Quarter to Midnight: Fifteen Horror Short Stories by Darcy Coates

If you like horror stories, check out Darcy Coates’ collection! I started reading one story a day about two weeks and they were good enough to give me the creeps!
Other lovely short stories with a horror twinge can be seen in the Stephen King part of my library:

and two collections from Paula Guran

But enough about other people’s ideas of scary! Darcy has her own and they involve mannequins which move after midnight, scary places where hitchhikers disappeared, tales of haunted doors in new houses and my favourite:  Mirror Man (I had to sit really close to the person next to me in the tube to get over the fright this one instilled)

Here are the stories:

Lights out –  story about a store that gets new almost life-like mannequins and stuff starts to go wrong. It was really creepy, and the ending.. well, I’ll never go into an abandoned warehouse again.

Crawlspace – Oh this one connects back to the Street Lamp story! Really creepy, though it feels a bit unfinished. There is so much more to tell, and I wonder why x happened.

Crypt – A bit boring and could have been so much more especially if you’re dealing with Vampires. I wonder why no one believed that kid, especially when there is truly something there. The ending was OK, it was sad though.

TEW_151-1024x576Mannequin – OH look another mannequin story. I was a bit like – why the hell would someone own such a thing! Sometimes it works to have multiple stories with the same kind of evil, but with mannequins there is only so much you can do with them it seems.

Mirror Man – A girl notices a man in the mirror growing up. Over the years she begins to loathe seeing “Mirror Man”, with his dead red eyes and twitching hands… Every time she sees him, he is more clear and getting closer, until one day… he’s not there anymore. By the way, it wasn’t Michael Jackson.

Whose woods these are – A woman goes hiking in a closed off part of the woods to relive some precious memories of her father.  What was haunting the woods? A girl with a laugh… The ending was terrific, I wonder why that thing never did that before.

62e5b27d895567ae2327a70b580024bd--light-and-shadow-street-lightsCutty Street Lamp –  Ohhh, haunting/spooky street lamps. Nice idea, but it was a bit boring until things really started happening, and then I just felt sorry for the boy.

Dead call – It was good up to the point it suddenly switched to some random article? I had to re-read the part to make sure I got it. A guy is posting on a forum about getting calls with no voice on the other end at all hours of the day and it turns out the phone number was from a sinkhole that took a house and two people with it…

Lucy – Definitely an interesting story, I feel a bit sorry for the town, and I also wonder what else is so strange about the place. I also feel sorry for Lucy, though it seems she isn’t harming anyone with her actions, not like most of the beings in this book. Think of haunted highway space.

Red-Cross-basement-archive--death-burial--capture-of-23--miSub Basement –  Dang, that was just creepy as hell. A corporation kept its archive in the sub-basement and people were asked to go into the dark and scary place to retrieve files as and when needed. Some people never returned and were told they quit on the spot, leaving the building and all of their belongings behind. Others came back with stories about spooky sounds, wearing weird scratches and one was on a stretcher, dead. Loved it!

The watcher – What would you do if the initiation for a book club would be watching from a window, not moving, a creature coming out of the woods. I would be like nope nope, and no thank you if that was the initiation to a book club. Are you guys sure it is a book club and not some horror cult thing.

Mallory Haunting – Whoop, this one was brilliant, I didn’t see that coming! Effective little story! Read here: Mallory Haunting

space-slug-main-image_258e5c1b.jpegStation 331 –  Think of a space station on a deserted moon with three women. One day, a weird creature comes by and Carly decides to poke it. What happens next needs to stay in an airlock!

Mannering house – Decided to up my rating just because of that ending) That ending was just brilliant. I love it when a writer does this. I never noticed, but now that I flip back I do see the hints. 😛

Hitchhiker – One of those stories that will make you wonder what ever was the outcome? A woman’s car breaks down in a far away place and as she hikes towards the next town, a shady character in a car with a mummified head and loads of rubbish on the seats offers her a ride. Would you take it?

Your breathing increases, sweat pops out all over your skin, the fine hairs on your arms and neck stand. As a good horror story should, your mind has been messed with.


About the author

Darcy Coates is an Amazon bestseller and award-winning author. She loves haunted houses, ancient graveyards, mysteries and suspense – and her books reflect all of these passions.

She lives on the Central Coast of Australia. When she’s not writing you can usually find her on a bushwalk, spending all day in the library or researching local urban legends.

Her favourite author is Stephen King, but she’s also a fan of Shirley Jackson, Mark Z. Danielewski, Beth Massie and Barbara Michaels.

Darcy co-habitates with three cats and two humans. As much as she would like a fourth cat, she knows that would be treading dangerously close to crazy-cat-lady territory.

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