From The Week: Michael Koryta recommends 6 books for spooky season

The Night Country by Stewart O’Nan (2003).

O’Nan dazzles by capturing the everyday and the human heart, so this tale — narrated by the ghost of a teen who died in a car wreck on Halloween night — might seem like a departure. What makes it work is how precisely he maintains that insight into the everyday and the human heart. O’Nan writes of autumn in New England: “It’s the best time of year up here, the only season you want from us, our pastoral past — witch hunts and woodsmoke, the quaintly named dead in mossy churchyards.”

The Week


Thirteen Days of Halloween at Cemetery Dance: Monsters

Monsters: A Halloween Short Story
by Stewart O’Nan

About the eBook:
They were going to be monsters, for the church—Creatures from the Black Lagoon. Mark and his best friend Derek would each get to wear a suit with a zipper up the back and a head that fit like a diving helmet. They could scare the little kids and gross out the girls. No one would know who they were. But a backyard accident ensures this Halloween will be even more memorable than the young boys expect. Their friendship will never be the same…

“A quietly brilliant story with its own singular darkness.”
—Paula Guran, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror

(This year Cemetery Dance Publications is gathering a collection of the horror genre’s finest authors to pay tribute to our favorite holiday.  Watch for the other stories in the series by Joe R. Lansdale, Stewart O’Nan, Ray Garton, Simon Clark, Norman Prentiss, Kealan Patrick Burke, Ed Gorman, Lisa Morton, Brian James Freeman, and many others.)

[buy the ebook]

Halloween, Edited by Paula Guran

From Prime Books:

Shivers and spirits…the mystical and macabre…our darkest fears and sweetest fantasies…the fun and frivolity of tricks, treats, festivities, and masquerades. Halloween is a holiday filled with both delight and dread, beloved by youngsters and adults alike. Celebrate the most magical season of the year with this sensational treasury of seasonal tales—spooky, suspenseful, terrifying, or teasing—harvested from a multitude of master storytellers.

Contributors in Alphabetical Order:

  1. The October Game by Ray Bradbury
  2. Tessellations by Gary Braunbeck
  3. Memories by Peter Crowther
  4. Universal Soldier by Charles de Lint
  5. Auntie Elspeth’s Halloween Story (or The Gourd, The Bad, And The Ugly) by Esther Friesner
  6. Struwwelpeter by Glen Hirshberg
  7. Pranks by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  8. By the Book by Nancy Holder
  9. The Sticks by Charlee Jacob
  10. Riding Bitch by K.W. Jeter
  11. On the Reef by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  12. Memories of el Dia de los Muertos by Nancy Kilpatrick
  13. The Great Pumpkin Arrives at Last by Sarah Langan
  14. On a Dark October by Joe R. Lansdale
  15. Conversations in a Dead Language by Thomas Ligotti
  16. Hallowe’en in a Suburb by H.P. Lovecraft (poem)
  17. Pumpkin Night by Gary McMahon
  18. The Halloween Man by William F. Nolan
  19. Monsters by Stewart O’Nan
  20. Three Doors by Norman Partridge
  21. Ulalume by Edgar Allan Poe (poem)
  22. Night Out by Tina Rath
  23. Hornets by Al Sarrantonio
  24. Tamlane by Sir Walter Scott (poem)
  25. Mask Game by John Shirley
  26. Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub
  27. Halloween Street by Steve Rasnic Tem
  28. Tricks & Treats: One Night on Halloween Street by Steve Rasnic Tem
  29. The November Game by F. Paul Wilson
  30. Sugar Skulls by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro