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5 More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

by  | August 9

Remember the time when you could pick up the most nightmare-inducing collection of short stories at your elementary school’s book fair? If you’re like me, you had all three editions of Alvin Schwartz’s chilling anthology Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and when it was announced that a movie adaptation was in the works, with none other than legendary director Guillermo del Toro attached to the project, I knew I would be first in line to see it. Despite the summer sun and long days, we all love a good scare at night, so here are five more collections of scary stories to tell in the dark!

Friday Black

Friday Black

by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

In this incredibly original collection, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah investigates truly relevant fears surrounding black identity. With stories from the horror of consumer greed in a twisted, violent version of Black Friday, where not everyone survives the night, to a disturbing virtual reality park that allows users to act out their racist aggression, this collection takes aim at societal and cultural issues facing the black community today. Although devoid of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, this anthology holds a mirror to society and shows us just how frightening and ugly it can all be.

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Different Seasons

Different Seasons

by Stephen King

In my personal favorite collection of Stephen King’s short stories/novellas, Different Seasons follows different citizens of Castle Rock, Maine, with deft prose and changing tones that reflect the turn of the seasons. Including some of his most powerful and acclaimed stories, which later inspired his most compelling and human films, Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, and Stand By Me, this collection is absolutely perfect for all horror fans.

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Ghostly

Ghostly

by Audrey Niffenegger

In this gorgeous anthology, featuring stories from both classic and modern horror icons, Audrey Niffenegger has amassed a treasure trove that traces the evolution of the modern ghost story. This collection also brings back the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark vibes with all original art for each story, evoking the insane Stephen Gammell images they somehow let into a children’s book back in the day. From Edgar Allan Poe to Neil Gaiman, this is the absolute essential collection for any spooky story enthusiast looking for a tale of all that goes bump in the night.

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Her Body and Other Parties

Her Body and Other Parties

by Carmen Maria Machado

This amazingly strange twist of queer feminist fiction and literary horror, Her Body and Other Parties, is a delightfully weird collection. It’s really hard to peg a genre for this anthology, but with a chilling alternate take on Law and Order: SVU and a reimagining of “The Green Ribbon” (from that other children’s horror classic, also by Alvin Schwartz, In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories), these stories can really only be described as refreshingly new. They’re funny, they’re uncomfortable, they’re chilling, and they’re honestly one of a kind.

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Wounds

Wounds

by Nathan Ballingrud

In this spooky collection from a Shirley Jackson Award–winning author, Nathan Ballingrud takes us to Hell and back with a wide array of characters. With a rare book salesman looking for an Atlas of Hell to a bartender who finds a lot more than he bargained for from a cell phone left behind in a bar fight, this anthology alternates in narration style and tone but never in fear. One of its brilliant stories, “The Visible Filth,” was adapted into the film Wounds, starring Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson, which premiered at Sundance this year.

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Amy is a Legal Contracts Assistant at Simon & Schuster. She loves thrillers, contemporary fiction, and all things Stephen King! If she isn’t talking about her obsession with true crime podcasts like Last Podcast on the Left she is gabbing on about any and all things film. She loves reading in her favorite NYC bars, which you can see on her bookstagram, @boozehoundbookclub