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‘10 Scary Stories to Fuck You Up at Night’ by Madeleine Davies

— Reneé Bibby

The veil between worlds is thin right now and while Americans may have celebrated our dead yesterday with Halloween, celebrations continue worldwide, so we’ll keep the exploration of the dark going with a collection of scary stories from Jezebel. Every year, they ask for followers to submit stories of their real-life frights and choose the top ten. I read the 2018 stories wide-eyed in bed and kept going into back issues, finding myself creeped enough by the 2017 collection to recommend it.

The stories aren’t crafted with any of the artfulness of literature. They’re recounted with the casual intimacy of a friendly bar patron leaning into your conversation about ghosts to share a story that trumps your own. Ostensibly true, they terrify precisely because they aren’t built with jump scares, plot lines, or final resolutions. People experience weird, unexplained, perhaps supernatural events, and even the skeptical, like me, can appreciate how real it would have felt and how scary it would have been to experience what they did. Sleepwalking sons, footprints in the snow, a giant black dog—the stories are exactly what you want to hear in the warm glow of the bar at night surrounded by friends but regret hearing about as soon as you’re alone in your dark bedroom. I wholeheartedly recommend reading them … during the day.