17 horror Stories. One legendary music venue.

We all know the old cliché: Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now, add demons, other dimensions, monsters, revenge, human sacrifice, and a dash of the truly inexplicable. This is the story of the (fictional) San Francisco music venue, The Shantyman.

In Welcome to the Show, seventeen of today's hottest writers of horror and dark fiction come together in devilish harmony to trace The Shantyman's history from its disturbing birth through its apocalyptic encore.

Featuring stories by Brian Keene, John Skipp, Mary SanGiovanni, Robert Ford, Max Booth III, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Hayward, Bryan Smith, Matt Serafini, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Patrick Lacey, Adam Cesare, Alan M Clark, Somer Canon, Rachel Autumn Deering and Jeff Strand.

Compiled by Matt Hayward. Edited by Doug Murano.

Bring your curiosity, but leave your inhibitions at the door. The show is about to begin…


  • Alan M Clark – What Sort of Rube
  • Jonathan Janz – Night and Day and in Between
  • John Skipp – In the Winter of No Love
  • Patrick Lacey – Wolf with Diamond Eyes
  • Bryan Smith – Pilgrimage
  • Rachel Autumn Deering – A Tongue like Fire
  • Glenn Rolfe – Master of Beyond
  • Matt Hayward – Dark Stage
  • Kelli Owen – Open Mic Night
  • Matt Serafini – Beat on the Past
  • Max Booth III – True Starmen
  • Somer Canon – Just to be Seen
  • Jeff Strand – Parody
  • Robert Ford – Ascending
  • Adam Cesare – The Southern Thing
  • Brian Keene – Running Free
  • Mary SanGiovanni – We Sang in Darkness

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Interview with compiler Matt Hayward:

What makes this horror anthology so special?
A: The book is as much an anthology as it is a collaborative novel. Each story explores the history of the Shantyman, a haunted music venue located in San Francisco with a long and bloody past. With the likes of John Skipp, Brian Keene, and Rachel Autumn Deering involved, we not only see the venue change throughout the decades, but also from changing perspectives, everything from psychological horror to extreme horror, and even a splash of comedy.  

Q: Tell us more about the venue and the history of the building?
The Shantyman's history is the product of author/illustrator Alan M Clark. Alan usually tackles historical horror, and I wouldn't have chosen anyone else to take on the task. What Alan delivered was a seven-thousand-word horror juggernaut set in San Francisco’s gold rush era, involving a traveling singer who gets shanghaied. I won't ruin any surprises, but there are cannibals. Alan sets the gruesome scene from which every other story stems.

Q: What made you think of this theme for the anthology?
A: About a year ago, I attended a comedy show at a famous music venue here in Dublin. The main room was seated, and the audience rather docile. A few weeks later, Rachel Autumn Deering and I attended John Carpenter in the very same room, but once we stepped through the doors, I hardly recognized the place. I was instantly hit with that 'eureka' moment for the book.

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