Quiet Horror, Still the Darling of the Horror Genre

There is a power in quiet horror novels.

September 15 is the anniversary of the death of author Charles L. Grant, who most will agree was the best-selling modern-day master of quiet horror novels. A rigorous talent, a legend to many of us, Grant had hundreds of books, novels, short stories and anthologies published and won three World Fantasy Awards and two Nebula Awards. Grant wholeheartedly believed in the atmospheric quiet horror story as a serious fiction form.  Descriptions of Grant’s riveting prose and pace are phrases like lulls you into the dark,  subtle thrillsliterary prowess,  creates a luring suspense.  Well-crafted, horror fiction is an art. Read a Grant story and you’ll see why.


Because we remember the loss of this treasured author (and because I admire the craft of quiet horror novels, love to read them and write them), it seems appropriate to revisit this enduring genre for September.

Horror is defined as painful and intense fear, something that horrifies. So when you think of reading a horror novel or story, what do you desire? Horror that is raw, explicit, and loud like pulp slasher shock? That would be the assault of splatterpunk. How about all-powerful monsters? Super-intelligent aliens? Sexy vampires that no one can resist? Are you curious about a shuttered gray house with a man skulking on the front porch, eyes searching every child who walks by? What a shudder that story might bring. Or maybe you love the Lovecraftian style with demigods from ages past like Cthulhu, written in deep prose and pessimistic themes. Psychological horror is a grabber, especially if you’re battling demonic possession, the ultimate evil challenge.

Stephen King is well known for saying that horror arouses our “phobic pressure points.” And maybe it’s true that triggering these fears becomes very personal for horror fans, provoking a response from the physical to the emotional to the psychological.

When did society decide that reading tales of the supernatural and terror would be entertaining? Maybe it’s the fight or flight response we still crave. Maybe reading horror is a catharsis. One of the very first horror novels was The Castle of Otranto written by Horace Walpole in 1764. Then we quickly move into the Gothic horror era with Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Poe, Hawthorne, Henry James and you know the rest of them, all the way to Grant, King, Koontz, and Rice.

But let’s get back to the  power in quiet horror. What is it exactly?  Quiet horror stories do not feed you blunt visceral violence: no gore-is-more philosophy; no bloody slasher meisters, no cheap thrills. Quiet horror hits a high key when it stimulates the intellect (sometimes even to the point of being a tad cerebral). It evokes  dark emotions and conjures imagery, artistically hitting your fear buttons, teasing you with clues, and employing the suggestive-then-cut-away Hitchcockian style of suspense. Delicious!

And often, this quiet darkness will hold a message that is not only cleverly hidden but  also symbolic. That “Ah-ha” moment is one we all love to experience.

Look at the success of John Harwood’s chilling The Séance;  Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black;  Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s enduring short story The Yellow Wallpaper. If you’ve ever read W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw, you can experience this understated but powerful dark message of  regret.

Charles Grant said in an interview that the most powerful books are the ones who force the reader to use the imagination. He saw the reader’s imagination as a highly effective tool. If we look to Lovecraft about horror, he advised writers never to state a specific horror element when it can be suggested. So, are writers who spell out every bloody and violent detail cheating readers from creating their own pleasurable visualizations?

In Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator says that he worked hastily and in silence to cut off the head, arms and legs of his victim. He uses the word “blood” only once …

There was nothing to wash out—no stain of any kind—no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all!

Any reader with half an imagination can see the blood inside that tub and imagine the dismembered parts with a ghastly effect. Maybe Strunk & White are right when they said, “It is seldom advisable to tell all.”

When you read horror, do the words on the page manipulate your thinking or stimulate your imagination? How deep is your well?

A search on Amazon.com for quiet horror novels offers four of Grant’s novels:
The Sound of Midnight
The Bloodwind
The Last Call of Mourning
The Grave

Search Barnes & Noble and you’ll find more traditional titles like Northanger Abby by Jane Austin, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Amazon lists these as their top FIVE selling quiet horror novels:
In the Night Room, Peter Straub
The Fall of Never, Ronald Damien Malfi
The Snowman’s Children, Glen Hirshberg
Nightmare House, Douglas Clegg
Atmosphere, Michael Laimo

Of course there’s lots more quiet horror out there, but it’s not so easy to identify these novels. Right now on the New York Times best sellers list, two novels that fit quiet horror are Night Film by Marisha Pessi (pitched as occult horror, literary thriller, and mystery thriller) and Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Sometimes these authors are known as dark fantasy authors. Writers like Joyce Carol Oates, Ramsey Campbell, James Herbert, Arthur Machen, Elizabeth Massie.

My favorite authors of quiet horror are the classic masters: Nathaniel Hawthorne, M.R. James, Poe, Henry James and too many more to list here. I loved The Dead Zone by Stephen King. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson, The Grave by Charles L. Grant, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper, Seduction by M.J. Rose.

So, what horror stories spark your imagination? Is there a horror novel that has awakened your heart and soul?

I leave you with one last thought …

“Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.” Arthur Conan Doyle

Whether you are a reader, author, publishing pro, or literary hound, I invite you to post your thoughts here. Are you a fan of Charles  Grant?  Do you prefer splatterpunk or bizarro and tell us why. What is your favorite horror novel? I see this post as a running commentary about horror—quiet or loud, gothic, splatterpunk, dark fantasy, supernatural, ghosts, mystery, fabulist, Lovecraftian, satanic, or bizarro.

If you are new to this blog, I am a novelist and short story writer, living in New York, posting classic Tales of Terror every week, most of which are quiet horror, supernatural, and lots of ghost stories because … I am a haunted writer. Not only do I believe in ghosts, but I’ve got one sitting next to me right now.  He’s a writer, of course, about ghosts and witches—and he is my mentor. The number seven has particular significance to his greatest known work. If you know this house in Salem, Massachusetts pictured below, you know this author.


You can view my novels, Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural and The Dazzling Darkness in the above tabs on this site, but I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically suggest you experience the novels of Charles L. Grant and the other fine authors mentioned here if you really want to walk on the dark side with the best of  literary artists.

Here are a few worthy web sites in your search for horror and the supernatural.


Horror Novel Reviews

Too Much Horror Fiction Blogspot

Hell Notes

Spooky Reads 

Monster Librarian

Horror World



Horror Palace


Filed under dark fantasy, Hawthorne, horror, horror blogs, Night Sea Journey, quiet horror, soft horror, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness

60 responses to “Quiet Horror, Still the Darling of the Horror Genre

  1. Pingback: Author of the Week, Charles L. Grant, April 11 | Paula Cappa

  2. Martin Jepson

    This is a fantastic post. Thats all I read, quite horror. Love atmosphere and darkness. Preferably the short story, I have 150 victorian ghost and terror anthologies. I will read those Grant novels. I like the title The Grave, that will be the first

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to hear from you, Martin. Grant is a great writer and and one that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. You have 150 ghost and terror anthologies? Is there one or two you think are the best that you might recommend for our readers here? I would be very interested. Thank you for commenting. Paula


  3. Anne

    Could you please recommend some psychological horror authors and/or stories? This has become my favorite genre.


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  5. Pingback: Quiet Horror, Still the Darling of the Horror Genre | YOURS IN STORYTELLING...

  6. Ben

    A great collection of suggested readings has emerged from your original post! I’ll add this, if you haven’t already experienced it – ‘Ringstones’, by Sarban (1951). Quintessentially quiet and abounding in atmosphere; if it’s new to you, put it at the top of the list! A money-back guarantee on this subtle and spooky classic…


  7. An interesting piece indeed – and it’s pleasing to see someone cover this area of writing.

    I’ve not read widely of Grant’s work, though I’ve read a book or two, including ‘The Pet’, which I recall finding enjoyable enough. Your piece has certainly encouraged me to investigate his works further.

    One book I’d like to recommend that falls firmly within the sub-genre you’ve defined is the novella ‘The Small Hand’, by Susan Hill. Also, though you’ve mentioned him, Aickman’s ‘The Inner Room’. I wonder too whether Steve Rasnic Tem’s ‘Deadfall Hotel’ wouldn’t raise the interest of the fans of silent horror, but it’s a tricky book to pigeon hole.

    A word of caution though, an author writing in this silent horror sub-genre must be careful to balance the poetic and the hinted, nuanced horrors lest they end up over, or under, egging the souffle.


    • Thank you, Will. Egging the souffle! Love it. Fans of quiet horror are out there but identifying these books and readers is a muddy place since this genre tends to fade into general horror. I’ll have to add Tem’s Deadfall Hotel to my list. By the way, I just love your site Spooky-Reads. http://spooky-reads.com/


    I really like that you are addressing this topic, as there doesn’t really seem to be much out there written on the topic, and with the interest I see in it here, there really needs to be. It doesn’t seem to be identifiable as a subgenre so much as a style. I don’t know if you would describe them as quiet horror, but two books that depend heavily on atmosphere that I would recommend are The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff and The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. M.J. Rose’s Seduction, which you mentioned, is a very different book, but to me the three books have a similar feel to them. I’d put Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca in this category, as well. All of these have remained memorable to me. I actually do think the short story can be a good format for this style, because so much does depend on what isn’t said, or on the style used. Kelly Link has written stories that might fit–I’m thinking specifically here of “The Specialist’s Hat”. I can’t claim to be terribly knowledgeable on this topic, but it seems like there are a number of readers of quiet horror who have gone underground with their reading. That is a real shame, as there are readers out there who don’t consider themselves horror readers, but who would probably really enjoy it if it were identified, and titles were pointed out to them.

    Kirsten Kowalewski – Monster Librarian http://monsterlibrarian.com/


  9. Your notion that Horror might be cathartic is one I brought up in an online forum some time back (great minds an all that, yes?). Before I came to that conclusion I had gone through a period of some anxiety due to an illness (I’m fine now, no worries) and I noticed I was reading a great deal of horror. I believe the ‘unlikeliness’ of the scenarios allowed me to view a far worse place while knowing no one was actually suffering.

    I’m not overly familiar with Grant (having read only one work I can recall – which I enjoyed), but I believe ‘quiet horror’ is much more effective. The analogy of the shower scene in Psycho is apt. Our imaginations are far worse than anything Hitchcock might have filmed. The most frightening situations in real life (where your own well-being is concerned) aren’t the tense ‘danger situations’ in which your adrenaline is pumping, its the sound of a door in the night when you’re supposed to be alone in the house. Hanns Heinz Ewers has always been my personal favorite in this regard although M.R. James could throw a curve himself.

    I enjoyed your article and will have to pick up some more Grant!


    • Ron, now this is a new name, Hanns Heinz Ewers. He wrote quiet horror? I’ll have to check him out and add him to my list. Yes, I agree the sound of a door opening when you are alone in the house is terrifying. Just a bump in the attic can set me off. And when it happens in a book or movie, I’m on the edge already. The fear is greatest when you don’t know what it is. Love your comment, thanks.


  10. Jeremy Lassen

    In my opinion, Charles Grant will always be an important part of the horror genre. He energized a discussion that needed to happen, at a time when the aesthetic pendulum was swinging very strongly in one direction, and the marketplace was busy rewarding that direction. Charles had an aesthetic ax to grind, and he did so eloquently, via his frequent and vocal criticism of then-contemporary popular horror fiction.

    Much like the aesthetic advocates that sprang from science fiction’s British “new wave” movement, who’s criticism appeared in the magazine New Worlds, Charles’s passionate non-fiction, criticism and reviews could be found throughout the horror magazine and small press world. And weather you agreed with him or not… weather you felt his criticisms were 100% valid or not, you always new that they came from a deep and abiding passion for this special genre we call “Horror.” His criticism of “Splatter Punk” and other forms of horror fiction forced authors and readers alike to question (and often more rigorously defend) their own aesthetic values. His work in defining exactly what horror fiction is, and how it can work stands along side Lovecraft’s Supernatural Horror In Literature, David Hartwell’s Dark Descent, and Jon Clute’s The Darkening Garden.

    But it wasn’t just non-fiction and criticism… Charles put his aesthetic money where his typewriter was… Dozens of novels, hundreds of short stories, and (as equally important) dozens of original and reprint horror anthologies all served as a guidepost to what Charles felt was good, or important, or just plain compelling and exciting about horror fiction. To emphasize the importance of his original anthology work, and in particular his long running “Shadows” series of original fiction, I’d like to suggest that he (along with Ellen Datlow and Karl Edward Wagner), is one of the three biggest influences in late 20th century horror fiction.

    Charles was a renascence man, and his shadow still looms large over this body of literature we call “Horror.” He is missed.


  11. Hello, Paula. Thanks so much for sharing this. I, too, appreciate “quiet horror”, being more of a “Silence of the Lambs” fan than “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. You’re right up my alley. I’ll have to check back with you to see what else you may have up your sleeve, including your own writing.
    Take care and have a great week!



  12. Quiet horror is my favorite, hands down. I have started to wonder if I can even consider myself a horror fan anymore because most of what is offered in the genre outside of classic works is not to my tastes, but you have validated me with this post. Probably not your intention, but thanks anyway. I am definitely a big fan of MR James, and my other favorite horror/dark fantasy writer is Manly Wade Wellman. I would love some recs for modern quiet horror, so I am eager to follow this discussion.


    • Danielle, I love MR James as he is truly the classic author for quiet horror. I don’t know Wellman’s work, but I will check it out. I’m actually still building my list of quiet horror authors. I’m told from a few friends that Billie Sue Mosiman, Heather Graham, Phil Rickman,and Allan Ryan write quiet horror. The thing is, it’s not easy to identify quiet horror novels. Book covers can be deceiving and some horror writers put out a mix of violence levels in their titles. Just like movies are rated for violence, I sometimes wish books could be rated in a similar fashion. Oh dear, I’m bound to get slammed for making that statement. Thanks for your thoughts!


      • I know what you mean. It’s very hard to tell which newer authors are my style. I have Phil Rickman on my list to read in October, when I do my own little Scary Book Fest. I have a few Heather Grahams to try as well. What books would you recommend by Alan Ryan and Billie Sue Mosiman? Oh definitely try Wellman’s Silver John tales.


      • Danielle, titles by Alan Ryan? Cast a Cold Eye, an Irish ghost story, is considered by his fans to be his best. In Billie Sue Mosiman’s short story Quiet Room, the character Ryan Steadman says … ” ‘There’s a place, I know it, where the soul flees and I think we can see it if the dying is hard enough.’ ” Hard enough. He kept trying to find how hard dying had to be to take him through the last light in his victim’s eyes to that place. He believed it was a real place, somewhere he must glimpse in order to understand the world, to understand being alive.”

        Are you dying to read it yet?


  13. I found your BLOG by way of Facebook’s Horror Nation. Your novels intrigue me. I have been reading horror since I was in third grade, Stephen Kind and Charles Grant were among the names in my collection. I love to write as well, and though I prefer to write loud horror I tend to get better reader response to my quieter pieces. My favorite horror novel is The Shining by Stephen King. I also love novels where the otherworldly plays along the fringes of the story. My all-time favorite book is Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb. I can’t wait to read one of your books.


  14. Pingback: 5 Must Read Articles 23 September 2013 » This Is Horror

  15. David Watson

    Great blog post. Sadly I’m not to familiar with Charles Grant. I will have to check out his work. I never thought of quiet horror as a genre but after your description I would have to say that quiet horror is probably what I like best in horror. I prefer things to be left to the imagination. I don’t like it when an author gets to descriptive. While I don’t offend to easily I still have never liked it when it was obvious that the author was trying to shock me. Some of my favorite authors are Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, Tamara Thorne, Douglas Clegg, Jonathan Mayberry and Stephen King. Most of all I’m a fan of Psychological horror and supernatural horror and I prefer novels over short stories.

    David Watson


    • David, I think your point of your not thinking of quiet horror as a genre these days is fairly common. Since the days of Charlie Grant, that term has faded out among not only readers, but also many industry professionals like yourself. I mean how many novels do you hear pitched as quiet horror? It’s certainly a worthy genre, or subgenre, as the comments here seem to favor stories left to the imagination than descriptions for shock value, as you say. Thanks for contributing your thoughts. Horroraddicts.net is a very exciting site.


  16. Great blog. I interviewed Mr. Grant, great guy. I myself write quiet and noisy horror, scary and funny horror too


    • Hi Michael. Interviewing Charlie Grant must have been a real treat. Would you be willing to share a quote from him with us? Maybe something insightful he said about writing quiet horror or writing in general?


  17. Great post, Paula. I think some of the best horror stories, and other dark fiction (neo-noir, f/sf, southern gothic, etc.) is quiet. I think of William Gay’s “The Paperhanger” and Stephen Graham Jones’s “Father, Son, Holy Rabbit.” It’s that slow revelation, an understanding of facts that adds up to something much greater, darker, and more horrifying. What do the dead flies on the windowsill mean in the dead of winter? What is that rabbit meat really made out of? I prefer this kind of suspense and psychological manipulation to gore and violence. This is the kind of intelligent fiction I’ll be publishing over at Dark House Press. Grant will be missed, but believe that his torch will be carried.


    • Thank you, Richard. Your comment “It’s that slow revelation, an understanding of facts that adds up to something much greater, darker, and more horrifying” is probably one of the best descriptions of quiet horror that I’ve seen yet. The idea of this form being a kind of intelligent fiction is certainly a quality of Grant’s work. I look forward to reading Dark House Press titles.


  18. A fascinating blog post, Paula, but a genre that terrifies me.
    I steer well clear of any kind of horror.


    • Stevie, I see you review a lot of literary fiction. Maybe I could tempt you with The Dazzling Darkness? It is more suspenseful and mysterious in a supernatural way than direct horror. Thanks for your comment. I hope we keep in touch.


      • I hope we keep in touch, too, Paula.
        You’re right, I do review mostly literary fiction but as you will also have seen, I only review for New York Journal of Books, which has strict criteria: Reviewers may access review books only via NYJB and only once NYJB has approved; no self-published books are reviewed; reviews appear on the day of a book’s publication, etc, etc.
        I believe, however, that with your highly professional promotional methods you will soon secure plenty of credible coverage for your work.
        Stevie Godson


  19. Eden Royce

    Reblogged this on The Dark Geisha and commented:
    My favorite kind of horror is the quiet type.


  20. Hi Paula, thank you for your message, it’s always a pleasure to touch base with authors who I’ve crossed paths with through my own promotions. Funny how timely messages can be; a few weeks back I had been doing some research on different book sub-genres for a new independent book and music recommendation site I’m working on and someone suggested “Quiet Horror.” Now, I have to be honest, I’ve never read a quiet horror title but knew how big this sub-genre has grown. Before adding it to my new genre list, I would love if you have the time to recommend me a title. I have to say how well your site has grown over the short time I’ve been popping on and off; keep up the awesome work. Now comes the biggest enquiry…What are you working on and are you pleased with your progress?


    • Thank you, Psymon at Black Caviar Books. Besides the titles I’ve mentioned above for quiet horror and Charlie Grant’s novels, Ramsey Campbell’s Cold House, Peter Straub’s Julia, some of Arthur Machen’s titles. Thomas Tryon’s Harvest Home is an old one but still a good one. What am I working on now? Writing three more short stories and a third novel is drafted.


  21. Pingback: What are soft horror novels? What are quiet horror novels? | Paula Cappa

  22. The House of Seven Gables, in Salem, Massachusetts. I did visit there once while attending Salem State College (now University.) I did an undergraduate study of Hawthorne, and visited the Salem Custom House where he was unhappily employed.

    After college, as a young mother and wife, I read many of Steven King’s early books (Salem’s Lot comes to mind) in which he focused on good vs evil. I stopped reading him. I didn’t like anything he wrote in “recent” years (It, and beyond) finding them unnecessarily unquiet … your use of the word splatterpunk captures it entirely.

    I’m not sure how I reached this blog, but perhaps it was the house in Salem that invited me to respond. Old memories are strong memories.


    • Hi Terry, good of you to comment. I’ve not been to House of Seven Gables, but I’m dying to go one of these Halloween holidays as I understand, Salem is the place to be on Halloween night. One of my favorites of Hawthorne’s short stories is The Haunted Mind. I have it posted here on this blog (Jan. 15). I think it’s his finest for quiet horror and is a powerful chilling story. He wrote it in the second person … “By unclosing your eyes …”


  23. I think it’s definitely harder to write quiet horror than splatter horror. When what you have to work with is mood.


    • A valid point, Charles, yes. Writing “suggestively” can be very tricky. Atmospheric writing is not easy at all, especially because it can dilute a scene if not done well. Charlie Grant seemed to know that balance very well.


  24. Joe

    I found your blog through a link on Horror Aficionados. The forum is too large for a newbie, but I’m glad I have stuck around long enough to find your excellent site.

    Regarding quiet horror, I have always known I loved this kind of writing but never knew it had a label. Someone already stole the suggestions I would have added, but there are many new titles I will have to investigate.

    If I may add a slightly different angle, there is something to audio dramas. When the writers have to rely on sound to create a creeping suspense, well that is talent of the highest order. We’re Alive, a zombie drama, does give you the pound for pound splatter expected of the genre, but the audio engineers create enough magic with their music and sound effects to keep you on the edge of your seat without ever moving the needle into the red.

    Thanks so much for the excellent references you posted to books and websites.


    • Hi Joe, Your point is well said. I’ve been getting into more audio dramas lately, I think because they are being done better now than before. I still love to “be read to” and listen to story narrations (no music most of the time). It funny you mention this. Last night we watched Dark Skies and the music made it very scary; I found myself jumping. Sometime if things get too scarey for me, I turn the sound off because the music is so penetrating and makes the scenes that much more intense. I’m not much of a zombie fan, but an audio drama might suit me better. Thanks!


  25. Paula — I have a question for you, but can’t find an email address link here. Sorry to post this here — could you email me at lovecraftezine@gmail.com when you get a chance?


  26. Sean Eaton

    Very enjoyable and timely post. I also tend to prefer what you have called quiet horror. But do you think that quiet horror is more effective and possible in a novel rather than a short story–given that the latter needs a more intense, focused effect because of the shorter length?


  27. The stories of Scott Thomas are great examples of quiet horror. His collection “Over the Darkening Fields”, and his novella “The Sea of Ash” in “The Sea of Flesh and Ash”.

    And Charles L. Grant, of course. Big fan, right now I’m re-reading his “Black Oak” series.


  28. Nice to see some Grant appreciation! I love all kinds of horror fiction. All that I ask of it – quiet, splatter, vampires, gothic, modern – is that the author have 100% conviction in the tale. Quiet horror however tends to attract a better quality of writers, such as Robert Aickman. Some of my favorites in the quiet horror subgenre:

    Th Search for Joseph Tully by William Hallahan
    Elizabeth by Jessica Hamilton
    The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
    The Orchard by Charles L. Grant
    The Auctioneer by Joan Samson
    Cast a Cold Eye by Alan Ryan
    Prodigal by Melanie Tem
    Sweetheart, Sweetheart by Bernard Taylor
    Crawlspace by Herbert Leiberman
    Echoes from the Macabre by Daphne Du Maurier
    Songs of a Dead Dreamer by Thomas Ligotti
    The Tenant by Roland Topor
    and yes, of course, Shirley Jackson’s work!


  29. David, well said. Yes, you are right about Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House as quiet horror. Talk about subtle prowess. I confess I’m not a splatterpunk fan, but I’m curious as to why readers want to experience such descriptive horror. I don’t mind horror being truthful but I really don’t want to flinch or in some cases be grossed out. Thank you for your thoughts.


  30. Dear Paula,

    How wonderful! I do share your thoughts about the psychology of quiet horror, and would want to add to your pantheon the inimitable Shirley Jackson and her “The Haunting of Hill House,” which was made into a movie twice, but, of course, the book is best. I especially enjoy the scene where the two women are in bed, listening to the Horror going up-and-down the foyer, until it senses them, and then commences to bang, scratch, sniff, and whisper against the door– but the door never opens. That leaves the reader to conjure up whatever they are able, from the alleyways and culs-de-sac of our own minds.
    I have taught the Perkins Gilman story many times: it is a bittersweet victory for her that the piece she intended as a feminist screed comes down to us as a masterpiece of psychological horror. And “The Monkey’s Paw” is a gem.
    Finally, I agree with you that splatterpunk has unfairly usurped the mantle of Horror writing in our day. I was reading “Clive Barker’s Books of Blood” yesterday (Vol. 3; I found it used) to get some ideas, and was very turned off by his baby-eating giant ogre, Rawhead. Yik. Give me a quiet, invisible creature-in-the-corridor any day.
    I will certainly have to consult the many books you recommend, yours among them, and look forward to your future postings.
    David Mark


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