Wait for Night by Stephen Graham Jones is horror story about a day laborer hired to help clean up a flooded creek outside of Boulder, Colorado, who comes across what could be a very valuable find.
This one definitely took a turn I didn’t expect. I can’t say much about the story itself since I don’t want to spoil anything but I love the abrupt twist that Stephen Graham Jones wove into this one. He’s definitely an auto buy author for me and his short stories are just as enjoyable as some of his novels. This one sucked me in fast and the writing flowed so well that it was over far too quickly. It definitely satisfied my need for a quick, creepy story.
Could you survive a week in a haunted house?
Mara is the daughter of spiritualists. Her childhood was filled with séances, scam mediums and talk of ghostly presences.
When Mara finally left her family’s home, she vowed she would never allow superstition or false religion into her life again. Now she’s ready to start over with her fiancé, Neil, in a world based on rationality and facts.
But her past isn’t ready to let her go just yet.
Mara and Neil purchase Blackwood House, a derelict property outside of town. They’re warned about strange occurrences in the crumbling building. Doors open by themselves, voices whisper in the night, bloody handprints appear on the walls, and cold spots linger in the basement, where the house’s original owner was murdered.
But Blackwood was dirt-cheap and came with a large plot of overgrown land. Mara loves her new home, and disregards the warnings.
Because ghosts aren’t real…
This was my first experience with Darcy Coates’ writing, but I had been wanting to pick up her books for ages and so many of them had caught my eye. I wanted to start with this one because the synopsis grabbed me and I was not disappointed. If you’re looking for a creepy haunted house book that is also psychological, this is a great example. I kind of wished more of the history of Blackwood House had been revealed a little earlier as I did feel that some of the foundation of the story was a little slow, but when we did get to the meat of the history it was definitely a great payoff. Mara did sometimes get on my nerves with how…fiercely independent she was, but that was explained in a great way that made it very understandable, so I was happy about that. While I did guess the final twist before it happened, it didn’t lessen the story’s impact for me, so I will definitely be picking up more of Darcy Coates’ books in the future.
Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1.It’s where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2.There’s something not right about this town.
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker–she thinks nothing can scare her.
But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map–and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone–or something–stalking her every move.
The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.
Harrow Lake is a book that will definitely have you doubting who is reliable and which way is up. There was a good chunk of the book where I was waffling between three or four stars, but the last 100 pages definitely pushed it up to four stars for me. Psychological horror is absolutely my favorite kind of horror and at first I wasn’t sure if this was where it was going. There are definitely some supernatural aspects as well.
I did really enjoy the story once it really got going. So many of the different characters seem either unreliable or like they are clearly holding information back. This sometimes is frustrating as I did find myself wanting more revealed about the town of Harrow Lake and the superstitions/legends that the townspeople had.
A also really enjoyed that as the story continued we found out that Lola herself might not be a reliable narrator as we followed her journey. There’s that constant question of whether or not she’s imagining everything or if there really is something supernatural, and that carried on through the book in its entirety.
If you like psychological horror that slowly unfolds throughout the story, definitely check out this one.
I have really been enjoying the Tor.com original short stories that are available and was super happy to see a couple by Stephen Graham Jones out there. Make sure you check out some of the short stories available as so far they are wonderful!
“The Night Cyclist” by Stephen Graham Jones is a horror novelette about a middle-aged chef whose nightly bicycle ride home is interrupted by an unexpected encounter.
After loving previous works by Stephen Graham Jones, I was thrilled to find some of his short stories available. I picked up a couple of them but The Night Cyclist was the first one I decided to read. Since the synopsis was very brief I didn’t know just what to expect, but as always I really enjoyed his writing style. It was really atmospheric especially when he was describing the scenes while the main character was cycling. There was just enough darkness to keep me in suspense until the climax of the story.
Sisters of the Moon
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 22nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
** A Novella ***
A monstrous fate will turn a girl into a legend.
On an island in Lake Obersee, where The Sisters of St. Gertrude abide, a destitute Moor named Durra arrives. Sold for taxes, she and her two companions tend to the nuns and their collection of cats. At night, she combs the library for details on the order, the remote island, and the beasts howling outside her window.
But when a prank reveals the sisters’ gruesome secret, Durra is forced to accept a new fate. Bestowed an unearthly power, she must choose between life as a nun or living among the monsters beyond the convent walls.
Her path is about to change the tide in the ultimate war. The war between good and evil.
Goodreads / Amazon
I wasn’t expecting this book to be horror, I knew it had paranormal elements, but I’m so glad that it was horror and that I wasn’t fully aware of that going in – it made the reading experience so much better. As soon as I started reading this story I couldn’t put it down and found it to be a quick and well paced read.
This was perfectly suited to the spooky mood I’ve been in and seeing these girls who have been sold to pay tax debts be able to empower themselves and grow was an added bonus. I really enjoyed it’s gothic feel and the way it used history to display how women were treated. In a way this story dismantles that in some way, giving them power. In that way I really enjoyed the kind of dual layers of this story, while also fully enjoying the horror aspects as well.
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. http://www.AlexandreaWeis.com
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Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.
A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör is designed to retain its luster and natural appearance for a lifetime of use. Pleasingly proportioned with generous French flaps and a softcover binding, Horrorstör delivers the psychological terror you need in the elegant package you deserve.
I thoroughly enjoyed this creepy exploration of a knockoff Ikea where employees get more than they bargained for when they stay overnight, but I sadly think it was a little overhyped for me. I had heard numerous people talk about how creepy this book is and how they couldn’t read it after dark, etc. Hearing those things I was super excited, but I would get to pages that were noted as being extra creepy and while they were creepy and the descriptions were done really well – it didn’t scare me or send chills down my spine. Granted, this is totally a me problem, it may be because I’m just desensitized to some stuff and it doesn’t really affect me as bad.
That being said I really enjoyed the adventure of this story, and the creepy twists that were thrown in. The backstory that Hendrix created was perfect and fit in with everything depicted really well. Many of the characters aren’t necessarily likeable, but they all fit into the puzzle and the events that happen. All in all, it was a great read to start off October and a really good story.
Stephen Graham Jones returns with Night of the Mannequins, a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
I’ve only read two of Stephen Graham Jones’ books so far, but I’m thinking he’s definitely going on my auto-buy list. I spent a lot of Night of the Mannequins wondering what was really going on and even when I reached the end there was a part of me that was left guessing, I loved it!
Graham Jones’ writing is masterful, it flows so well and is so immersive that you really don’t notice the time passing. I read this one pretty much in one sitting and just couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to get into the actual plot of the book because with this one I think it’s a great idea to go into this book knowing as little as possible – that way it’s even more twisty when things ramp up. I really enjoy more psychologically bent horror and this one definitely fit the bill. This book had the perfect amount of humor tossed in while also being really twisted and dark. It was just amazing and great for this time of year.
Did this just break into my top 5 reads of the year? I think it did. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see about adding more of his books to my wishlist.
Bonus! The ebook is currently $3.99 on Amazon – go pick it up!
Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red,” in print for the first time.
Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.
Already revered for her work online, award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll’s stunning visual style and impeccable pacing is on grand display in this entrancing anthology, her print debut.
I think this book suffered slightly because it wasn’t as creepy as I was expecting. The artwork perfectly suited the scary stories, and the start vibrant colors (or lack there of) made it very dynamic. I felt like I was just wanting it to go a little farther and be a little more in the scary department.
Still, there were some stories that I felt were amazing, specifically A Lady’s Hands Are Cold and The Nesting Place. Those were real stand outs in the collection. I would definitely pick up other works by Emily Carroll, I just wished there had been a little more.
A balmy summer night in 1994. Four teenagers out for an evening of fun on the boardwalk take a ride on the “Wild Wheel” – an antique carousel with a shadowy past – and learn too late that decisions made in an instant can have deadly consequences. What begins as a night of innocent end-of-summer revelry, young love, and (a few too many) beers among friends soon descends into chaos, as the ancient carousel’s parade of beasts comes chillingly to life to deliver the ultimate judgment for their misdeeds.
After reading this I may never look at a carousel the same way. This was my first foray into Hill’s writing and I was not disappointed. It was the right mix of descriptive language, dark subject matter and a good dose of lingering fear for the narrator.
Since this is a short story I don’t want to say too much as almost anything beyond the blurb would be a spoiler, but it’s an interesting look at what a cursed carousel and its animals may do to those it feels has wronged it.
If you’re looking for a dark story that is a quick read, pick this one up.
Being an 80s/90s kid, I was ecstatic when I heard that a new anthology was being released by none other than R.L. Stine, full of scary stories. I was determined to pick it up and make it one of my reads during October. Scream and Scream Again is an anthology of 20 spooky stories that either begin or end with a scream – or both.
I was a little disappointed that none of the stories were truly scary, but I was entertained none the less. Every story had a unique concept and setting. These stories are definitely middle grade and are perfect to feed your Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? cravings. While it wasn’t exactly what I expected, it was still enjoyable and a fun time.
Some of my favorite stories in the collection were Kamikaze Iguanas by Alison McMahan, Area Code 666 by Carter Wilson and The Unknown Patriot by Chris Grabenstein.
I hope this is just one in a long line of new stories and books from R.L. Stine. For me this book was more nostalgic than anything else. It took me back to the times when I read Fear Street and similar books as a teen. Be sure to check it out if slightly spooky and funny stories are what you are looking for!