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Forget Sleep. These 7 Gripping Horror Stories Will Keep You Up All Night Reading

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Stock your shelves with ghosts and goblins. Fill your porches with cobwebs and candles. Spooky season has crept up on us! As the October moon rises and the chilling autumnal air sets in, prepare to be scared by these seven spine-chilling horror books.  


Echoes
by Ellen Datlow

This anthology of twenty-nine ghost stories, including original works from New York Times bestselling authors Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay, spans from classically creepy to wildly unimaginable. ECHOES is an essential collection edited by one of the reigning masters of the horror genre herself, Ellen Datlow. From supernatural suspense to dark fantasy, this read has got it all.  

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Echoes
Ellen Datlow

The essential collection of beloved ghost stories, compiled by the editor who helped define the genre—including stories from award-winning, bestselling authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay.

Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially Ellen Datlow—the most lauded editor in short works of supernatural suspense and dark fantasy. The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories is her definitive collection of ghost stories.

These twenty-nine stories, including all new works from New York Times bestselling authors Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay, span from the traditional to the eclectic, from the mainstream to the literary, from pure fantasy to the bizarrely supernatural. Whether you’re reading alone under the covers with a flashlight, or around a campfire with a circle of friends, there’s something here to please—and spook—everyone.

Contributors include: Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Vincent J. Masterson, A.C. Wise, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Lee Thomas, Alison Littlewood, M.L. Siemienowicz, Richard Kadrey, Indrapramit Das, Richard Bowes, Nick Mamatas, Terry Dowling, Aliette de Bodard, Carole Johnstone, Dale Bailey, Stephen Graham Jones, Bracken MacLeod, Garth Nix, Brian Evenson, Jeffrey Ford, Gemma Files, Paul Tremblay, Nathan Ballingrud, Pat Cadigan, John Langan.

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Forget Sleep. These 7 Gripping Horror Stories Will Keep You Up All Night Reading

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 9, 2020

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Wounds
by Nathan Ballingrud

Nathan Ballingrud has compiled six strange and utterly compelling horror stories into one novella. Dancing the line between the known and unknown, WOUNDS goes from eerie dread to downright horrific. With his brilliant knack for heightening the terror inside us, Ballingrud has petrified us once again. WOUNDS is the perfect collection to have sitting by your bedside during this creepy time of year. 

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Wounds
Nathan Ballingrud

“[Ballingrud's] evocative and strangely beautiful.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Nathan Ballingrud is one of my favorite contemporary authors and any time he’s got a new book out I run to the front of the line. His work is elegant and troublingly, wonderfully disturbing.”—Victor LaValle, award–winning author of The Changeling

“Nathan Ballingrud's brilliant fiction brims with imagination, integrity (I do not use that term lightly), and an authentic world-weary dread that bores directly into your heart. With Wounds you'll gladly follow Nathan to Hell and (maybe) back.”—Paul Tremblay, award-winning author of The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts

“Nathan Ballingrud is one of my favorite short fiction writers.” —Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation and Borne

“Stretch[es] the boundaries of the genre by employing these grand, horrific worlds. “The Butcher’s Table” reminds me of the first time I read Clive Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities.” It’s horrifying, but there’s beauty.” —The New York Times

“In only two slender collections, Nathan Ballingrud has emerged as one of the field’s most accomplished short story writers.” —The Washington Post

“Ballingrud’s work isn’t like any other.”—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“One of the most disquieting and memorable short story collections to come out this year.”—The New York Review of Books

“Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell is without a doubt one of the best, most accomplished horror collections in recent memory.”—Hellnotes

“Wounds will no doubt be remembered as one of the most disquieting and memorable short story collections to come out this year.”—New York Journal of Books

“There’s enough nightmare fuel here to inspire weeks of insomnia — all told with an even hand with a penchant for precise storytelling. How else do you chart the furthest reaches of the uncanny?”—Tobias Carroll, Vol. 1 Brooklyn

A gripping collection of six stories of terror—including the novella “The Visible Filth,” the basis for the upcoming major motion picture—by Shirley Jackson Award–winning author Nathan Ballingrud, hailed as a major new voice by Jeff VanderMeer, Paul Tremblay, and Carmen Maria Machado—“one of the most heavyweight horror authors out there” (The Verge).

In his first collection, North American Lake Monsters, Nathan Ballingrud carved out a distinctly singular place in American fiction with his “piercing and merciless” (Toronto Globe and Mail) portrayals of the monsters that haunt our lives—both real and imagined: “What Nathan Ballingrud does in North American Lake Monsters is to reinvigorate the horror tradition” (Los Angeles Review of Books).

Now, in Wounds, Ballingrud follows up with an even more confounding, strange, and utterly entrancing collection of six stories, including one new novella. From the eerie dread descending upon a New Orleans dive bartender after a cell phone is left behind in a rollicking bar fight in “The Visible Filth” to the search for the map of hell in “The Butcher’s Table,” Ballingrud’s beautifully crafted stories are riveting in their quietly terrifying depictions of the murky line between the known and the unknown.

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Forget Sleep. These 7 Gripping Horror Stories Will Keep You Up All Night Reading

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 9, 2020

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The Only Good Indians
by Stephen Graham Jones

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is packed with nerve-shattering, spine-chilling horror. Four Native American childhood friends are forever rattled by a disturbing incident that occurred in their youth. Ever since, the men have been running for their lives, abandoning their culture and traditions. Despite their efforts to leave their past behind, they cannot seem to escape from their pursuera relentlessly vengeful entity determined to reclaim itself through violence. 

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The Only Good Indians
Stephen Graham Jones

“One of 2020’s buzziest horror novels.” —Entertainment Weekly

The Only Good Indians is a masterpiece. Intimate, devastating, brutal, terrifying, yet warm and heartbreaking in the best way, Stephen Graham Jones has written a horror novel about injustice and, ultimately, about hope….And it gives me hope that this book exists and is now in your hands.” —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

“Bloody and brutal at times, but also intimate, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful.” —Rebecca Roanhorse, New York Times bestselling author of Trail of Lightning

The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

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The Twisted Ones
by T. Kingfisher

For a bit of folk horror set in the American South, THE TWISTED ONES is the perfect read. Mouse is cleaning out her hoarding late grandmother’s house when she stumbles upon her step-grandfather’s cryptic journal fromAt first his rants seem like nonsensical gibberish, until Mouse discovers for herself the eerie beings lurking in the woods. Sometimes the terrifying horrors you fear in the night are real . . .  and they’re waiting for you.

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The Twisted Ones
T. Kingfisher

Winner of the RUSA Award for Best Horror

When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods in this chilling novel that reads like The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show.

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.

Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

From Hugo Award–winning author Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, The Twisted Ones is a gripping, terrifying tale bound to keep you up all night—from both fear and anticipation of what happens next.

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The Homecoming
by Andrew Pyper

After the death of their father, Aaron and Bridge travel to the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of his will. There, they are shocked to discover the will’s terms: in order to claim their inheritance, they must remain at the estate with their mother and sister for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. The Quinlans soon learn that their family has more secrets than they ever imagined, and the people they thought they could trust have all been harboring their own lies. This gripping and chilling exploration of memories will leave readers questioning their own thoughts and existence. 

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The Homecoming
Andrew Pyper

Instant National Bestseller

Bestselling author Andrew Pyper returns with a riveting psychological thriller about how the people you’ve known your whole life can suddenly become strangers.

What if everything you knew about the people you loved was a lie?

After the death of their absentee father, Aaron and Bridge Quinlan travel to a vast rainforest property in the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of his will. There, they meet up with their mother and troubled sister, Franny, and are shocked to discover the will’s terms: in order to claim their inheritance they must all remain at the estate for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. Despite their concerns, they agree.

The Quinlans soon come to learn their family has more secrets than they ever imagined—revelations that at first inspire curiosity, then fear. Why does Bridge have faint memories of the estate? Why did their father want them to be sequestered there together? And what is out there they feel pulling them into the dark heart of the woods?

The Homecoming is at once a gripping mystery, a chilling exploration of how our memories can both define and betray us, and a riveting page-turner that will have you questioning your very existence.

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MENTIONED IN:

Forget Sleep. These 7 Gripping Horror Stories Will Keep You Up All Night Reading

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 9, 2020

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
by Shirley Jackson

Master of horror Shirley Jackson brings readers into the isolated Blackwood family home. WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTE is a different kind of story—one filled with family secrets, troubled sisters, and a house haunted by the mysterious deaths of the rest of the Blackwood family. When a distant cousin comes to stay, things take a dark turn down a murderous pathPrepare to be both charmed and terrified by this short and sweet horror novel.  

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Shirley Jackson

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Alice
by Christina Henry

Prepare for the darkest and most disturbing retelling of ALICES ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND you have ever read. Alice is trapped in a hospital in the Old City with no recollection of how she got there. When a fire strikes the hospital and Alice is freed, she is able to uncover the terrifying truths about what happened to her years ago. This book is not your classic fairy tale. It’s gory, terrifying, and at times upsetting. But if you’re a fan of a good scare, ALICE might be just the book for you.  

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Alice
Christina Henry

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MENTIONED IN:

Forget Sleep. These 7 Gripping Horror Stories Will Keep You Up All Night Reading

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 9, 2020

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