I took one course in college geared directly toward writing and rewriting short stories. Professor Penn only had one rule about the pieces we turned in: “You can’t use death as a device in your story. It’s been done, it’s not been done well. Write something else.” The restriction forced us to be creative with how we captured relationships or gave tone to the little moments between people—the echoes of which I’m convinced generate the meat of our psyches.

Needless to say, that rule won't be followed in this book.

This is a book of living ghost stories, tales as tendrils pulling from the unknown, out-of-focus childhood phobias and corner-of-the-eye glimpses. Streaking lights we speculated were UFOs and made trips to the library to research ad nauseum in our childhoods and adolescences, checked out and renewed more times than any of us want to admit.

Herein lie the ghosts of relationships as well as the skeletons that performed them, the lies we tell ourselves to ensure continued sanity and to harvest good vibes from our shared reality. This is a collection of scary stories, of grim yarns, because readers deserve a little grit and pulp now and again.

In other words, here’s a bag of junk food to satisfy your squeam tooth. Dig in!

— adam, March 12, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts