The Black Phone

The Black Phone

“The Black Phone,” is a short story in the horror anthology “20th Century Ghosts,” by author Joe Hill who famously wrote NOS4ATU which was adapted to a show on AMC, as well as writing other famous works. Joe Hill’s father is also a famous author named Stephen King. I checked out “20th Century Ghosts,” from the library because I was main interested in reading “The Black Phone,” due to the movie adaptation coming out in July. “The Black Phone,” is about a boy named Jonathan Finney. For the past two years someone has been kidnapping boys in the town of Galesburg and has never been found. It seems as though Jonathan will meet the same fate. He’s locked in a basement with a bed, blood stains from the previous victims and a black phone. It keeps ringing and when Jonathan picks up its one of the victims from beyond the grave wanting to help Jonathan…..


Pros & Cons

Joe Hill knows how to make the atmosphere creepy. I could picture the gray basement. Even though the villain Albert was described as fat, I could get a sense he was an imposing figure. I like that Jonathan’s sister Susanna is a psychic that could sense where Jonathan was being held whether it’s her dreams or she’s awake.  I only wish the short story was longer. While I liked the ending I would have liked for it to be expanded a bit. But then again everyone can draw from their own conclusions. Maybe with the movie certain things will be expanded.




Overall I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to read more from Joe in the future. I plan on reading, “Heart Shaped Box,” by Joe Hill next among others.