Readers may not wish to read this chilling collection of stories and poems alone at night.
A frame story begins and concludes this collection, with a haunting twist. Two young boys sneak out of their camp cabin late at night to seek out Old Man Blackwood, the keeper of the 13 true ghost stories. Blackwood begins with the story “Reflection,” about a haunted mirror that looks back at the viewer, the reflection tapping while the hapless viewer peeks at it from beneath the covers. The short vignettes continue with “The Old Pond,” a grief-laden tale of a haunted sibling who becomes the victim of the vengeful dead. The seemingly innocent poem “The Doll” leaves a young girl motherless while “Depth” takes readers to the eerie corridors of a sunken submarine. With further stories such as “Widow in Black” and “The Boy in the Basement,” even the titles themselves may cause readers to wonder if they should keep the lights on. Illustrátus is a design collective including authors Blaise Hemingway and Jesse Reffsin and illustrators Chris Sasaki and Jeff Turley. The latter perfectly punctuate this book of horror with wild apparitions, dark woods, and creepy dolls, the chill of the unknown brought to life by their haunting images. The inclusion of characters of multiple races makes these tales shiveringly accessible.
Ghastly and imaginative storytelling for the young—and not-so-young. (Horror. 10-14)