The cover of The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural (Candlewick, 253 pages, $16.99) features two hands clawing through dirt, as if trying to get away from something or get out of something... a grave, perhaps?
The image lets us know what we're in for if we open the pages of this little horror anthology, edited by Deborah Noyes. Noyes also edited the award-winning young adult anthology, Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales...
If you're looking for scary, you'll find some here: There are vampires, ghosts, dug-up corpses, murder, and more.
My favorite of the few I read is "The Heart of Another" by Marcus Sedgwick, who incorporates Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" into the story of a woman who receives a heart transplant and becomes obsessed with knowing more about her donor.
Poe is an obvious influence on Chris Wooding's "The House and the Locket" as well, as two young men in Victorian England — (at least I think it's Victorian era) — end up in a nightmarish situation inside an unfamiliar house after a night of carousing in the city. The narrator has a definite self-awareness about him from the outset:
"I was, in my youth, a rogue. The Lord God blessed me with a handsome countenance, a pleasing posture, and an artful tongue with which to charm the fairer sex. I considered it sinful to waste such gifts in chastity.
"Yet though I wandered often, there was one to whom I would always return. Her name was Lizabeth. She was clean and pure as a winter sun, and I loved her deeply, as she loved me."
Teens and adults alike will find these tales chilling.