The Pale Ones

by Bartholomew Bennett

If you are a novice to horror stories, this might be the one to start with. No grisly details, no breathtaking episodes, just an experience of slow building suspense. Something is off, but what is it? I could imagine the black ink etchings in old books, evoking an eerie atmosphere to go with the ghostly stories, to crank up the sense of apprehension. But it’s only an old book, isn’t it?


I’d started to glimpse in Harris what I thought of as a second, shadow personality. The dominant side of him enjoyed banter and refused to give anything away other than wind-ups. That Harris liked – loved – lording it over me. Yet there was another one as well, this one cooler – no, colder. This one practised no sort of friendliness, superficial or otherwise. To be totally honest, he scared me a little. But he did give direct answers. Responses so straight up, so literal, that they seemed almost autistic in character. At first I thought it was just another wind-up strategy, but the flashes of that shadow self were so rare and unpredictable, I began to wonder … I realised that I’d need to watch him all the more carefully.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Night-Gaunts, and Other Tales of Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates

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