Haunted Nights by Ellen Datlow

Haunted Nights

Sixteen never-before-published chilling tales that explore every aspect of our darkest holiday, Halloween, co-edited by Ellen Datlow, one of the most successful and respected genre editors, and Lisa Morton, a leading authority on Halloween. In addition to stories about scheming jack-o'-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attr...

Title:Haunted Nights
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Haunted Nights Reviews

  • Chris

    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

    Who doesn’t love Halloween? Okay, it’s true that in some areas of the country, you will have near adults dressed in nothing more than a cheap mask ringing the doorbell and then being upset that they haven’t received a whole Snickers bar, but, hey, it’s Halloween, and look at those Princess Leias. Brings a bit of hope about the future generation.

    But as most people can tell you, as the Princess Leias illustrate, there is also an attempt to make Halloween less scary.

    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

    Who doesn’t love Halloween? Okay, it’s true that in some areas of the country, you will have near adults dressed in nothing more than a cheap mask ringing the doorbell and then being upset that they haven’t received a whole Snickers bar, but, hey, it’s Halloween, and look at those Princess Leias. Brings a bit of hope about the future generation.

    But as most people can tell you, as the Princess Leias illustrate, there is also an attempt to make Halloween less scary. Some schools have forbidden scary outfits, and most customers in my neighborhood recently have been superheroes and princesses. (And that is another issue). While it is understandable not to want to frighten young children, the sexualization of costumes and the move to cute, does tend to be a bit disturbing. Look at the difference between male and female Iron Man costumes, for instance.

    Thankfully Morton and Datlow hew to the original concept of Halloween in this well edited collection.

    All the stories are set on Halloween (or on a related festival). All the tales are spooky and focus on the darker aspect of the holiday. Thought, it should be noted, that cute can still make an appearance in one or two tales. But it is cute with a big bite, lots of sharp teeth, and you know, it is going to leave a scar.

    Seanan McGuire’s “With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane Seeds” starts the collection. It is, on the surface, a haunted house tale (what better way to celebrate Halloween), as well as makes us of the idea of Mischief Night. It is a good teen story too, at least in terms of the idea of needing and wanting to belong to a group. It’s a rather quiet study of it, and while the subject matter and execution are completely different, in many ways it reminds me of Kij Johnson’s “Ponies” – the most chilling story about peer pressure ever.

    Which isn’t in this collection, but McGuire’s short story is just as good, so if you liked “Ponies”, read it.

    McGuire is followed by “Dirtmouth” by Stephen Graham Jones, a tale about fame, death, and afterlife. To say much more would be giving a bit too much away, so I won’t. Let’s just say, it makes a good companion piece to “The Monkey’s Paw”.

    Look, if you are over 12, and don’t know “The Monkey’s Paw,” I can’t know you. Sorry.

    Perhaps Jonathan Maberry’s “A Small Taste of the Old Country”. Considering the Trump’s administrations misstatements, false statements, or missteps (you can pick the word, I prefer lies) in terms of the Holocaust, Maberry’s somber story is a good rebuke to all those statements. It also, like most good fiction, raises questions about justice, remembrance, and freedom.

    Joanna Parupinski’s tale “Wick’s End” makes good use of several folklore and tale motifs as does Kelley Armstrong’s “Nos Galen Gaeaf” (which is set in Cainsville). Additionally, both stories make excellent use of the idea of storytelling. Phillip Pullman’s “Seventeen Year Itch” also makes use of this idea and combines with the overuse trope of a madhouse. Yet, he writes quite a spooky story.

    Jeffrey Ford gets bonus points for placing a tale in the New Jersey Pine Barrens but not including the Jersey Devil. Paul Kane too plays with the sounds of footsteps, and John R. Little sets a Halloween on the moon. Work by Pat Cadigan, Kate Jonez, S.P. Miskowski, and John Langan round out the collection.

    In all, the short stories are strong and contain a good deal of spook and spine tingles. The emphasis is on fear rather than shock. This isn’t to say that there is not blood, but the horror is more psychological than shock with blood spurting. Not there isn’t the odd spurt or so.

  • Sheila

    4 stars: I really liked it. This is a bit of a mixed bag for me (like most anthologies), but my rating is based largely on my love for John Langan's story, "Lost in the Dark." I'm so grateful it was included and I got to read it.

    3 stars. I love the house concept but was a bit confused about

    .

    3 stars. Creepy but I was again con

    4 stars: I really liked it. This is a bit of a mixed bag for me (like most anthologies), but my rating is based largely on my love for John Langan's story, "Lost in the Dark." I'm so grateful it was included and I got to read it.

    3 stars. I love the house concept but was a bit confused about

    .

    3 stars. Creepy but I was again confused, this time by the

    ?

    4 stars. I cheered all the way through this.

    3 stars. I like the stories inside the story.

    3 stars but again some confusing elements. (Was I just too tired this week to read?)

    3 stars. So sad.

    4 stars. I enjoyed this one pretty well for the strange creepiness of the symptoms.

    3 stars, nice use of Welsh traditions.

    4 stars, pretty spooky. Boy that narrator was a piece of work!

    3 stars for some creepy elements.

    3 stars. Oh my god, so sad.

    1 star. For whatever reason, I didn't like this one. I just couldn't connect with it.

    3 stars. Nice "turn" (heh) in this story.

    2 stars. It was okay but didn't really grab me. It seemed oversimple; Jack didn't seem that clever.

    5 stars. AHH! Amazing! I adore reading about fictional horror movies, and the description of the cave in this story scared me quite a bit. Chilling and effective. Love love love.

    3 stars. I'm on team alien...

    I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    is a pretty good collection of Halloween-themed stories. The thing which distinguishes it from other collections is the type of Halloween the character celebrate or endure, as the case may be. Some of them are hiding a surprise or two and with only one exception, I enjoyed these stories - some more than others, of course.

    Just a couple of notes on the stories themselves:

    by Seanan McGuire is a haunted house story. I wasn't surprised to like

    is a pretty good collection of Halloween-themed stories. The thing which distinguishes it from other collections is the type of Halloween the character celebrate or endure, as the case may be. Some of them are hiding a surprise or two and with only one exception, I enjoyed these stories - some more than others, of course.

    Just a couple of notes on the stories themselves:

    by Seanan McGuire is a haunted house story. I wasn't surprised to like this. Seanan McGuire can write paranormal stuff really really well.

    by Stephen Graham Jones has an unreliable narrator, so you never know what exactly happened to the narrator and his family. It had my undivided attention, though.

    by Jonathan Maberry is a good enough story, I guess; one of those people would feel bad for saying something bad. My issue with it was it is too transparent right from the beginning. The moment you see the setting and the period it takes place, you

    everything about it, so it becomes a bit of a chore to read through the food stuff.

    Don't get me wrong, it is a good story. It is simply better suited for a younger reader who is learning about those particular issues.

    by Joanna Parypinski is a familiar one. You must have heard at least a version of it. One monster hunting on Halloween encounters another monster.

    by Garth Nix is a great story that takes place at an asylum. A change in administration creates all kinds of problems. People should really listen to older members of staff.

    by Kate Jonez is the exception I mentioned earlier. I almost stopped reading this book. It is boring, it drags like nobody's business and it has the least engaging characters ever written. I can't remember the last time I've read something this short that took this much time and being

    boring. I hated this depressing 'story' and its present tense.

    by Jeffrey Ford features twins and it is really good. And disgusting.

    by Kelley Armstrong is about people following old traditions. I can't say I am happy with how it ends, but the story is good.

    by S. P. Miskowski is full of horrible people. It's a bit confusing and the ending doesn't help at all. The narrator and his wife (who is this supposedly perfect wonderful person) are having a Halloween party with some friends and the wife's weird sister. During the evening, you find out how weird and crazy the sister is and how horrible this man is. The wife doesn't do anything bad, though (in the present).

    by Brian Evenson is one of those with a surprise in the end. It is great and it is funny too. I mean, the protagonists call us 'it'.

    by Elise Forier Edie is one of my favourite stories here and it broke my heart. It is beautifully written, well-plotted and if it doesn't make you cry or at least makes you sad, you don't have a soul.

    by Eric J. Guignard is both funny and sad. It has a dancing skeleton and a talking skull, a hungover young man with one huge regret in his life which he tries to fix on Halloween. Everyone gets what they deserve in the end and it is really satisfying.

    by Paul Kane is a great story with pretty good ending. Do not turn around when you hear footsteps following you. You don't want to see what is behind you.

    by Pat Cadigan is about another Jack's attempt to trick someone and pass on his cursed lantern.

    by John Langan is another favourite. The narrator is hired to conduct an interview with a director of a very popular film to conclude whether those events actually happened or not. You are left to draw your own conclusions. Considering that most of us reading this collection are horror lovers, I'm guessing we'll have similar conclusions.

    by John R. Little takes place on October 31, 2204 on the Moon. There are only two thousand or so humans left in the universe and they are all living on the Moon. The aliens destroyed the Earth and everyone on it. The protagonist is a teacher who collected various stories about Halloween and wants to take a group of students topside. Things don't go as planned.

    The ending is what makes it even better.

  • Char

    4.5/5 stars!

    collects several previously unpublished stories from an array of excellent authors-with the bonus that they're all connected- by Halloween. It may not be

    the Halloween that we as Americans are used to, but the seeds are still the same-whether they're sown in Scotland or Ohio. I found quite a few stories to shine for me in this anthology and here are a few of them:

    John Langan's

    is one of my favorite types of haunting tales-the disconcerting

    4.5/5 stars!

    collects several previously unpublished stories from an array of excellent authors-with the bonus that they're all connected- by Halloween. It may not be

    the Halloween that we as Americans are used to, but the seeds are still the same-whether they're sown in Scotland or Ohio. I found quite a few stories to shine for me in this anthology and here are a few of them:

    John Langan's

    is one of my favorite types of haunting tales-the disconcerting kind. That House of Leaves eeriness combined with a cool framing device and several stories within a story all equal out to a very satisfied Char.

    by Seanan McGuire was impressive and convinced me that I need to give more of her work a try. Always remember that those Halloween tricks can get you into trouble-especially if you trick the wrong person.

    by Jonathan Maberry. This one was predictable, but man, I just wanted it to happen so badly. When it did, I couldn't have been happier.

    by Garth Nix would have made one hell of a Twilight Zone episode. This story put me in mind of those old horror and sci-mags back in the day. There is a lot of punch, (and scratching!), packed into this short story.

    by Kate Jonez is a downer of a tale, but I can't deny how powerfully it was written to make me feel that way.

    What another sad, sad tale! Halloween is not all fun and games and neither is the horror genre. Sometimes it's fun and imaginative, (see The Seventeen Year Itch), but sometimes it's all too realistic. Often it's those hard to look at stories, the ones about the lives of real people and the hardships they go through, that are the most horrific of all.

    by Paul Kane. This is the perfect title-because it's exactly what you want-NO-are

    to do when you hear footsteps behind you on a dark street. But what if you would be okay, if only you

    turn. Would you be able not to?

    John Little's

    and Jeffrey Ford's

    rounded out my favorites in this collection.

    I loved the fact that ALL of these stories were new and I adored the connection they had to Halloween. I've previously been disappointed in collections where I've discovered, (too late!), that I'd already read many of the stories within. These were fresh tales and featured some fresh, (at least to me), authors, as well as some tried and true.

    It is my excited opinion that this anthology belongs on any horror lover's shelves-but especially to those of us that have a love of all things Halloween! Highly recommended!

    Get your copy here:

    *Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

  • Irene

    This anthology by the horror writers association was a mixed trick or treat bag of goodies for all fans of short horror fiction and of course Halloween. A couple of the stories leaned more towards sci-fi and although that's just not my thing I still enjoyed this book.

    The stories that really stood out for me were With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane Seeds by Seanan McGuire about an old abandoned house that never seems to fall into disrepair and some teen vandals who intend to break in.

    Dirtmouth by

    This anthology by the horror writers association was a mixed trick or treat bag of goodies for all fans of short horror fiction and of course Halloween. A couple of the stories leaned more towards sci-fi and although that's just not my thing I still enjoyed this book.

    The stories that really stood out for me were With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane Seeds by Seanan McGuire about an old abandoned house that never seems to fall into disrepair and some teen vandals who intend to break in.

    Dirtmouth by Stephen Graham Jones in which a man who is grieving the loss of his wife plans a get away with his children over Halloween, the one night of year when anything is possible.

    A Small Taste of the Old Country by Jonathan Maberry concerns two men who are treated to a most delicious and well deserved meal.

    Wick’s End by Joanna Parypinski Two strangers in a tavern tell each other scary stories in a competition where the stakes are higher than they appear to be.

    The only story that really scared me was We’re Never Inviting Amber Again by S. P. Miskowski A man regrets inviting his quirky sister-in-law to his Halloween party, she always ruins everything but this night is really hell on his guests!

    A Flicker of Light on Devil’s Night by Kate Jonez What's a poor single mother to do when she's lost control of her children and Halloween is coming?

    All Through the Night by Elise Forier Edie is a hauntingly tragic tale of a destitute widowed mother trying to make a life for herself and her baby when she meets a strange man in a tavern who might not be human.

    I received an advance copy for review.

  • karen

    here is a list i made for riffle! this book is on it!

    reviewing short story collections is hard. i do not like doing it. so i am going to rock the same style as i did in my review for

    : a teaser line or two pulled from the text along with an image i feel is representative of each story's particulars. this may seem lazy, but it actually takes WAY more time to pull together, given my stubborn and time-eating conviction that if i keep scour

    here is a list i made for riffle! this book is on it!

    reviewing short story collections is hard. i do not like doing it. so i am going to rock the same style as i did in my review for

    : a teaser line or two pulled from the text along with an image i feel is representative of each story's particulars. this may seem lazy, but it actually takes WAY more time to pull together, given my stubborn and time-eating conviction that if i keep scouring the internet, i will find an even BETTER picture, along with the fact that i basically had to read the book a second time to select my quotes. and since i might actually write some mini-reviews throughout if the mood strikes me, the whole thing was a fool’s errand. i have tricked myself, but at least youuuuuu get the treat of creepy GIFs.

    Introduction - Lisa Morton

    this is a brief, but important little intro, for those impulsive people who see a free book called

    with ellen datlow’s name on it at work and just snatch it up without further investigation. the intro lets those goobers know that this isn’t a broad-spectrum horror anthology, it is a

    anthology, so the stories are rooted specifically in the rituals and lore of that holiday, which is important to note because

    1) these references include some old-timey traditions that are outmoded and potentially unfamiliar to modern goobers.

    2) some of the stories have the feel of folklore, and are awfully predictable, which would be more disappointing (to me) in an anthology of modern horror, but feels appropriate (to me) in the context of halloween, with my sepia-tinted childhood memories of rhode island halloweens where washington irving stories were read aloud on haunted hayrides and cider was consumed and we may as well have been wearing bonnets for how colonial new england we were.

    3) the specificity of the theme allows for the inclusion of a couple of stories that are not necessarily horror-horror, although very bad things do happen in them.

    okay, enough of that; let's get to it.

    With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfsbane Seeds - Seanan McGuire

    ★★★★☆

    i liked this story fine, but if i'm being perfectly candid, it got a free star just for being written by an author i adore. it's good, but it doesn't have the ka-POW of her best work. it feels like a second draft, where the characters are

    there, just needing a final polish to shine. but considering she's produced - what,

    books this year? she's earned a free star.

    Dirtmouth - Stephen Graham Jones

    ★★★★☆

    this one is messy in the best way possible. it left me with a bunch of questions, but they are of the "engaged reader" rather than the "you wrote it wrong!!" variety. not that i would ever make that accusation. except to herman melville. and thomas hardy for the ending of tess.

    A Small Taste of the Old Country - Jonathan Maberry

    ★★★★☆

    you can see the ending of this one coming a mile away, but the characters can't, so reading it brings the same kind of gleeful anticipation as watching (insert monster-villain of your choice) approach the poorly-considered hiding place of dumb teenagers. but in this story, the characters on the "dumb teenagers" side of the equation 100% deserve their fate.

    Wick's End - Joanna Parypinski

    ★★★☆☆

    this is one of the super-predictable ones. it's not bad or boring, but it definitely feels like reading something "traditional," something that would have been perfectly suited to those haunted hayrides of my youth, intoned spookily along with all the hawthorne and ghosties and assorted urban legends.

    The Seventeen-Year Itch - Garth Nix

    ★★★☆☆

    this one is creepy, and presents images striking enough that as soon as someone tasked with sourcing content for the next big horror anthology series reads it, BOOM! onscreen it shall go.

    A Flicker of Light on Devil's Night - Kate Jonez

    ★★★☆☆

    i guess this is horror, but it is from the school of "the real world is horrible enough."

    Witch Hazel - Jeffrey Ford

    ★★★☆☆

    twins. do i need to say more? i should reread this one, but my first pass (and second half-pass for quote-extraction) response is mixed. it seems to get in its own way at the end. there's a perfectly satisfying story here, in the tradition of

    , but then he goes and spackles it in with some last ditch extra stuff the story doesn't need and he doesn't explore, and it just throws off the whole balance with unnecessary equivocation.

    Nos Galan Gaeaf - Kelley Armstrong

    ★★★☆☆

    this one was fine, but i don't have anything to add beyond that. and since i wasn't SUPPOSED to be reviewing these stories and yet am reviewing each and every one of them as though i've been possessed by the nerdiest demon ever, i'm just going to move on.

    We're Never Inviting Amber Again - S.P. Miskowski

    ★★★☆☆

    this is the douchiest character in the whole collection. and the biggest horror of all in this story is that

    Sisters - Brian Evenson

    ★★★★★

    i'm gonna go ahead and change this one to five stars, because it is one of the weirdest fucking things i have ever read, and the last sentence made me do an actual, physical double-take before busting out in what can only be described as a

    of appreciative laughter.

    it's pretty awesome.

    All Through the Night - Elise Forier Edie

    ★★★★☆

    foof. this one's a heartbreaker. it's not horror at

    , but it is beautifully told and controlled and boy, does it linger. some humans may cry.

    A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds - Eric J. Guignard

    ★★★★☆

    fun and cartoony and fun and trippy and ... FUN. the

    don't have fun the whole way through, and there are moments where a reader's anger will be stirred and revenge demanded, but let the dead handle that part.

    The Turn - Paul Kane

    ★★★★☆

    this is a perfect little halloween morsel. it's creepy enough to make the back of your neck itch and i guarantee it will pop into your head the next time you're out walking at night, and it ends SO well with a little surprise kick. very good stuff.

    Jack - Pat Cadigan

    ★★★★☆

    another one that feels like classic folklore, but modernized with a humorous urban fantasy vibe. if you were to excavate it, there'd be some aesop, some murder ballad, some br'er rabbit, and it's fine without being particularly memorable.

    Lost in the Dark - John Langan

    ★★★★☆

    i was dreading this story, because it is loooong, and because historically, i have avoided langan the way i avoid all horror writers who fall into the lovecraftian tradition, as that style does nothing for me. but this was not full of nameless eldritch dread nor hideous ichor and madness. or rather, it's got some of those elements, but they are not run through a lovecraft filter, and if brian evenson hadn't suckerpunched me with his story, this would probably have been my favorite in the collection.

    The First Lunar Halloween - John R. Little

    ★★★★☆

    halloweeeeeeeen on the moooooon! i really enjoyed this little sci-fi/horror tale. it's short and cagey, and a good endpoint to the collection - a future in which halloween has become a long-dormant tradition; a cultural relic from the time before humans fled the invading aliens and moved to the moon. one which is revived as an interactive history lesson for schoolchildren, its customs taught, and learned, with unexpectedly devastating results.

    wow, so that happened. i reviewed every damn story without even meaning to. this is how i lose hours of my life. i hope at least one person read all the way down to here, otherwise i'm going to have to scold myself for yet another bad life decision.

    if you are here, happy halloween!!

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  • Amalia Gavea

    Who would pass a book entitled Haunted Nights? Would you pass it? I think not. And do it came to that this collection of stories was added to the October reading list and took priority over other books. I was optimistic that I would enjoy the collection, but I believed that nothing too special was in store. I thought I'd find tales that would be eerie, mildly creep

    Who would pass a book entitled Haunted Nights? Would you pass it? I think not. And do it came to that this collection of stories was added to the October reading list and took priority over other books. I was optimistic that I would enjoy the collection, but I believed that nothing too special was in store. I thought I'd find tales that would be eerie, mildly creepy and Halloween-y (...and this word probably doesn't exist, but let's pretend...). And I was wrong.These are stories that are dark, bleak, heart-wrenching and utterly frightening. They are unsettling and upsetting and will make you feel more than uncomfortable. They will make you scared and sad. In short, this is probably the best Halloween stories you'll have read by now.

    The stories take place in the night of Halloween, a night that is hallowed, wild, sacred, potentially orgiastic. A night when masks are on and the world becomes a different place, both magical and haunted, beautiful and dangerous. Sad and nostalgic, if we accept that the dead come to wander with us, a moment of being "alive" in the nothingness of immortality. Who knows of such things? What I do know, however, is that these are the adjectives I would use to describe this collection.

    The richness and diversity of the stories will definitely attract your attention, since there seems to be something for everyone. We find ‘’traditional’’ spooky characters and techniques. Haunted houses, dead children, forgotten spirits, owls, gargoyles, vampires, werewolves, but what is truly special is the inclusion of traditions dating back to the pagan days. This makes the stories dark, menacing and unpredictable. A Halloween story from Argentina with a terrifying nod to Seleenwoche, a tale of justified revenge and comeuppance. Poor old Jack-O’-Lantern speaks to us. There is a story dedicated to Nos Galan Gaeaf, the Spirit Night of the Welsh tradition. We experience Samhain and our favourite Dia De Los Muertos with the Sugar Skulls and we come face to face with Keres, the chthonian Greek deities of blood, darkness and death.

    The sixteen tales of the collection are excellent but there are a few that made a lasting impression:

    by Stephen Graham Jones is a beautiful story, containing the most accurate observations about this very special day of the year. This is a tragic, haunting tale.

    by Joanna Parypinski has a Neil Gaiman touch, reminding me of his ‘’Coming to America’’ chapters in ‘’American Gods’’. And I won’t tell you who is the narrator of the story…

    by Kate Jonez has a nightmarish, menacing atmosphere, right from the start…

    \. Now, I’d definitely pay to watch that film…

    I felt that

    was the weakest link in the collection. I don’t like sci-fi and I couldn’t appreciate the inclusion of this tale, but if you enjoy the genre, then you will definitely like this intergalactic story.

    These are not stories to be read in Halloween and be forgotten afterwards. They are scary tales for readers who want something more besides the same old jumpscares or gory spectacles. This is a collection that communicates the eerie, menacing atmosphere of these days to perfection.

    Many thanks to Blumhouse Books/Anchor Books, Penguin Random House and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    My reviews can also be found on

  • Fiona

    3.5 stars: This collection has a great line up - a lot of my reliably favourite authors have a story in here. But surprisingly, it was none of them who really blew me away. Instead the first half of the book (where most of those heavy-hitters were stacked) left me a little flat - it's not that it was bad, but it wasn't yet anything to really get excited about. But the last half made up for it enough to round the 3.5 up to a 4.

    All in all a nicely seasonal read!

  • Bradley

    This new collection of Horror (or I should say strictly Halloween stories,) was probably the best surprise I got this month. I generally don't expect all that much about made-to-order stories based on a theme, but every single one of these was consistently awesome. Some were rather extraordinary.

    Something else that comes as a rather nice surprise was the fact that I've been following most of these authors anyway, so I'm getting a feel for what they'd do naturally and I can even get a sense as to

    This new collection of Horror (or I should say strictly Halloween stories,) was probably the best surprise I got this month. I generally don't expect all that much about made-to-order stories based on a theme, but every single one of these was consistently awesome. Some were rather extraordinary.

    Something else that comes as a rather nice surprise was the fact that I've been following most of these authors anyway, so I'm getting a feel for what they'd do naturally and I can even get a sense as to whether their stories are up to snuff. And if you've been reading this far, you can tell I think so. :)

    BUT. And here's the odd part... some of my favorite authors aren't getting their top marks in this collection! Seanan McGuire's story, "With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfsbane Seeds", actually fell near to the bottom of my list of favorites! *gasp*

    "Dirtmout" by Stephen Graham Jones, was absolutely gorgeous and atmospheric and creepy as hell. This is where I knew I was going to rock to this collection.

    Jonathan Maberry's "A Small Taste of the Old Country" was pretty good for a history lesson and a traditional ghost story vibe and I have no complaints even if it didn't strike fear into my heart.

    I really loved Joanna Parypinski's "Wick's End". It really captures the taste of sitting around a campfire telling stories about how to beat the devil... even if it's a game in a pub. I LOVE these kinds of stories within stories.

    "The Seventeen-Year Itch" by Garth Nix was a good one for hospitals and obsession but it didn't really grab me that much even though it was entertaining.

    "A Flicker of Light on Devil's Night" by Kate Jonez was pretty atmospheric even if it was more just a mild horror. :)

    "Witch Hazel" by Jeffrey Ford was a decent witch story with twins for all you people who are naturally freaked out by those freaks of nature. :) :)

    "Nos Galan Gaeaf" by Kelley Armstrong wasn't part of any of my favorites, unfortunately.

    "We're Never Inviting Amber Again" by S.P. Miskowski, was, okay, pretty forgettable, too. :)

    BUT Brian Evanson's "Sisters" really knocked things out of the park. I loved the fish out of water aspect. :)

    "All Through the Night" by Elise Forier Edie was sweet and bittersweet and thoughtful.

    "A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds" by Eric J. Guignard was pretty awesome as an adventure through thug territory living through the Day of the Dead for real. It was pretty brilliant.

    Paul Kane's "The Turn" made me turn for real. Nice and scary and a perfect pick me up. :) Boo!

    Pat Cadigan's "Jack" was pretty much a pumpkin king. Familiar, full of myth, and decent fun, but kinda middle of the road.

    John Langan's "Lost in the Dark" blew me the **** away. This one is easily my absolute favorite of the bunch, half-way a documentary, a horror movie, a barroom expose, and a thoughtful and smart addition to the shaky-cam genre that blows most of the shaky-cams out of the atmosphere. I actually got creeped out and started biting my nails a bit.

    And for the last story of the bunch, we got a SF! "The First Lunar Halloween" by John R. Little wasn't particularly scary but it felt like a great lunar/archeological experiment in trickery. :)

  • Jon Recluse

    As a fan of short horror stories since I first learned to read, and a born Halloween disciple, any anthology that offers me both is a must-read.

    HAUNTED NIGHTS is not only a must-read, it's a must-own. Gathering unpublished works by authors both familiar and new (to me), offering diverse voices and points of origin for the darkest of holidays....without a single "rock" in the treat bag.

    Personal favorites include:

    by Paul Kane,

    by John Langan,

    by J

    As a fan of short horror stories since I first learned to read, and a born Halloween disciple, any anthology that offers me both is a must-read.

    HAUNTED NIGHTS is not only a must-read, it's a must-own. Gathering unpublished works by authors both familiar and new (to me), offering diverse voices and points of origin for the darkest of holidays....without a single "rock" in the treat bag.

    Personal favorites include:

    by Paul Kane,

    by John Langan,

    by John R. Little, and

    by Seanan McGuire

    Highest possible recommendation

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