Book Review – Six Scary Stories by Stephen King et al

Six Scary Stories

Six Scary Stories by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephen King would know exactly which stories would make the reader absolutely chilled to the bone, and these six are no exception. These stories, each written by a different and talented writer, kept me on the edge of my seat, and I could feel my heart pounding.

“Wild Swimming”, the first story by Elodie Harper, is the perfect story for illustrating the complete uneasiness one feels in a ghost town. There is the sense someone is watching constantly, some part of history (usually a grisly history) peeking out of the shadows to those coming to learn its secrets.

“Eau-de-Eric” by Manuela Saragosa is one of those stories that is themed around living dolls, or rather in this case, living teddy bears. Being a parent in such a situation, knowing that some supernatural, or preternatural, power has more control than you do is horrifying. Even more horrifying is when the child is in on it – and we all know how perceptive children can be.
My only real criticism for this story is that I would have liked to see more about the relationship between the father (i.e. the bear) and the child.

“The Spots” by Paul Bassett Davies was not my favorite story of the bunch, but it gave me chills nonetheless. For some reason I have issues with horrors and thrillers that centre around a fascist state. However, the theme of this story, the leopard’s spots, was very clever symbolism. Here you have a man working for a person he calls “Leader”, who has him trying to count the spots on a hungry leopard, all in vain. The man has conflicted feelings towards the end of the story, making him the leopard whose spots he is trying to count.

“The Unpicking” by Michael Button was beyond disturbing. Think Toy Story meets Lord of the Flies. I will not say too much about this story, except that I will now be very wary of what happens with the inanimate inhabitants of my room at night.

“La Mort de L’Amant” by Stuart Johnstone also did not impress me as much. Though one can’t help but be disturbed when encountering a suicidal man on a bridge who says “everything’s fine!” with a smile on his face.

And lastly “The Bear Trap” by Neil Hudson felt the most like something Stephen King would write. Hudson based elements of the characters on the characters from Calvin and Hobbes – the protagonist of this story being named Calvin. This story is what Calvin and Hobbes would look like in a post-apocalyptic setting.

Overall an intense and enjoyable read. Would recommend to anyone who likes a good chill up their spine.

View all my reviews