Even More Short & Shivery: Thirty Spine-Tingling Tales
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Thirty spine-chilling stories from around the world provide plenty of shivers in this spooky collection. Curl up with old friends like Washington Irving’s “Guests from Gibbet Island” and Charles Dickens’s “Chips.” Or make the acquaintance of “The Skull That Spoke” and “The Monster of Baylock”–but beware of spectral visitors like “The Blood-Drawing Ghost.” This exciting mixture of classic and contemporary tales from Mexico, China, Poland, Nigeria, and other lands near and far is perfect for hair-raising reading!
Grabbing the blackthorn, she raced toward the village. There she found John’s house in an uproar, his parents having just waked to find him unconscious, nearly dead. Quickly, Kate took the napkin she had hidden. She put three bits of the dead man’s oatmeal in John’s mouth. Instantly he woke and stretched, as if he had merely been sleeping. He was astonished to see Kate in the room, with his parents peeping anxiously over her shoulder. “Do you remember anything of last night?” asked Kate. John
always holy water in the house so that they could bless themselves and their children. Guests from Gibbet Island (United States—from Washington Irving) When New York was still a British colony, Ellis Island, in the harbor, was called Gibbet Island because pirates and mutineers were hanged there in chains, their bodies left for public viewing. Directly across the water from this grisly site was the Wild Goose Tavern, in the town of Communipaw. The tavern keeper was a Dutchman, Yan Yost
troop of hunting heads that includes the kephn of Burma, a demon in the form of a wizard’s head with its stomach attached, which devours souls; the vampiric Malay penaggalan, a head that glides along with its dangling intestines gleaming “like fireflies”; and the Japanese goblins in “Rokuro-Kubi,” retold in the present volume. Tiny Cagayan Sulu Island sits in the Sulu Sea, which is bordered by the Philippine Islands and Malaysia. THE DANCING DEAD OF SHARK ISLAND. Adapted from an account in
Boccacccio’s fourteenth-century collection of tales, The Decameron (Fourth Day/Fifth Story). That tale tells of Elisabetta, whose brothers kill her lover, Lorenzo, and it also inspired the poem “Isabella, or the Pot of Basil” (1820) by John Keats. In turning the gloomy material into a fairy tale, Andersen incorporated the rose elf, including fairy lore popular in his day, which envisioned elves as tiny, winged creatures, often associated with flowers. In fact, the fairy-folk of the oldest
dancers gathered around her in a circle. Brian, himself a thrall to the music, joined his hands with those of the other dancers. Around and around Kathleen they danced. The fairy musicians played madly. The ghosts spun faster and faster, until they became a blur of whirling white in which she could no longer make out faces and forms. Faster and still faster they swept around her. It made Kathleen dizzy to watch; the drums and pipes filled her ears and head with a frenzied throbbing. Her