A Collector Grows Deadlier Than the Spirits He Hunts…

A Collector Grows Deadlier Than the Spirits He Hunts…

Someone’s come to visit. He was, I admit, a little insistent about it. Seeing how he’s a good friend, I relented. He’s not drinking as much, but he’s still smoking like a chimney. Yes, Shane Ryan is here, and I’m glad of it. He’s a hard man who does hard work, and that’s what he has to do now. You see, someone from Shane’s past reached out to him. Reached out and pulled him from Nashua, New Hampshire and all the way to Detroit, Michigan. There’s a hint of darkness in Detroit, a whisper on the...

There Is No Escape From the Realm of Shadows…

There Is No Escape From the Realm of Shadows…

I once worked in a hotel that offered staff accommodation in a lesser-used wing. To get to my room, I first had to leave the main foyer and walk a short distance along the side of the building. It wasn’t dark, but it was cold. When the winter chill had frozen me just enough, my room was still two self-locking doors away. Perhaps it was the frigid, lonesome walk to get there. Or maybe the oppressive silence of the all but abandoned area was to blame. Whatever it was, every time I walked down...

There Are Some Nightmares You Never Outgrow…

There Are Some Nightmares You Never Outgrow…

I scare easily. I’m sure you find that surprising. Perhaps even a little silly. I mean, you read what I write, after all. But that’s because I’m afraid. I’ve been afraid ever since I was little. I would creep down the stairs and peer out the window at the cemetery across from my house. I would look out at the headstones, and at the way the moonlight would glow in the granite, illuminating the names of the dead. Unlike the children I write about in these short stories, I was neither brave, nor...

Take Another Trip Into the Shadows…

Take Another Trip Into the Shadows…

The way I see it, short stories are the primordial soup from which all storytelling emerged. You can’t convince me that cavemen didn’t start exaggerating (or bragging about) the events of their day the second they developed a means to communicate. With time our ancestors managed to claw their way out of the hunter/gather lifestyle and were rewarded with more relaxation time and less exhaustion. Or at the very least, I assume they were able to stay awake for a few extra hours at the end of the...

Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good People…

Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good People…

Horror thrives on accidents. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that accidents and happenstance are the foundation for horror; and I love it. There’s a reason the ‘unsuspecting family moves into a haunted house’ trope is so prevalent. The only thing better than watching someone face the consequences of playing with things they know they shouldn’t, is watching an innocent person stumble headfirst into terror through no real fault of their own. And we’ll all just pretend that didn’t sound...

The Nightmare in Anger Is Almost Over… Or Is It?

The Nightmare in Anger Is Almost Over… Or Is It?

Can you see it? Are you standing there, with Dan and Eli looking at the end of their struggles? I’d like to say that you and I are going to be there, flanking our friends and preparing for the worst. But that’s not true. Oh, we’ll be there, you and I, but they can’t prepare for the worst. How can they when I can’t? I don’t know what’s coming. I don’t know who’s going to be standing at the end of this journey. Dan’s been hurt, perhaps fatally. This book is difficult for me, not only because it...

Something Stalks You Through the Night…

Something Stalks You Through the Night…

There once was a woman who rented a basement apartment from a kindly old lady and her son. She thought it was sweet that her landlady’s son would often cook for her, until the day that she decided to save the meal for later. That night, she woke to find the him crawling into bed with her. When questioned by police, it was discovered that the man and been secretly lacing the home-cooked meals with sedatives, rendering the woman unconscious and letting himself in as she slept. Despite all logic,...

Hear Children’s Laughter Echo Through the Night…

Hear Children’s Laughter Echo Through the Night…

Children are inherently creepy. We can all agree on that. There are the ‘imaginary friends’, the freaky dolls, and that weird phase they go through where you wake up to find them staring unblinkingly at you from the shadows. (Please tell me that my niece wasn’t the only one who did that.) Not to mention that, by legend, they’re also the most vulnerable to the forces of the unknown. It doesn’t seem like a winning combination. With Short Horror Stories Volume 22, our authors weave tales of the...

Every Town Has Its Horror Stories…

Every Town Has Its Horror Stories…

Who wants some homegrown horror? In Texas, I found a few houses and a solitary diner scattered over a dull, barren plane. There was this eerie calm that lingered in the air, a kind of stillness that I had never felt, that was broken only by a waitress with a thick southern drawl. We chatted, and the topic of the summer heat came up. She told me that the previous day, “was so hot, you could look outside and see the devil dancin’.” For a moment, it felt like it wasn't just a figure of speech....

The Devil Ship Haunts the High Seas…

The Devil Ship Haunts the High Seas…

Pirates! Even when I was young and disco was new, pirates were definitely part of history. A loud, blood-stained, fascinating part. I loved pirate stories as much as I loved ghost stories, and naturally I longed for a story about—you guessed it—ghost pirates. Even now, so many years later, there just aren’t enough ghostly pirates about, so I decided to create one. The only correct location for pirates, undead or otherwise, is the Caribbean, and of course all pirates need an island base, so I...