House of Fear, edited by Jonathan Oliver


I really like short stories. And I really, really like haunted house stories. So you can imagine how I would feel about a book of short stories about haunted houses!!

If I understand correctly (and I frequently don’t), all of these stories were written just for this book. They all have the same copyright date as the book, itself. There are nineteen delightfully creepy stories, by nineteen different writers. The only one I had actually ever heard of was Joe R. Lansdale, who wrote the final story in the book, “What Happened To Me.”

Every story in this book is well worth reading. I have eighteen new writers, whose work I am anxious to read more. It is hard to pick favorites, but I will try.

“Driving the Milky Way,” by Weston Ochse, is about a group of young kids and their adventures surrounding an old, rusted out RV on one their parents’ property. But one night, on one of their adventures, something strange happens, leaving only one of them behind. He is determined, as a grown-up, to find out what happened to them.

“Moretta,” by Garry Kilworth, is about a house inhabited by a strange force that has killed a few people. The source is finally discovered after two near-death experiences.

“An Injustice,” by Christopher Fowler, is a chilling tale about an encounter that some amateur ghost hunters have in a house that appears to be abandoned. The reality turned out to be quite disturbing.

“Villanova,” by Paul Meloy, is about a father and two daughters on a cheap vacation trip. By the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late to turn back.

“Widow’s Weeds,” by Christopher Pries, is about a struggling magician who keeps an appointment with a woman who desires to add magic to her repertoire of “atchievements.” How she adds it is the catch, it seems.

“The Doll’s House,” by Jonathan Green, tells of a family whose quiet life is suddenly disrupted when the wife’s mother brings a childhood dollhouse to their home.

And finally, “What Happened To Me,” by Joe R. Lansdale, which describes an event that happens to a college guy and his two roommates. Well, at least it starts with two roommates. By the time it’s all said and done, he’s alone. Except for the trees. The question is, what do the trees want?

This is a great collection of haunted house stories, which I would heartily recommend for anyone who enjoys the same.

TTFN, y’all!


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