Halloween is long gone and the next one is far ahead. But for horror lovers Halloween is never out of season, so I ‘m sure this review is not untimely.

Distinguished editor Paula Guran has assembled a new anthology featuring eighteen original stories revolving around the subject of Halloween atmospheres and spookies.

I will single out the more accomplished contrbutions among a bunch of dark tales penned by the likes of  Steve & Melanie Tem,Laird Barron, Caitlin R Kiernan,AC Wise, Lawrence  C Connolly,  Nancy Kilpatrick, John Shirley, Barbara Roden, Carrie Vaughn, Brenda Cooper and Laura Bickle.

“Thirteen” by Stephen Graham Jones is a disturbing, well crafted tale blending horror and nostalgia, while “Angelic” by Jay Caselberg is a creepy story hinting at unholy family tradtions and unspeakable Halloween rites.

In the beautifully tragic “Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story” by Jonathan Maberry two friends and former soldiers meet again in their hometown, turned into a place of mystery and death.

Maria V Snyder contributes the deliciously unsettling “The Halloween Men” ,set in a Venice under the rule of mysterious creatures forcing people to wear masks all the time.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s intriguing and excellent “Quadruple Whammy” describes a freak accident involving two orderlies, bringing about unexpected troublesome developments among an ER crew.

The  highlights of the book are Brian Hodge’s moving and insightful “We, The Fortunate Bereaved” where Halloween is the yearly opportunity for the inhabitants of a small town to experience a fleeting encounter with one of the most recent dead, and Norman Partridge’s “The Mummy’s Heart”, a superb novella depicting a long story of horror seen through the eyes of a lonesome cop and former vet, scarred in more than one way.

Stuff apt to make you shiver not only at Halloween but even during a summer heatwave…