[REVIEW] Irish Gothic – by Ronald Kelly

IRISH GOTHIC: tales of celtic horror – BY RONALD KELLY

Published by Ronald Kelly / Available February 2021

Verdict: 4 out of 5


Overview: Ronald Kelly recently discovered how much Irish ancestry he had, and decided to write up a collection of folklore horror in the Irish tradition. Irish Gothic features seven entries, one of which is a novelette. In these stories, you meet banshees, leprechauns, giants, and more.

The Good: Practically all of the folklore here was brand new to me. I found it incredibly interesting and entertaining, especially Diabhal’s Timepiece and the Irish Sherlock Holmes, O’Sheehan, as he interacted with banshees, leprechauns, and more. Everything was expertly written and smoothly delivered. Each entry was quick and memorable in its own way. I had expected something gory and vicious – having only read one other Kelly book prior to this, The Essential Sick Stuff – but that wasn’t the case with Irish Gothic. For the most part, the violence was very tame here, tame enough I could see me reading this collection to my kids some day. I liked that possibility.

The Bad: Nothing stood out as bothersome to me. I suppose I would have liked the collection to have a little more bite to it, but I was genuinely pleased throughout.

The Takeaway: Irish Gothic offers an array of Irish folklore that is dark, yet presented in such a way that you won’t be having nightmares. Even so, you get all kinds of great creatures, all of which are delivered wonderfully. The final entry, a werewolf novelette, is especially memorable and exciting. Add in Kelly’s translation guide and glossary of Creatures and Cryptids, and you’ve got an excellent folklore package.


File Under: Celtic horror … Irish horror … horror … monsters … ghouls … short stories

Also See: The Essential Sick Stuff … Fear … The Halloween Store

Amazon Link

Goodreads Link


  • Snow- Capped Press (www.snowcappedpress.com / Website under construction / Magazine expected 2022)
  • Review by Aiden Merchant (Closed to review requests at time of posting / Refer to social media accounts or website for changes to availability)
  • Reviewer’s Information: (e) contact@aidenmerchant.com / www.aidenmerchant.com
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