Tuesday Terror! The Black Church by Toby Tate

the black churchSo here we are again – a new year dawns and still the quest is on to find that elusive story that will bring me out in goosebumps, raise my hair on end and keep me shiveringly awake through the dark, dead reaches of the night…

DarkFuse is a publisher which seems to specialise in horror, and they do a lot of novella-length books. It was from them, via NetGalley, that I was given Greg Gifune’s House of Rain last year, before I started this little series – one of the best spooky stories I’d read in a long time. So when DarkFuse offered me a copy of Toby Tate’s novella, The Black Church, it seemed like the ideal choice for…



The child stared down at the floor as he moved toward Daniel, but he wasn’t walking – he was gliding. Daniel stood in the middle of the dark room, frozen with fear as the apparition drew ever closer. When the boy stopped and looked at him, Daniel saw empty eye sockets as black as two deep wells…

The Black Church of Brasov
The Black Church of Brasov

When Anton Ivanov burns to death in what seems like a horrific accident, his son Daniel inherits a mysterious prayer rug. It soon transpires that this prayer rug holds a terrible secret, one that Daniel gradually begins to learn through vivid dreams of a centuries old death in the Black Church of Brasov. And as Daniel begins to investigate the history of the rug, accidents begin to happen to the people he loves…

Statue of a boy on the roof of the Black Church
Statue of a boy on the roof of the Black Church

This novella length chiller has all the traditional aspects of horror – old churches, revenge, demons and gruesome deaths. The Black Church is real and got its name after its walls were blackened in a great fire. There is a legend attached to the Church that a young boy may have died there. Tate has used these elements in his story, but has embellished them to create the story of a curse that has descended through the generations since the Church was built. It’s well written and Tate develops the tension nicely, getting the reader’s attention right from the dramatic beginning and holding it through to the end. The length is just right for a story of this nature – long enough for some character development but not so stretched out that the horror begins to wear thin. Although there are lots of deaths, the book is not too graphic – the horror is more in the anticipation than in the events themselves.

An enjoyable and well-told horror story – just the thing for a dark winter evening.

Both photos are credited to touristinromania.wordpress.com where you will find some background to the legends associated with the Black Church.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, DarkFuse.

Fretful porpentine rating: 😯 😯 😯

Overall story rating:         🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

6 thoughts on “Tuesday Terror! The Black Church by Toby Tate

  1. FictionFan – So very glad you’re back with this feature. And this one really does sound c-r-e-e-p-y. I love the way a good teller of horror tales can weave together old stories and eerie places like that to bring on the gooseflesh. Some stories just make you want to cross the street when you come to certain buildings…


    • Yes, I enjoyed that he based this story around real legends. What are ancient buildings for except to keep the ghosts in…and keep them out of our nice modern houses… 😉


  2. Like Margot, the professor is happy to see the return of Tuesday Terror. But…but I want you to find a book that is really, really creepy. Then, I’d have to read it, for sure.

    Btw, really enjoying KSM. I know it’s taking me forever. It’s the professorish way. I keep laughing; reminds me of Twain at times.


    • Still looking, sadly, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying it. Can’t really see the Twain connection myself, to be honest, but then you’ve read much more Twain than I have.


  3. Sounds like a good one, and I agree about old buildings keeping the ghosts in – I find it hard enough to peacefully co-exist with a cat!


    • DarkFuse seem to have a group of writers all working in this genre – the two I’ve read have both been good.

      The cats often seem to spot ghosts though even in a modern house – but then they just go back to sleep!


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