Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Steve Grant rounded the corner of the parking lot behind Black Spring Market & Deli just in time to see Katherine van Wyler get run over by an antique Dutch barrel organ.

Plot

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

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Thin Air by Michelle Paver

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Were we wrong to attempt the conquest of Kangchenjunga?

Plot

It’s 1935 and a small British expedition is determined to be the first to reach the summit of Kangchenjunga. They are following in the footsteps of a previous expedition that ended in tragedy. The higher Dr Pearce climbs on the mountain, the more convinced he is that something is out there on their trail. And whatever it is, it’s intentions aren’t good.

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Horns by Joe Hill

Horns Joe Hill

Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★★☆

Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things.

Plot

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more – he had the love of Merrin Williams, a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.
Then beautiful, vivacious Merrin was gone – raped and murdered, under inexplicable circumstances – with Ig the only suspect. He was never tried for the crime, but in the court of public opinion, Ig was and always would be guilty.
Now Ig is possessed with a terrible new power – with just a touch he can see peoples’ darkest desires – to go with his terrible new look, and he means to use it to find the man who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge; it’s time the devil had his due.

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The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

The TellTale Heart and Ohter Stories Edgar Allan Poe

Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?

Edgar Allan Poe has written some of my favourite short stories and poems. I have, however, never read his whole work. This book is an excellent introduction to it, with a good selection of his short stories and novellas. It also includes The Raven, though that’s the only poem in the book (I sort of missed Annabel Lee, another favourite of mine).

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Cujo by Stephen King

Cujo Stephen King

Rating: 1.5 Stars ★★☆☆☆

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine.

Plot

Cujo is a huge Saint Bernard dog, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. Then one day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole. Except it isn’t a rabbit warren any more. It is a cave inhabited by rabid bats.

And Cujo falls sick. Very sick. And the gentle giant who once protected the family becomes a vortex of horror inexorably drawing in all the people around him . . .

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box Josh Malerman

Rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★

Malorie stands in the kitchen, thinking.

Plot

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

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The World of Lore Volume 1: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

The World of Lore Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Hollywood is obsessed.

About

They live in shadows–deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves.

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