the characters as they appear in the course of the story, and lack of any justification accounts for two dimensional characters. As a reader, since I didn't feel any connection, I couldn't care less why these people die or why their killers chose them. If I am not given any clues as to what the killers had in mind when they chose their victims, or what the victims had done (or not done) to deserve or not deserve what was happening to them, I couldn't care less. Therefore, I found the story flat. There's a lot of vivid, graphic violence. Unfortunately, that alone does not account for a good horror story. Generally speaking, I think the specific writer is on his way to mastering his toolbox of horrors. He has a decent level, all he has to do is master the tricks in plot setting and character making. I would like to read more of his work; I think he's going to improve.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Why is it that authors think it is okay to write a short story, then pad their books out with excerpts from their other books? Newsflash: It doesn't make me want to buy your other books, it makes me mad that 40% is story, 60% is advertising. The House of Justice itself wasn't all that brilliant. I liked the way the family set up their haunted house, and gathered the exhibits for their next one, but the why isn't really explained at all. Why is it that authors think it is okay to write a short story, then pad their books out with excerpts from their other books? Newsflash: It doesn't make me want to buy your other books, it makes me mad that 40% is story, 60% is advertising. The House of Justice itself wasn't all that brilliant. I liked the way the family set up their haunted house, and gathered the exhibits for their next one, but the why isn't really explained at all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This is a chilling tale that tells of the Justice Family and their Halloween celebrations that entertain the entire neighbour with a (un)lucky few being allowed to help with the exhibits. A tale that would be superb as a little novella or maybe even a full length novel this short story is an absolutely chilling tease.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Suhasini Srihari

    This was a quick read! Just after I finished reading the story, I was not very convinced as to me this was a sort of an incomplete story. But, when I read the Author's note, I learned that the source of this story was a dream and liked the way the author tried to portray the seven sins (though not all) on the basis of halloween. Yet, I still feel this is an incomplete story. This was a quick read! Just after I finished reading the story, I was not very convinced as to me this was a sort of an incomplete story. But, when I read the Author's note, I learned that the source of this story was a dream and liked the way the author tried to portray the seven sins (though not all) on the basis of halloween. Yet, I still feel this is an incomplete story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I received this horror short story free off Amazon. It showed signs of being a decent story but I think it falls down because it is so short and the plot and the characters are not developed. Given another 100+ pages I am sure that the book would have been much better and my rating higher. Good ideas but poorly executed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    I liked the idea behind this, but it was far too short. If it had been longer, had encouraged the reader to get to know those living in the house, & some more background about the victims too, I think this would have been much more scary & enjoyable. I did enjoy reading the samples for the other books that came with this eBook too though, & will be adding a couple to my To Read list.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    It was a good short story but I think it would have been better if it was longer. The story itself was 3 stars but I gave it 4 stars simply because the author had an editor who did their job. This book ended my streak of free short stories that read more like books written in a foreign language and then translated very badly into English.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Keefe

    The title caught my eye at first, but as I started reading, the storyline took over making this an un-put-downable read very cleverly written. If you want a gruesome short story then, in my opinion, this is a good choice.

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