Title: With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfsbane Seeds
Author: Seanan McGuire
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror
Dates read: 14th November 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: No one owns this house.
Mary Holston loves Halloween, but a tragedy occurs and her life is ended. Yet, the house stands as a testament to her life… and as a way in which their town can be kept nice, beautiful and pleasant…
As a start to a collection of stories about haunted nights and Halloween… this is absolutely freaking perfect. It starts with a little girl trick or treating and then flickers into the present. Something that is theoretically very cute and innocent is made into something that really, really isn’t. Alright, I’ve never truly understood why Trick or Treating is such a childhood obsession and seen of as cute… but apparently it is. I much prefer this dark and creepy version of a small ghost girl running around saying Trick or Treat though.
This short story has a kind of supernatural-esque kind of feeling. Mostly, it’s a great reminder that you should never go into a haunted house! Especially when you’re a group of teenagers who are hell-bent on destruction. And the house is one that has never been destroyed, decomposed or modified in any shape or form. I mean, you just know that some supernatural shit is going on right there. And of course, that’s what you keep screaming in your head the whole time you’re reading this… “don’t go into the house!”
This is a great, intense and fun short story. Mary Holston is the exact level of creepiness that makes me get goose bumps. Honestly, it’s small girl ghosts with their high pitched voices that give me the nightmares and make me check around the corners. So this makes me just freak out whenever I read it… which is exactly what you want as an opening Haunted Nights story.