Horror Anthology review ‘Dead Seas, Volume 1: Terror in the Trench’

  • Author(s): Laurel Hightower, Kay Hanifen, Joshua Marsella, Thomas Gloom, Mocha Pennington, Nicola Kapron, Nikki R. leigh, Spencer Hamilton, Matthew Stevens, Megan Kiekel Anderson, Andrew Cull, Catarina Prata, Hannah Hulbett, Craig Wallwork, Jack Harding
  • Edited by Jay Alexander
  • Publisher: Dead Sea Press (independent publisher)
  • Number of Pages: 302
  • Cover design: Jay Alexander
  • ISBN: 979-1915272072
  • My rating: 4/5
Terror in the Trench


Terror in the Trench is an exploration of deep-sea horror from Dead Sea Press and the first entry in the Dead Seas series, a collection of anthologies raising money for oceanic conservation charities like The Shark Trust and Orca Conservancy. In this book, you’ll find fifteen frightening tales from some truly talented horror writers.

A submarine thought lost to the ocean reappears on the surface, now a vessel for more than just corpses. A journey to the Marianas Trench for rich delicacies brings only death and horror. Called to the sea by the mysterious Julia recording, a group of explorers discover something dangerous beneath the waves…

All this and more in this thrilling collection of stories from Laurel Hightower, Kay Hanifen, Joshua Marsella, Thomas Gloom, Mocha Pennington, Nicola Kapron, Nikki R. Leigh, Spencer Hamilton, Matthew Stevens, Megan Kiekel Anderson, Andrew Cull, Catarina Prata, Hannah Hulbert, Craig Wallwork, and Jack Harding.

Don’t forget: every penny of profit goes right to The Shark Trust, an organisation promoting the conservation and protection of sharks, skates and rays. Your support is hugely appreciated.


1. Laurel Hightower – Distress Call

This is a very eerie, dark tale with a claustrophobic atmosphere perfect for this anthology because being in a vast ocean (or underneath it) can feel like you are trapped in a limited space (not only feels like it, it just is!) 4,5/5

2. Kay Hanifen – Project Whale Song

Old legends and myths can become inspiration for new tales! This was the sad story about one survivor on a ship out at sea, far from everyone else. Even help is not sure to make it in time, if it even comes at all! 5/5

3. Joshua Marsella – The Angler and the Raven

Vengeful spirits are not to be toyed with! A story reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Fog where a fisherman in his skiff meets his past, albeit in a very deadly encounter! 4/5

4. Thomas Gloom – Deep Purple

In the depths of the ocean, several ships and salvation attempts end up at the bodem of the ocean. We all know the Bermuda Triangle but did you know that in The Gulf of Mexico a similar place exists? And when three divers are sent to find a cruise ship in the murky waters, they’re bound to find something completely different, something more sinister, something… deadly! 4/5

5. Mocha Pennington – Melancholic Blue

Lalisa has a secret. She killed her husband, Ricky and dropped him in the ocean. Finally, she got rid of him. But how come Ricky is with Saul and Jennie in the living room of the yacht? Is he not dead? The ocean has a secret! 4/5

6. Nicola Kapron – Deepwater Siren

Jack is in his little sub descending a trog, a crevice. And the deeper he goes, the more fascinating it gets. But what lurks in the depths of the deep? 4/5

7. Nikki R. Leigh – Escargot, except it’s you

How much is a new dish worth, when your restaurant is ailing? Would you go the distance of killing for it? Would you even descend to the uttermost depth of a trench to get that one delicious meal? Would you sacrifice everything for it? 3,5/5

8. Spencer Hamilton – Werewolves and Tentacles

2.500 psi… that’s the pressure on the bottom of the ocean where the Void Hunters are hiding. Among them Jimmy, a werewolf. Not the best combo when his predator side appears. 2.500 psi and the tentacle appears from The Void! Anastacia needs to warn the other members but will she be able to avoid Tentacle and Werewolf? 4/5

9. Matthew Stevens – Unfathomable

All alone in the darkest waters, ready to enter an undiscovered world, Wade is on the verge of becoming the first to explore the caves underwater. But what lurks in those crevasses and caves is unfathomable to mankind. With no means to warn the people above water level, he is bound to become lost… 3,5/5

10. Megan Kiekel Anderson – Light the Way

What comes forth when humans destroyed the seas and its inhabitants? A new breed, a vengeful kind, a monster beyond recognition! 4/5

11. Andrew Cull – Julia

Grief makes for a bad fellow. The loss of his wife and daughter to the dark waters of the ocean, leaves Kyle wanting them to re-emerge for these waters. But at what cost? 3,5/5

12. Catarina Prata – The last Dive

Diving holds certain danger so better be prepared when going in the deep water. But are you really all alone down there? 3,5/5

13. Hannah Hulbert – Pressure Differentials

The world is made up of three types of people: sat divers who learn to tune them out; sat divers who lean into them and learn to love it; and people who aren’t sat divers. At the end of the job they’re at now, they’ll know which ones they are! 4/5

14. Craig Wallwork – The many Ghosts of the Deep

And as the plane crashed down, she thinks ‘well, isn’t this nice!’ Brace yourselves, because the crash is not the worst of your ordeals! 5/5

15. Jack Harding – The End of the Line

Is the old fisherman demented or are the ‘magic rags’ doing the thing they were told? ‘Peeeeeeeeteeeeeeeer’! 3,5/5

General review:

If my fear of water wasn’t already bad enough, it sure is going to be worse now after reading the first volume of this series of aquatic horror by some of the best in the indie horror scene, and some (to me) new names that definitely proved their worth! I am keen on continuing the series now and I also want to see another anthology rise from this series: Sky horror! Where each story is about something in the vast skies, alien visitors or any other kind of aerial horror… (I suggested it on Twitter, so who knows)

A strong collection of stories, each written in the writers’ individual voices and with their own take on aquatic horror! I’m a fan!

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