The Web of La Sanguinaire

The Web of La Sanguinaire and Other Arachnid Horrors by Ronald Kelly

Where do the spiders go at night?

Do they creep and crawl through the bushes and trees?
Up the porch posts and across the eaves?

Do they scramble inside? Skitter soundlessly down the hall?
Do they enter your bedroom, climb the bedcovers and wall?
Do they drop from the ceiling, shivering and cold?
Do they find your mouth open and think
“What a lovely abode…”

Ronald Kelly, the master of Southern-fried horror, brings you eight, spine-tingling tales of spiders invading your comfort zone and behaving badly.

  • An old Cajun takes a curious traveler into the dark depths of a Louisiana bayou, in search of a rare species of spider…
  • A doctor discovers that his increasing forgetfulness is due to an ancient horror lurking in the basement of his house…
  • An ungrateful nephew inherits his aunt’s home, which is supposedly infested by brown recluse spiders…
  • Three boys spend the afternoon at a horror double-feature matinee, unaware of what’s taking place outside…
  • A surgeon’s discovery of spiders inside human bodies leads him to an abandoned jail cell in a West Texas town…
  • A family’s summer trip to the beach unearths traces of legendary gold… and the creatures that protect it…
  • A teenage girl’s infatuation with an online friend lures her to a traveling carnival and the back booth of a sideshow tent…
  • A nostalgic stop at an aged roadside attraction provides a family with an adventure of a lifetime, until their only source of escape comes to a screeching halt…

The IndieMuse Review

The latest collection from horror legend Ronald Kelly features eight creepy-crawly tales of eight-legged horror as The Web of La Sanguinaire gives us an eclectic mix of shorts featuring spiders in all shapes and sizes. 

Within these pages you can expect stories of;

  • A doctor who fears he is sinking into dementia begins to suspect a mysterious spider bite may be responsible for his failing memory
  • Legendary tourist trap ‘Spider Cave’. Come for the food but don’t stay too long, or you may end up on the menu
  • A young man inherits an aging house from his late Aunt that is not as empty as he first suspects
  • A legend of deep-sea treasure, and its horde of deadly guardians
  • The Atomic Arachnid Apocalypse!!!

Whether spiders are one of your greatest fears, or you think they are woefully misunderstood (I fall in the latter camp. Take a moment to Google the Blue Peacock Spider and tell me that isn’t adorable) The Web of La Sanguinaire has something for everyone, simultaneously providing big scares and gross-out horror alongside some fun and genuinely touching stories.  

What struck me most about this collection was how different in tone a lot of them are. As you would expect, there are stories that are aiming to creep the reader out and make you feel the tingle of the back of your neck of a spider crawling slowly across your skin, and the stories that set out with this goal achieve it with aplomb.  “Housewarming” is a good example of a simple premise with great execution, and this one genuinely made me shudder as I could practically feel little spider’s legs racing across my skin as I read it. Other stories, like “Cell Number Nine”, are big on the body-horror and it sets up a very memorable and very unpleasant scenario and runs with it.

Kelly has a lot of lighter offerings in here as well though, and I liked that there wasn’t necessarily a bleak or downbeat ending in store for every short. Sometimes the good guys get eaten, sometimes they don’t. Bad guys get their comeuppance, or maybe they get off scot-free. The spiders get their victim or get soundly defeated. It makes for an unpredictable array of stories when some happy endings are thrown in amongst the carnage, and you feel a story could always go either way. “The Memory Eater” is a great example, and one of my favorites. It has a rather tragic set-up but ends on a truly uplifting note. “Atomic Arachnid Armageddon!” is pure nostalgic fun and “Hugs and Kisses” even manages to fit a love story into the mix (albeit a particularly bizarre and unusual one).

The Web of La Sanguinaire is a solid collection with plenty of new stories on offer for fans of the author. Whether you can’t stand spiders or believe they’re just the victims of bad press, this collection may cause you to have a change of heart.

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