Greetings, bibliophiles! I just finished a book that I think is worthy of sharing. The title is Haunted Legends, and it is an anthology edited by Ellen Datlow (who puts together some seriously awesome books) and Nick Mamatas, published by Tor, who specializes in speculative fiction (in case you don’t know, that is science fiction, fantasy, or horror, in brief). They invited the modern masters of the genre to contribute a tale; however, to make it more interesting, they asked the authors to draw inspiration from a legend, ghost story, or folktale from their town.
You all know I am a sucker for folklore, so it was love at first sight when I blindly picked up this book at Barnes & Noble. Usually I go for gothic classics, and I am ashamed to say I was a little wary about reading modern voice, but this book (or maybe these authors) instantly made me feel sorry for being so close-minded. I had never heard of any of the writers, but I am positive I will find myself researching many of them on Amazon once I finish this article. Some of my favorites were from Steven Pirie, Caitlin R. Kiernan, John Mantooth, and Jeffrey Ford. A few of the others have quite an impressive list of previous publishing’s—such as Ramsey Campbell, who has penned dozens of novels and short story collections, and Joe R. Lansdale, whose books have inspired two films by Don Coscarelli, the much beloved Bubba Ho-Tep starring Bruce Campbell, and the Masters of Horror piece Incident On and Off and Mountain Road.
There is a tale from nearly every continent. Some feel familiar, as if a childhood friend has told them to you on a dark night. Others feel fantastical and poetic, pulled from a dream. The stories are most assuredly fiction, but the sources… well, it’s up to you whether or not the legends have any truth to them.
Maybe Haunted Legends has a tale from your very own town! Here is one from mine…
|"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"|
Irving's inspiration is said to have come from German folklore.
I’d like to encourage everyone to share in the comments a local legend they might know from their own town. I love a good spooky tale!