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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

Haunted Houses: The Greatest Stories

Edited by Martin H. Greenberg
MJF Books, 308 pp, 1997

Horror lovers should enjoy this fine compilation of haunted house stories from some great author. Edited by horror veteran Martin Greenberg, this little volume presents some truly scary stories.

The first story, “The Rats in the Walls” by H.P. Lovecraft, gets the book off to a great start. It’s downright creepy. The house literally drives the poor owner insane.

“No Hiding Place” by Jack L. Chalker also deserves a mention. At first, it seems like a typical haunted house story – abandoned mansion high on a hill overlooking a small town, with a history of murders and disappearance – but then takes a delightful twist into a completely unexpected direction. I can’t give it away. But trust me, you’ll like it.

The other stories are equally fine, though some have little to do with an actual haunted house. There is one clunker (in my opinion): “The Doll” by Joyce Carol Oates. It’s not a haunted house story, it’s confusing, and nothing really seems to happen, and after it does, it’s impossible tell what it was.

Oh well. One downer out of 16 is great. And the book was a steal. I bought it from Barnes and Noble for five bucks. I love the clearance rack.

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