There’s a lot of fun to traditional ghost stories, the kind you could imagine telling around a campfire while someone is torturing a bag of marshmallows by running them through with pointy sticks. (Optional Colorado addition: passing around the local microbrew.) The next offering from the No Shit ToC puts me in mind of just that: Rudy’s Revenge by Anne M. Gibson.
The story expands on the origin of a haunted pinball machine, and involves a circus side show, the strong man, the witch doctor, and a total asshole of a clown. (Clowns automatically make everything creepier.) What I liked about the story was how atmospheric it is. There’s a solid sense of environment, of the characters, and with a real economy of words that honestly makes me jealous as a writer. You can practically smell the popcorn and cotton candy mixed in with a humid night at a fairground.
Even better, the pinball machine in question actually does exist. Well, as in that pinball machine design exists. I can’t really say one way or another if it’s actually haunted. The Williams Funhouse pinball machine is a real thing with a real animatronic talking face named Rudy, and he’s real creepy if you ask me. I found this cool video covering all the features and modes of the pinball machine.
Sound like spooky fun? (It is.) One more reason to support the No Shit kickstarter and get the anthology!