Miss Guy recommends three tales to scare you for Hallowe’en, thinking you will enjoy these thought-provoking offerings from Dylan Thomas, Zenna Henderson, and Elizabeth Bowen.
“A tale of incest and insanity, The Burning Baby [by Dylan Thomas] … glowers with images of unrelenting horror. The narrative enthralls and appalls, the last line is bone-chilling.” rbadac, The Weird Review,
It’s a must for all Thomas fans out there, and definitely frightening enough for the season…
Zenna Henderson’s The Anything Box is a story about a young girl, aged around six who is entering first grade in a 1950s American school. She appears to be a loner, otherworldly and a little odd to the other children. Her father is undergoing a trial for a serious crime and Sue-lynn’s way of coping seems to be that she retreats into a world where she can look into her anything box, which, to everyone else is imaginary but to her is tangible and real. She can look into it and escape from everyday worries. The mystery is that her teacher, the narrator of the story, can feel it too and experiences her own warm feelings generated by this box…
The Demon Lover, written by Elizabeth Bowen, tells of a woman returning to her London home to retrieve some belongings left behind when the family moved to the country to escape the bombings during the Blitz, who finds a mysterious letter on her hall table. Knowing that she is alone in the house, when she reads the letter she is frightened as it brings back memories of her fiancé who left her in 1916 to fight in the Great War. His menacing presence is sensed and you have to read on to be fully enthralled by the story.
Other titles you might enjoy are:
Susan Hill‘s The Woman in Black
Shades Shorts Ghost Stories
Marghanita Laski‘s The Victorian Chaise-longue
As usual, if you have thoughts which you’d like to share, please leave a comment here. Happy Hallowe’en!