#2. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

20th century ghostsA collection of short stories that range from ghost stories and paranormal oddities to father-son stories or peculiar tales of friendship that are more heartwarming than blood-chilling. It is an eclectic mix that reads very quickly — most of the stories are about 15-20 pages long, with one in the middle about the ghosts of trees (“Dead-Wood”) being only 2 pages and the final story “Voluntary Committal” being exceptionally long. If you like speculative fiction regarding movie theaters, baseball, superheroes, giant locusts, cardboard boxes that lead to other worlds, mind games in the middle of the woods, childhood, and horror movie cliches played to pitch perfect, you are sure to enjoy this book.

My favorite stories were “20th Century Ghost, “Pop Art,” “Better Than Home,” “My Father’s Mask,” and “Voluntary Committal.” “Voluntary Committal” is a haunting, haunting story. You may never listen to The Ants Go Marching 2 by 2 the same way again.

There is even a story hidden in the Acknowledgements at the end!

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