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From Shakespeare to Stephen King, writers have long plundered the memory of ghosts past and present to inject fear into the hearts of their readers, and this fault line of human existence has conjured up some of the most memorable moments in English literature.
What are ghosts, if not the dark residue of memory? Their form is shaped by our own, their fears our fears grotesquely inversed. They mirror our own lives—a warning, or a promise, of how things may come to be.
But take them away from the occult and into the realm of the living and they become freakishly sinister, and even familiar. They become the moments that slide between wakefulness and dreaming, that gnaw away at the soul of human experience. From Daniel Knauf’s eerily unsettling and nightmarish horror fable “Bye, Bye Blackbird” to “Flat Pack Pirate”, Sabrina Mahfouz’s slick and chilling tale of domestic paranoia, there’s something to chill even the hardened ghost lover. And if you want your shot of horror laced with a hint of violent realism, we have an exclusive extract from Sam Hawken’s Tequila Sunset to see you through into the morning hours.
It’s been a blast mixing this collection together. We hope the issue disturbs and delights.
Mohsen Shah & Alex Goodwin