New Scares

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Happy day after Halloween! For the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty reviews a variety of chilling fiction, and delves deep into why these are exceptional:

The short story is the ideal form for horror because it can convey a quick, vivid impression of fear, without having to extend the action past the breaking point of the reader’s credulity… For longer works like “The Graveyard Apartment,” there’s really only one basic plot available: A person (or a group of people) struggles to escape an impossible situation.

Walking through tales of haunted buildings (The Graveyard Apartment, The Apartment), dueling with the devil (Dead Souls), and carrying the weight of the world’s memories (The Warren) also gives Rafferty an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to make a horror story into a novel.


Rosamund Lannin reads and writes in Chicago. When not hosting lady live lit show Miss Spoken and editing Story Club Magazine, she writes for Extra Crispy, HelloGiggles, and everywhere else pancakes and essays intersect. Daily dispatches @rosamundlannin. More from this author →