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Haunted Legends

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  394 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Winner of the 2010 Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology!

Darkly thrilling, these twenty new ghost stories have all the chills and power of traditional ghost stories, but each tale is a unique retelling of an urban legend from the world over.

Multiple award-winning editor Ellen Datlow and award-nominated author and editor Nick Mamatas recruited Jeffrey Ford, Ramsey Campbell,
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ebook, 352 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,855)
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Henrik
This anthology is a solid 4 stars. Highly recommended. Very varied content with great stories (only a few exceptions).

SPOILER WARNING!


AUGUST 14, 2011:

"Following Double-face Woman" by Erzebet YellowBoy:

This one didn't leave any lasting impression on me. It's based on a figure of Native American myth.

OCTOBER 21, 2011:

"The Folding Man" by Joe R. Lansdale:

This story was a bit silly to me. In part because I found it difficult to take the premise serious: a van full of angry, dead nuns have a folding
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Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted on Layers of Thought. Linked on the blog is an audio version of one of the stories read with an eerie deep voice. It is perfect for a fall evening!

A diverse collection of ghost stories based on actual legends, making it all the more interesting, fun, and just plain scary.

This book was a complete pleasure to read, and what a perfect time of year to do so. Part of the reason that I got so excited about this collection is that each of the stories is prefaced with a bit about
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Colin Leslie
Haunted Legends gathers together 20 tales from the far flung corners of the globe which all focus on local folktales or urban legends. With the Ellen Datlow sign of quality on the cover and an all star line up within, this promised to be a special collection. Lets see how it shaped up.

The writers were tasked with "choosing their favourite 'true' ghost story and rescue it from the cobwebs of the local tourist gift shop". The result is a collection of vast cultural and stylistic variation. We are
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Sonatajessica
This one really underwhelmed me, with the concept of an anthology about local, spooky legends I thought I was heading for an atmospheric and entertaining October read. What I got was mostly a variation of the same dull running concept of a sad and/or melancholic ghost tale, only a tiny number of the 20 stories didn't follow this path. Don't get me wrong, this approach to the idea of "Haunted Legends" has a fair spot in the entirety of the book, meaning 3-4 stories. This collection desperately ne ...more
Kylie
I was very excited about this anthology when I discovered it, since I love urban legends - particularly the more paranormal ones. However, whether due to my high expectations or not, it just didn't thrill me like previous Datlow edited ones have. There were stories I liked; for example Down Atsion Road, Return to Mariabronn and The Redfield Girls, and stories I wasn't sure if I liked (Oaks Park has great ideas but is written entirely in the 2nd person which is jarring, For Those In Peril On the ...more
Lori
So far, my favorite story is "Astion Road". It is challenging to review the book as a whole, because some of the stories were great and some I couldn't even get through. Most were somewhere in the middle of that. Best stories- "Redfield Girls", "Astion Road", "La Llorana" and "The Folding Man".
SmarterLilac
Ellen Datlow sure can pick 'em.

I really enjoyed Datlow's The Dark: New Ghost Stories, and this book is, amazingly, even better (read: scarier).

The stories in Haunted Legends are grim, gritty, and entertaining, yet elegant and always thoroughly well written. No shallow flash fiction in here; these are pieces for readers with attention spans. I also appreciate the fact that they are crafted with great subtlety--a true rarity in modern horror. Bonus points for showcasing writers from the Pacific No
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Jennifer
I read 5 of these and they were all kind of boring and did not deliver the punch you want in scary/creepy story. I am surprised as I usually love the collections she edits.
Ellen Herbert
Delicious. perfect for Fall. All those half remembered childhood stories whispered at sleep-overs? All here, all grown up and chilling. God, Ellen Datlow is a great editor.
Anthony
I have never been disappointed with any anthology edited, or co-edited, by Ellen Datlow, and HAUNTED LEGENDS continues that trend. While there are a few stories in this collection that didn't really work for me, the majority of them did.

The theme is exactly what the title implies: those local, "home-grown" tales of hauntings and other oddness that you often find retold in poorly-edited "local legends" tomes sold in airports kiosks and tourist-trap gift shops. Datlow and Mamatas' edict to the par
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Victoria
This past Halloween, I participated in a lot of chatter about that scariest of spooky story collections - actually, it’s a trilogy - compiled by Alvin Schwartz and terrifyingly illustrated by Stephen Gammel: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. Recently, the publishers re-released it, but with tamer illustrations - a complete travesty to the horror genre. All this talk of frightening stories put me in the mood for a new collection, and the fact that some of my favorite authors have contributed to ...more
Gothic Readers Book Club
Urban legends have always been a bizarre idea. They can be found in every culture and in every city around the world. Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas have put together a great collection of stories based on these strange stories. The collection features stories from around the globe such as "Tin Cans" by Ekaterina Sedia. Set in Stalinist Russia, it's a take on the Russian legend of Beria, who was known as "Stalin's butcher." "As Red as Red" by Caitlín R. Kiernan has a distinct Lovecraft feel with ...more
Erika
I am reviewing a copy provided by the publisher.

A collection of supernatural tales drawn from cultures around the world, Haunted Legends is part horrifying, part skin-crawling, and part contemplative. Ellen Datlow has teamed up with Nick Mamatas to gather resurrections of urban legends, ghost stories, and local terrors derived from a variety of imaginations and reality-based nightmares to produce a solidly satisfying anthology. There are, of course, some stories that outshine the rest, but the o
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Cissa
Excellent creepy tales!

On the whole, I enjoyed this collection a lot. Almost all of the stories were very well-written and wonderfully creepy, but each in its own way.. and some of them were even more than that.

"Oaks Park", for example, was intentionally somewhat disjointed in narrative, but was one of the finest fictional depictions of dissociation I've ever read.

Most of the others,though, were satisfied by sending shivers up one's spine, and that was completely what i wanted this Halloween sea
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Nicole
I don't tend to approach anthologies with a whole lot of expectation. Many times, there's only one or two stories that really draw me in. Haunted Legends, however, is actually a rather good collection. There's only one story that didn't quite feel like it fit the overall theme at all ("Following Double-Face Woman", though it is well written to be sure) and only one I didn't particularly enjoy ("Down Atsion Road", which is far too dry to evoke an emotional response, let alone suspense).

A list of
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Emily
3.5 stars. I loved the premise, and Ellen Datlow has to be one of the best editors of speculative fiction anthologies, but this was a little bit underwhelming. All story collections are a mixed bag, but for me this one had more duds than gems- too many of these stories focused on ghosts as metaphors for guilt/regret/loss, and there weren't enough genuinely scary stories for a book of reworked urban legends & local lore. That being said, some stories stand out, and even for someone who loves ...more
Lee Battersby
Slightly uneven anthology, but the best stories are amongst the best I've read this year. Particularly good are stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Kit Reed, and if some of the other fail to live up to them, it's largely due to the very high standard those stories set.

Good or less good (I've never read a bad Datlow-edited anthology), Datlow's collections are never less than interesting, and the collaboration with the eclectic and quirky Nick Mamatas only adds to the varied nature of the stories ch
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Janet
Haunted Legends is the primo tapas party of paranormal fiction.

This wonderful collection of short stories written by talented, award-winning writers puts a fresh spin on urban legends and ghostly tales that have been around for ages. While a few of selectons that didn't grab me, most were quite engaging.

Since I read a lot of paranormal fiction and non-fiction, it was nice to find a book in the supernatural genre that was out of the ordinary in format as well as in content. Even if you don't typi
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Sandy
Some were very good. Some not so much. Many were just ok. Some were ghost stories, some based on legends and others just odd.
Brian Rosenberger
20 stories based on haunted legends around the world. Standouts include:

Richard Bowes “Knickerbocker Holiday” some horrors never die
Ekaterina Sedia “Tin Cans” a brutal Russian ghost story
John Mantooth “Shoebox Train Wreck” as the story says, “the living haunt the dead”
Gary A. Braunbeck “Return to Mariabronn” the lonely road and the realization “Snowmen don’t bleed”
Joe R. Lansdale “The Folding Man” a prank involving nuns and its aftermath, non-stop Lansdale lunacy
Beth
I thought that this would be a delightful anthology of paranormal tales, but I was very disappointed. Most of the stories were unmemorable and didn't send even the merest of shivers down my spine. Only a few stories piqued my interest. The rest irritated me, and I ended up skimming my way through them. I only continued reading because I was en route to another city and had no other books with me.
Chrissy
Anthologies are also hard to review because it’s hard to give full attention to every single story in a collection. Because, while I really enjoyed this entire anthology, there were definitely some I loved more than others: { read my full review here }
Jennles
This is a good collection of stories. Some were terrifying ("The Folding Man") and others I couldn't get into so thats why its not 5 stars. Overall, a good choice to read alone in the dark. After each story the authors write a few paragraphs about their inspiration for the story which I thought was interesting.
Nick
I am really enjoying this so far!! There have been a few stories that I didn't much care for but most are good and creepy- just what I was looking for.

This was a pretty solid 3. There were some stories that were OK but in no way creepy or scary. A few that I really liked a lot and many that were pretty good.
Paul
Great concept executed perfectly. "Haunted Legends" is an excellent collection of short stories inspired by local/regional/urban legends and interpreted by top horror / dark fantasy authors. It is really a great read. Good stuff. Top-notch.
Megan
This is a nice anthology... possibly better-read in the fall than on a bright summer day, but that's my fault. My favorites: "Tin Cans," "Oak Park," "As Red as Red" (so good!), "Between Heaven and Hull," and "The Spring Heel."
Xarah
Perfect time to read some spooky tales: a cold, rainy October day!

I really enjoyed how the various authors took local legends/scary stories and created a short fiction around them! I was fun to read the various tales!
George
A superior collection of ghost stories. Standouts include Joe R. Lansdale's "The Folding Man," Caitlin Kiernan's "As Red As Red" and Ekaterina Sedia's "Tin Cans."
MG
I liked the variety in this anthology. I am a sucker for a good legend. Most of the stories really gave me that check the shadows feeling.
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Wow - really cheap paper 1 8 Jun 28, 2011 11:37AM  
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
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More about Ellen Datlow...
Snow White, Blood Red Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy Lovecraft Unbound The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm Black Heart, Ivory Bones

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