AHR13All Hallow’s Read is a new tradition. It was started a couple of years ago by Neil Gaiman and the concept is very simple: On Halloween, or during the week leading up to Halloween, give someone a scary book.


You can learn all you need to know here: http://www.allhallowsread.com/ But honestly, I’ve already told you all you really need. So I thought I’d get the ball rolling a little bit early this year. I’ve got a book giveaway at the end of this post, but had some other ideas too, so read on.

The idea is to give people an actual book as a gift, which is about the best gift you can ever give, for any reason. But we live in a world where some books are made of magic digibits and that makes them even easier to give away. Fuck yeah, the future! And there are lots of scary short stories out there in digibitland that are even easier to give away, by simply sharing a link. So listed below are a few of my scary stories that are free to read online. After that, I’m giving away actual solid papery books.

Here are the online scares you might like to investigate – click the titles to read:

A journalist carrying the weight of unwanted paranormal powers tries to find direction and catharsis by investigating the plight of a strange homeless man. This is a novelette, serialised in 4 parts at The Red Penny Papers. It’s also available as an ebook via Amazon or Smashwords – and you can gift Kindles these days, so you can use this as one of your All Hallow’s Read gifts if you like.

A young blues player meets a strange, enigmatic guitarist one hot summer night who makes him a frightening offer. Short story published at The Red Penny Papers.

A troubled writer starts receiving messages he can’t understand. Short story published at Ticon4.

A woman’s father leaves her a strange legacy after his death and, as she investigates, she uncovers disturbing possibilities about his past. A short story originally published as a podcast by Pseudopod, episode 242, subsequently reprinted in the Dark Pages 2 anthology from Gryphonwood Press and free to read right here on my site (click the title above).

So that’s three short stories and a novelette to get you started – feel free to give them away.

As for the papery book giveaway, I’m going to give away a copy of Dark Rite, the short horror novel I co-wrote with David Wood, a copy of RealmShift and a copy of MageSign. Here’s how the giveaway will work – leave a comment on this blog post with your recommendation of a scary read for Halloween – it can be something free online, a book, a graphic novel or comic. Anything, as long as it’s scary and something you read. In the week leading up to October 31st, I’ll select three random commenters and send them one of the above three books (again randomly selected).

Share this post around, tell your friends and let’s see if we can get a good list of scary reading recommendations in the comments.

Go on, get commenting and reading and giving away and scaring.