Daisy Johnson, in the Guardian, rounds up some of the best scary stories in recent years. October 2020.
It is that time of year again. The tree branches are beginning to show through, the ground is soggy with fallen red and orange leaves, the supermarket shelves are filled with pumpkins. With many of us working from home – or struggling to find work – and unable to see family or friends, small joys become large. This is the time of year to sit in the darkening evenings by a fire and read a book, preferably an unsettling or scary one. Luckily, we are spoilt for choice in this regard and many authors have been turning recently to the weird and the uncanny.
Short stories have always been a brilliant place to go to find horror and revel in the strange. The last 10 years have produced an abundance of collections worthy of visiting. Kelly Link’s astounding Get in Trouble has haunting tales about ghostly spaceships and warehouses filled with sleeping people. Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah explores the traumas of racism and consumerism, zombie characters haunting shopping malls on Black Friday, while Mariana Enriquez’s Things We Lost in the Fire (translated by Megan McDowell) examines political disruption using the supernatural.
Horror writers take our safe spaces and make them frightening. Though Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Susan Bernofsky) is not a traditional horror story, it is perhaps one of the best haunted house novels there is. Showing the changing fortunes of a small house by a lake and the many people who live, and die, there, the book is filled with hidden spaces and the echo of half-buried trauma. From Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle to The Shining by Stephen King, the haunted house is a place we seem to long to go to and yet fear.
About Daisy Johnson : https://www.theguardian.com/profile/daisy-johnson