It’s the holiday season. It’s cold outside and the snow has piled up as high as the windowsill. Dinner has been finished, the table and plates cleaned, and, as the streetlights flicker on, you realize it’s the perfect time to curl up on the couch, under blankets, with a hot cup of black tea or Bailey’s-spiked coffee or dark hot chocolate, within arms reach. In your free hands is the perfect book for reading at this very moment in time.
The winter holidays, for all of their inherent joy and merriment, are also perfect days for the more mysterious, twisted and frightening sides of life. There’s a great heritage to holiday-based, horror-themed, story telling and reading. As you wrap yourself within the warm confines of your safe abode, it takes the collected short stories of author Ian Rogers to remind us that Every House Is Haunted.
Follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you about the gift you need to give (or give to yourself) this holiday season!
Ian Rogers, a long time friend of Biff Bam Pop! (you may remember him from his weekly “Lost” column on this site a few years ago), has been writing great stories in mystery, horror, noir and the supernatural genres for years. He’s definitely an author that has his finger on the pulse of what makes the hair on the back of our necks stand up.
With Every House Is Haunted, published in late 2012 by Chizine Publications, Rogers takes us into the nerve-racking heart of our own day-to-day lives, a short-story collection that originates from a place where we should feel most comfortable: our own home.
The sections that make up the compilation usher readers through the various rooms of an abode. The four-story The Vestibule segment starts things off ominously, wherein Rogers warns readers that they haven’t been “scared enough” in his teen-witch origin tale, “Aces”. Other stories spin through additional common-rooms-made-uncommon, including The Library, where “A Night In The Library”, sheds light on what might occur during our evenings spent sleeping. The Attic (of course!) gives us five stories, including the monstrous “Vogo”, which begins by telling us “There’s nothing to do in Moose Paw on a Friday night.” Except, that is, to get into trouble of the mysteriously prehistoric kind. (You can actually read the comic book adaptation of “Vogo”, first published on this site in 2010, here). The short story collection continues with tales under the headings The Den and The Cellar, naturally. With twenty-three tales that wrack the nerves, Every House Is Haunted culminates in a story that deserves its own section, obviously and ultimately titled “The Secret Door”.
The stories here will make you think about a wayward neighbour a little differently; the house down the street, ominously; friends and family, more odd then they already are; and the habitual seem utterly nefarious.
So, as you sit and read on your comfortable couch, as you sip a hot, relaxing drink this winter eve, the stories that make up Every House Is Haunted are sure to be all the more memorable. They are, in fact, your own.
Every House Is Haunted can be found at better bookstores, or online in various formats here. There’s still time to order and have it arrive for the holiday season!
Happy holidays…and happy (creepy) reading!