ePUB Ellen Datlow ☆ Hauntings PDF ¼ ☆

The spookiest of specters inhabit this spine tingling anthology—compiled by an acclaimed editor of the horror genre—that collects the most chilling ghost stories from the past 25 years The human obsession with the mysteries of the afterlife is explored in these supernatural tales of haunted houses lost souls unexplained phenomena and “good” neighbors Neil Gaiman’s “Closing Time” is a troubling tale recounted by an elderly man on a cold drizzly night in London while Joyce Carol Oates’ “Haunted” is a chilling story of two young girls drawn to abandoned houses and what they find in one Francis Wardwell is eager to inform readers that everything they think they know about ghosts is wrong in Peter Straub’s “Hunger An Introduction” and George R R Martin’s Remembering Melody” stresses the importance of keeping promises—no matter the conseuences Fans of a good ghost story will find this collection the ideal go to for chillsContentAnna by F Paul WilsonCargo by E Michael LewisEenie Meenie Ipsateenie by Pat CadiganHunger A Confession by Dale BaileyDelta Sly Honey by Lucius ShepardNothing Will Hurt You by David MorellThe Ammonite Violin Murder Ballad #4 by Caitlín R KiernanHaunted by Joyce Carol OatesThe Have Nots by Elizabeth HandClosing Time by Neil GaimanMr Fiddlehead by Jonathan CarrollThe Fooly by Terry DowlingThe Wall by Paul WaltherThe Pennine Tower Restaurant by Simon Kurt UnsworthDistress Call by Connie WillisThe Horn by Stephen GallagherEverybody Goes by Michael Marshall SmithTransfigured Night by Richard BowesHula Ville by James P BlaylockThe Bedroom Light by Jeffrey FordSpectral Evidence by Gemma FilesWhere Angels Come In by Adam L G NevillTwo Houses by Kelly Link


15 thoughts on “Hauntings

  1. says:

    Originally appeared on my blog The Arkham DigestWhen purchasing an anthology the first thing that readers typically look at is the table of contents to see which authors are represented I admit this is one of the things I look at when picking up an anthology as well but not the first thing I look at The very first thing I check? The editor Each editor is different and has hisher own tastes When a reader reads an anthology that they find to be exceptional they should not only remember which authors blew them away but which editor compiled the satisfying volume And when a reader finds an editor whose tastes align with theirs then they found something specialWhat I am getting at is simple Ellen Datlow has long ago caught my attention as one of the premiere editors working in the genre today Whenever I see an anthology with her name on the cover I scoop it up without even looking at the contents because I've come to trust her judgement Hauntings is one of her latest offerings a reprint anthology of twenty four stories dealing with ghosts and the afterlife In the introduction Datlow points out that many of the stories involve children and that with this anthology she hopes to broaden the readers understanding of what a haunting is And in this she was successful as these are not typical ghost storiesAnd now for some stories Keep in mind this was an ARC and the layout of the stories could change between now and publicationPat Cadigan's Eenie Meenie Ipsateenie opens the collection with a truly chilling tale concerning a childhood game gone wrong The story goes back and forth from the present well 1983 when the story was written and the past The narrator is revisiting his old neighborhood and reminiscing all while strolling and chatting with a young boy from the neighborhood The man's recollections are not pleasant and are about his last night in the neighborhood as a small anxious boy and a game of hide and seek that goes completely wrong There is a darker undercurrent here as well and by the end it seems apparent that the man has become a child predator of some sort One of the things that really struck me about this story was how it can be interpreted not just as a ghost story but also as a story of a man whose mental issues stem from that night long ago and drive him to do what he now doesThe next story is uite similar in a few ways Dale Bailey's Hunger A Confession features a child narrator whose state of mind is also called into uestion The young boy is tormented by horror stories told by his older brother but the tables are turned when they move into an old house with a gory past and the young boy finds a bundle of rusty old butcher tools under the basement furnace Bailey expertly builds up the tension to the story's ghastly conclusion Like the previous story the ghostly element could be taken at face value or as an aspect of the mentally disturbed narrator's mindCargo by E Michael Lewis was a story I first read in one of Datlow's Best Horror of the Year collections This tale concerns one of the great tragedies of the 20th century; the Jonestown Massacre An Air Force loadmaster is in charge of a cargo of caskets and has a hair raising experience while en route to the Dover Air Force Base The story is heart wrenching than scary but powerful nonethelessLucius Shepard takes readers to the jungles of Vietnam in Delta Sly Honey The insanity of war is apparent and things get even crazier when a young radio operator who jokingly tries to make contact with a ghostly regiment is finally answered There are truly some weird events going on and the story has some nice bits of actionAnother heart wrencher is David Morell's Nothing Will Hurt You This is a depressing story about a parent driven mad by grief when his daughter becomes the victim of a serial killer The night she is killed her father saw Sweeney Todd and from that night on has the song Nothing Will Hurt You stuck in his head The story serves as a reflection of grief and obsession and it definitely hits home seeing how the father of the victim falls apart This is a story which is about a man being haunted by the events that happened than by an actual ghost and the supernatural events can once again just as easily be attributed to the madness brought about by grief than by actual spiritsCaitlin R Kiernan is an amazing writer The Ammonite Violin Murder Ballad No 4 is another story featuring both a serial killer and music In this tale a killer who fancies himself a collector has a violinist travel to his house to play a very special instrument that the collector had special made The story is beautifully written and a perfect example of Kiernan's gift with languageJoyce Carol Oates is a literary writer who sometimes dabbles in the horror genre Whenever I come across one of her tales in a horror themed anthology I know I am in for a treat Her story Haunted is just as impressive as I knew it was going to be Oates has a way of leaving the reader chilled and often hints at the horrors rather than exposing them Haunted is presented as the writings of a middle aged woman reminiscing about her childhood best friend and their love for exploring abandoned places Oates brilliantly builds an uneasy atmosphere and stretches it taut until the end There's a lot here to likeFollowing the chiller from Oates is a light hearted story from Elizabeth Hand called The Have Nots The language is fun and told in the voice of a southern woman telling a story of her friend and their weird ghostly experience as she tries to sell her makeup to some of her housewife acuaintances It's uite humorous and touchingNeil Gaiman comes next with Closing Time a frame story which makes for uite an effectively creepy tale The narrator is in an after hours club drinking with a few other regulars and a stranger when they decide to swap ghost stories The story within a story is told about a young boy's terrifying experience after school The imagery is uite chilling and the story is about the loss of innocence if anything else There is also going on under the surface and the identity of just which character tells the story is called into uestion making this a story that rewards rereadsA few tales lighter in tone follow F Paul Wilson's Anna is a straightforward tale about ghostly revenge Jonathan Carroll's Mr Fiddlehead focuses on a type of ghost that we can create ourselves and Terry Dowling's The Fooley is a silly little story about a man's experience with a stranger on a nighttime roadAfter the lighthearted excursion Datlow brings us right back into horror by throwing us head first into the deep end First Paul Walther brings readers to the lake shore on the last day of summer in The Toll A young lifeguard deals with an increasingly creepy man who has failed to mature past his teenage years all while seeing shadowy figures out in the waterAs creepy as this story is it is only an appetizer for the next oneSimon Kurt Unsworth's The Pennine Tower Restaurant was perhaps my favorite story in the entire book and had me genuinely creeped out The author took the approach of presenting the story as nonfiction He describes how a former coworker who appears to be falling apart at the seams approaches him with files and asks him to write about why the Pennine Tower Restaurant can not be reopened What follows is a compilation of events that transpired in the restaurant over the years The matter of fact presentation of the events lends a certain coldness to the story that adds to the overall effect making for a grade A horror taleDistress Call by Connie Willis is an interesting story a bit confusing at times as it seems to jump around although the confusion seems intentional helping the reader relate to the confused protagonist The story eventually comes together but still leaves several uestions open Overall not a bad story but not exceptional eitherStephen Gallagher's The Horn follows three men trapped in a blizzard with an angry ghost There are some pretty strong moments in the story but it seems like a monster story than a ghost storyMichael Marshall Smith's Everybody Goes is another story that's not scary and has a nice little twist of an endingTransfigured Night by Richard Bowes is another story that touches on the theme of childhood's loss of innocence although in a much disturbing manner than Gaiman's story The story itself has moments that are uite intense and is probably the darkest story in the book A lonely boy cuts his finger uses his blood to make a circle and wishes for a best friend His wish is answered with the appearance of a boy who seems to know too much for his age As the man grows into a drifting hustler he goes on a dark bloody uest to be reunited with his old friend bringing the story full circle to uite a conclusion Definitely a haunting story this one will be stuck in the mind for awhileJames P Blaylock an author mostly known for being a pioneer of steampunk pens a tale about a man searching for something He doesn't really know what it is he is searching for but it seems connected to a visitation he had during his childhood Not a horror story Hula Ville is of a dark fantasy and whether or not it's about a ghost is up to the reader to decideThe Bedroom Light by Jeffrey Ford is an interesting story while there isn't really much of a plot A couple lies in bed avoiding a certain conversation topic instead talking about their neighbors in particular a creepy young girl they refer to as the demon seed Despite not much actually happening Ford's talent as an author is on display; conversation that feels truly natural and some creepy stories shared by husband and wifeSpectral Evidence reads as a case file at a paranormal research facility The file consists of photographs which are described the notes on each photograph written by three different characters and footnotes written by another character While not scary the story works on many levels and is uite a fun read It makes for a perfect example of why Gemma Files is an author well worth readingKelly Link brings us into space with Two Houses Members of a decades long space mission awaken from slumber and swap ghost stories While some of the stories are interesting and some interesting uestions are raised I thought the ending was a bit of a let downAdam Nevill a British horror author who has really been making a name for himself with his novels brings us a story of cinematic horror with Where Angels Come In Two schoolboys decide to brave the huge white house on the hill in order to find some sort of treasure and come back as schoolyard heroesWhat they find in the building Is it a mansion? An asylum? is something that completely justifies their fears and helps explain the many disappearances in the town Nevill excels when it comes to creating horrific imagery and leaves enough unexplained to add a sense of dreadful mystery to the settingThe collection closes with Peter Straub's Hunger An Introduction The narrator is a psychopath who is uite clearly delusional and is definitely a character most readers will be familiar with Everyone knew or went to school with one of these people at some point A person who can be uite smart yet thinks they are much smarter than they are lacking in social skills uick to point out other's failings and alienating themselves from everyone else Instead of finding the success they wrongfully think they are entitled they usually tend to be underachievers who live in their own little world The narrator is one of these familiar faces and is uite far from likable When he comes into contact with a ghost from his town's local folklore he finds a sort of inspiration The narrator also has an interesting theory about ghosts and why they haunt the living and the end of the story shows why this is the perfect story to close out the collectionDatlow once again proves herself as a master editor Her mission to broaden readers' concepts of what a haunting can be is nothing short of a success and the twenty four stories on display run the gamut from explicitly terrifying to eerily familiar Readers who wish to be haunted themselves should not miss this one Highly recommended


  2. says:

    Above average anthology by Datlow about ghosts and haints Before I go on very far let me just state that I'm partial to ghosts and haunts over most of the other conventional horror tropes werewolves zombies vampires etc That already puts this on a hopeful footing for me And don't expect any of these others here because they aren't These stories are all reprints so we don't have the occasional problems that crop up with solicited anthologies sub par material On the other hand you probably will have read a few of these elsewhere but most are worth revisiting There are some truly outstanding offerings here even the Joyce Carol Oates story is good There are a few average but no real stinkers to drag things down


  3. says:

    Like most people when I decide whether or not to buy an anthology I first check the cover or maybe even the index to see what authors have stories within it If I see that it has multiple writers whose works I enjoy I will often than not purchase it However there's something to be said about the editor or in some cases editors of these story collections as well I have a short list of editors that I will buy an anthology of regardless of whether or not I have even heard of the writers it contains and Ellen Datlow is at the top of that list She has this crazy knack of consistently putting together stellar anthologies and Hauntings is no differentYou can read Steve's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here


  4. says:

    This is my second anthology from Datlow also an autographed copy and I had higher hopes for this one The anthology as in the title deals with hauntings and the ghosts surrounding them Datlow also makes note in her introduction the majority of the stories involve children or memories of childhood a time where we are most vulnerable to fear“Eenie Meenie Ipsateenie” by Pat CadiganIn the opening story a man recalls childhood memories of hide and seek and his fears of being found which he runs away from However the ghosts of the past continue to haunt him 35“Hunger A Confession” by Dale BaileyAn older brother torments his younger brother with scary stories until one of them might be real 45“Cargo” by E Michael LewisThis story was also collected in Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year Volume One It tells the story of soldiers bringing back the dead from Jonestown The story was okay and I didn’t bother to reread it again this time around 35“Delta Sly Honey” by Lucius ShepardA taciturn soldier takes to being a popular radio show host at a military camp during the Vietnam War There was nothing too remarkable from this story 25“Nothing Will Hurt You” by David MorrellAfter the death of his daughter a father struggles accepting her death and vows revenge on the serial killer who murdered her along with several other college women This was another standout story with a shocking but brilliant ending 55“The Ammonite Violin Murder Ballad No 4 by Caitlin KiernanThe story follows a serial killer with a taste for collecting ammonites and suffocations and a young violinist who is invited to play for him This story was by far one of my favorites and the prose was beautiful 55 “Haunted” by Joyce Carol OatesA woman remembers her childhood best friend and the mysterious circumstances around her death There was some creepiness to the story but overall it was decent 35“The Have Nots” by Elizabeth HandThis is a sad story of a woman whose baby daughter was taken away from her although there was a happy ending The narration I didn’t enjoy too much because there was a lot of cutting in as if they were cutely addressing some customer I suppose it was a bit experimental but it was a bit detracting from the story 25“Closing Time” by Neil GaimanThis was one of those stories of people hanging out at a pub and telling each other scary stories Whether there is any truth to them or not it’s interesting when someone in the audience knows the truth 45“Anna” by F Paul Wilson“Anna” is a very strange but original story about a man who finds something odd about his foot stool leading him to face something he buried in his past 45“Mr Fiddlehead” by Jonathan CarrollA woman discovers her best friend’s husband’s imaginary friend and wants him to stay around It was okay 25“The Fooly” by Terry DowlingThere’s an unexpected but enjoyable twist in this short tale of a ghostly encounter 55“The Toll” by Paul WaltherA lifeguard spends her last days of summer along with a man who is living an endless summer I thought it was an interesting read 45“The Pennine Tower Restaurant” by Simon Kurt UnsworthWritten as an investigative article the strange occurrences at the Pennine Tower Restaurant are documented As the author writes this isn’t fiction I was left with uncertainty by the end of it 55“Distress Call” by Connie WillisThis was a nice combination of a ghost story and a murder mystery It was nicely done 45“The Horn” by Stephen GallagherThree strangers are stranded in a snow storm and try to find a way out Unfortunately for them a local tragedy lurks nearby This was a very engaging read 45“Everybody Goes” by Michael Marshall SmithA young boy recalls times he spent with his friends There wasn’t much of a horror element to it but it was a nice sad and nostalgic story 35“Transfigured Night” by Richard BowesThis is an intriguingly dark story about The Guest his past and his plans for a family 45“Hula Ville” by James P BlaylockThis story was probably one of the most forgettable 15“The Bedroom Light” by Jeffrey FordBefore going to bed a couple who happen to live in a creepy residence discuss the strange occurrences I enjoyed the dialogue but at times it jumped around a bit much and I ended up wanting from this story 35“Spectral Evidence” by Gemma FilesThis deals with evidence of ghosts written in a research report format It was interesting at least stylistically 35“Two Houses” by Kelly LinkAfter some passengers wake up on a ship they start telling each other ghost stories Since I’m not into sci fi I was initially just reading to get through this story but I have to say it picked up near the end and the characters had some engaging ghost stories to tell that were worth a listen 45“Where Angles Come In” by Adam L G NevillA boy recalls his traumatic experience when he and a friend decide to sneak into a haunted house This was one of my favorites and a very good read 55“Hunger An Introduction” by Peter StraubThe final story happens to be the longest is narrated by a ghost who dispels notions the living have of them In uite a literary manner he recounts his entire life story leading up to his death 45Overall like any anthology there’s always a mix of good and not so great stories and Hauntings is no exception I enjoyed this anthology and there were many memorable stories I would read again 365


  5. says:

    This is a somewhat weak anthology compiled by someone whom I've long considered to be the premier editor of horror and fantasy fiction There are some good stories most of them in the first half the pieces by Neil Gaiman Joyce Carol Oates Kelly Link David Morrell Caitlin R Kiernan Lucius Shepard Pat Cadigan and Dale Bailey are all well worth reading That may seem like a lot but there's uite a bit Some of the stories are much too light and silly for my tastes like Jonathan Carroll's story about an imaginary friend come to life or a story about haunted furniture by F Paul Wilson who seems to be obsessed with unborn babies There were several others that I simply didn't get at allDatlow's commissioned anthologies of original fiction are always superb but between this which covers work done from the early eighties till now and the currently running Best Horror of the Year also disappointing I wonder if she really has access to everything that's been published Maybe the small presses have limited funds to acuire reprint rights? I'm ambivalent about this volume and I'd suggest getting The Dark New Ghost Stories instead


  6. says:

    As always Ellen Datlow picks the finest of the genre to include in this anthology I think she's done one antho that I didn't absolutely love and this isn't it Hauntings is delicious


  7. says:

    There is something incredibly satisfying about anthologies for me I like them as they are perfect night time reads as in you can read one or two of the short stories and put the book down instead of staying up all night Of course this completely depends on not being completely engrossed in the stories and wanting to read all of them at once because they are so good I also like them as it takes skill to tell an entire story in just a few pages rather than over the course of a trilogy or a lengthy series It is also not something that a whole lot have mastered Essentially you are hooking me with the first paragraph and giving me enough to build a world tell a story have some plot and character development all within a few pages Now admittedly I am the kind of gal who looks at the authors who have done some of the stories but there is one person whom I always dig and that is Ellen Datlow as an editor She is the one who has chosen each in order to take you on a journey as much as the author’s stories themselves Now my first really memorable anthologies that I loved were also Datlow’s doing along with Terri Windling They were Snow White Blood Red and Black Thorn White Heart They were tales from my childhood except oh so much sinister I loved them still do as those volumes still sit on my bookshelvesThe Story List1 “Eenie Meenie Ipsateenie” by Pat Cadigan2 “Hunger A Confession” by Dale Bailey3 “Cargo E” by Michael Lewis4 “Delta Sly Honey” by Lucius Shepard5 “Nothing Will Hurt You” by David Morrell6 “The Ammonite Violin Murder Ballad #4” by Caitlín R Kiernan7 “Haunted” by Joyce Carol Oates8 “The Have Nots” by Elizabeth Hand9 “Closing Time” by Neil Gaiman10 “Anna” by F Paul Wilson11 “Mr Fiddlehead” by Jonathan Carroll12 “The Fooly” by Terry Dowling13 “The Toll” by Paul Walther14 “The Pennine Tower Restaurant” by Simon Kurt Unsworth15 “Distress Call” by Connie Willis16 “The Horn” by Stephen Gallagher17 “Everybody Goes” by Michael Marshall Smith18 “Transfigured Night” by Richard Bowes19 “Hula Ville” by James P Blaylock20 “The Bedroom Light” by Jeffrey Ford21 “Spectral Evidence” by Gemma Files22 “Two Houses” by Kelly Link23 “Where Angels Come In” by Adam L G Nevill24 “Hunger An Introduction” by by Peter StraubThings I loved Now I love the folks over at Tachyon Publishing Not only do they send me out ARCs every now and again to read and review but they are nice people to boot And I love that they send me anthologies This one was all about hauntings and not just of the ghostly variety and that interested me I won’t go into each of the stories but rather highlight my favorites As far as the what I like and didn’t like it really only comes down to what stories I liked and did not likeHunger by Dale Bailey was great about a young boy who is tormented by his older brother’s horror stories which so often leave him shuddering in the dark But when the siblings move into an old house with a sordid and horrific past the roles are reversed I love the way it is told very much like a fireside ghost story and uite chilling Immediately following Hunger was also one of the best stories in the anthology Cargo by E Michael Lewis about a loadmaster and some precious cargo he has aboard Not exactly scary but thought provoking and emotional I love that each of the those two ghost stories had such different reactions from meSurprisingly I loved Caitlin R Kiernan’s The Ammonite Violin as I thought the story was a bit of a retread but she has a wonderful gift with words and teh way the story is told is what makes it special But it also makes me want to put on Jamie Bell and watch the Red Violin That is not necessarily a bad thing Of course sometimes you need some lighter fare and Terry Dowling’s The Fooley is one of them about one man’s adventure when he comes across a stranger on the road Two of my favorite tales in the anthology were Transfigured night by Richard Bowes and Where Angels Come In by Adam Nevill but for very different reasons One is about a little boy who wishes for a best friend and the other is about the creepy house on the hill Another great story is The Pennine Tower Restaraunt by Simon Kurt Unsworth which is delightfully creepy and atmospheric There are other great stories mixed within as well and even the ones I didn’t care for as much certainly have their meritsThings I didn’t love so much I wasn’t in love with Delta Sly Honey by Lucius Shepard as the pacing was a bit too slow for me and the story just not my cup of tea overall Distress Call by Connie Willis was just confusing with a lot of loose ends and not in the good way Surprisingly I didn’t love Neil Gaiman’s Closing Time I know weird huh? as much as I thought I would as I felt it spent too much time setting up the tale rather than telling it though the ghost story bit was wonderful and creepy Not that any of these tales are bad but they didn’t hook me the way that the others didBuy or Borrow Buy The great things about anthologies is there is usually something for everyone kind of like a soundtrack And if you are looking for some atypical ghost stories this anthology is also greatPart of StandaloneAlso Recommended Please try some of Ellen’s other anthologies As I mentioned earlier the Blood Red Anthology is divine especially if you like the retelling of some of your favorite childhood fairy tales and some you may not have heard of I would also recommend Sirens and other Daemon Lovers the Best Horror of the Year Anthologies and More For urban fantasy fare in anthology form are The Unusual Suspects the Blood Lite anthologies Urban Fantasy Anthology and As I said there is usually something for everyone when it comes to Anthologies


  8. says:

    I can understand the negative reviews of this book because i can see how if you are expecting really scary stories this may be disappointing It's not really horror stories They are mainly ghost stories and a lot of them were subtle in their creepiness I didn't enjoy all of the stories or even understand them all some were confusing but even the ones I didn't like as much I still thought were written well Every author featured in this anthology is an amazing writer I didn't expect that when I started reading this book It sounds weird but some of the stories were beautiful Cargo was my favorite it was a tragic one but it was written very well Definitely haunting like the title of the book suggests Most of the stories definitely haunted me for a while after I finished them I couldn't stop thinking about them Overall I enjoyed this book a lot and it's made me really interested in this genre I looked up a lot of the authors and am going to read of their booksstories


  9. says:

    Review for Southwest Michigan Spark magazine With the air bringing cooler breezes that portend a darker season sit yourself outside and settle in to Hauntings a collection of ghost stories that will double the chill with tales that range from uiet loose ends to make you wonder what really happened to the gruesome violent abrupt conclusion The authors contained in this anthology represent a variety of genres and voices each as spellbinding and creepy as the last making this a difficult book to put down In Hunger A Confession horror writer Dale Bailey tells of an innocent gruesomely possessed; King of Fantasy Neil Gaiman mesmerizes with Closing Time an account of disappearances tinged by something dark and evil; Joyce Carol Oates makes us wary of abandoned places; F Paul Wilson shows us that the monsters hidden within us will get their come uppance; and Elizabeth Hand delivers a rare happy ending If you enjoy experiencing the occasional anxiety brought on by ghoulish anecdotes your cravings will be satisfied by the contents of these pages jlenget