A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams


Book Cover of A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams Step into the dark where uncanny dreams and nightmares come alive.

A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is a multi-award-winning collection of uncanny short stories and poems that dares you to peer into the depths of the night and uncover what lies beyond the veil. Each tale conjures a portal to the macabre and the marvelous, destined to haunt your dreams and ignite your imagination. Designed to be devoured late at night and preferably in solitude, this book is a masterful concoction of fear, suspense, and the utterly unexpected. Take a sip of this strange brew and be prepared to be enthralled, enchanted, and occasionally terrified.

From the haunting prose poem “Her Mother’s Eyes” with its jarring twist to the uncanny Victorian tale of “The Governess,” these stories weave a unique tapestry of fear, intrigue, and the supernatural. Join the strange celebration of “Grandma Buford’s Birthday” and brave the haunted corridors of “The Ederescu House” where past horrors refuse to remain buried. Uncover the dark desires of “Billy the Arsonist” and experience the heart-wrenching sorrow of “A Mother’s Grief.”

Crafted with meticulous care for those who revel in the eerie echoes of the night, A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is a perfect companion for solitary evenings, where every creak and whisper in the darkness takes on a life of its own. Whether you’re a connoisseur of the macabre or a newcomer to the shadows, you will find yourself right at home among these pages. Each story is a unique window into a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the uncanny reigns supreme, and fears becomes terrifyingly real.

Critics and readers alike have praised A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams as a masterful blend of horror and the paranormal, with prose that haunts the pages and stories that linger long after the last word. Described as thrilling, exciting, and at times terrifyingly violent, this collection delivers fourteen journeys into the heart of darkness.

A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is more than just a book; it is a celebration of the strange, a homage to the uncanny, and a testament to the enduring allure of the night. This collection will challenge your perceptions and dare you to confront what lies in the dark corners of the mind. Don’t just read it before bedtime. Grab a copy now and let it be your gateway to dark dreams and darker nightmares.

If you love uncanny or horror stories, then these thirteen short stories are for you:

  1. Her Mother’s Eyes: A very short poem about a woman’s revenge.
  2. The Collector: A collector of porcelain buildings finds something unexpected.
  3. Grandma Buford’s Birthday: An old woman’s birthday party is not what it appears.
  4. The Farmer’s Daughter: A young man spends the night with a farmer’s daughter.
  5. The Haunting of the Ederescu: A man researches a haunted house for a TV show.
  6. Madam Kaldunya’s Dolls: A woman gets more than she bargained for using voodoo dolls.
  7. Billy the Arsonist: An arsonist breaks into a crematorium and discovers a terrible secret.
  8. A Mother’s Grief: A ghost haunts a rest home.
  9. A Mother’s Love: After moving in with his aunt and three cousins, an orphaned boy discovers her dreadful secret.
  10. The Governess: A Victorian ghost story about a governess who takes care of an invalid child.
  11. Hexendorf: A man visits a village where his ancestors lived.
  12. Revenge: Be careful when picking up a hitchhiker.
  13. The Vow: A poem about the duties an ancient secret organization.


  • 90-Minute Teen & Young Adult Short Reads
  • Fiction > Fantasy > Dark Fantasy
  • Fiction > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
  • Fiction > Horror
  • Fiction > Horror > Ghost
  • Fiction > Horror > Occult

#DarkFantasy #GhostStory #Horror #Occult #Paranormal

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Book Trailer


Pinnacle Book Award, Winter 2020

Summer 2021 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Book in the Anthology category

2022 Author Shout Reader Ready Awards - Honorable Mention

2022 Author Shout Reader Ready Awards – Honorable Mention

Book Cover of the Month - March 2021

PR Design – Book Cover of the Month, March 2021

Praise for A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams

Amy Shannon – Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Amy's Bookshelf 5-Star Review“This collection of innovative thinking (or uncanny dreams) by Firesmith is a remarkable work… The words almost haunted the pages… I loved reading all of the unique stories… This book is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews.” Original review
Amy Shannon Contrary Measures Smashed Unwritten Life


“Enjoyable read! A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is a great collection of short stories. I’m glad I had the chance to read them. These short stories are thrilling and exciting – most are scary and violent at times, but totally worth your time. I enjoyed A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams and I recommend it!” Original review

Author Billy Bob Buttons, The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

“Grim, gritty, and ghoulish! A cleverly told set of shorts, perfect for a dark winter’s night.”
Billy Bob Buttons Tiffany Sparrow Spook Slayer Felicity Brady and the Wizard's Bookshop I Think I Murdered Miss

Nancy (The Avid Reader)

“A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams has many wonderful stories that are sure to whisk you away on a dark eerie night filled with many nightmares after. A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is filled with many shocking twists and turns that will leave you gasping and wanting more. It will surprise you in more ways than one. Grab a copy of A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams along with a bowl of popcorn, your favorite drink, and a cozy blanket for a night filled with nightmares.” Original review
Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader)

Author Julie Elizabeth Powell

“I was given a review copy of this book and enjoyed all the stories, though The Collector was the creepiest. These horror stories were well-written and toe-curling… and believable, yikes! They were cleverly thought-out, and it was nice to see why they were written.” Amazon UK Review
Author Julie Elizabeth Powell Gone Maisie Murder’ Heard

Author Chantal Bellehumeur

“I enjoyed reading this anthology of eerie short stories, starting with the five sentence flash fiction A Mother’s Eyes. Each story of various lengths was quite unique and mysterious, even when the author was inspired by a legend he once read. I liked how Donald included author notes at the end of each story. That special touch was as much fun to read as the stories that crept in the author’s imagination.” Chantal Bellehumeur Not Alone I'll Take You To The Ocean

B’S Thought Pad and Book Space

“These stories… are a window into an alternative state of being. Definitely a collection for those that enjoy the questions of what lies in the dark corners or just beyond the reach of the headlights on a cold, dark night.” Original review

Ye Olde Bookworm

A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams by Donald Firesmith is your classic shouldn’t read before bedtime rush. A fun read, and I look forward to reading more of Firesmith’s work in the future.” Original review


Review Results
Read all 70 reviews. (4.4 Stars)

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Quotes from the Book

“Even though the lack of footprints proved I was alone, I couldn’t help feeling that I was being watched from those shadows, that something glared at me with malice and resented my intrusion into its dark domain.” – from “The Haunting of the Ederescu House”

Author’s Commentary



Publishing Information

Publisher: Magical Wand Press
Edition: Second edition
Publication Date: 27 April 2023
Pages: 170
Words: 41,610
Size: 5×8
Language: English


A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams is available in the following formats:

Format Source
eBook (.epub) Amazon.com
eBook (.mobi) Amazon.com
eBook (.pdf) Not Available
Paperback Amazon.com
Hardback Not available
Audiobook Amazon.com Audible.com

Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Data Block

Name: Firesmith, Donald.
Title: A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams / by Donald Firesmith.
Description: Second edition. | Pittsburgh : Magical Wand Press, 2023.
Summary: A collection of spooky short stories. | Audience: Adult. | Language: English
Identifiers: ISBN: 979-8392526475 ASIN B0C2SM662X (Amazon paperback) | ASIN B0CK54WLL4 (Amazon ebook) | 978-1005671334 (Smashwords ebook) | ASIN B0BCXDPFH4 (Amazon/Audible audiobook)
Subjects: BISAC: FICTION / Occult & Supernatural. | Fiction / Horror. | LCSH: American–Fantasy–Fiction. | American–Paranormal–Fiction. | GSAFD: Horror fiction. | Occult fiction. | Fantasy fiction.

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