A veteran bouncer finds himself being followed by a naked man that no one else can see. A woman is left struggling to survive after a bear attack leaves her alone in the wilderness. A writer desperately tries to complete his book while being harassed by a relentless spirit. A poem of warning from a traveling salesman. A young boy disappears after hearing his mother calling to him from the woods and returns later that night acting strangely. This horror anthology features both supernatural and realistic situations that will make you double-check your locks at night. Before you tell yourself that these 15 original stories are just made up, rest assured knowing that one of them is inspired by true events.
Horror After Dark Review
LINGERING THINGS and Other Dark Tales: A Horror Anthology, is a collection of stories by author Dana Noraas. Single author collections–as well as anthologies–are often a hit-or-miss deal for me. In a multi-author anthology, I figure there’s a good chance I’ll like at least half of the tales, with a few stand-outs. However, when you have a book of offerings all written by the same person, the results tend to be more uneven–at least, in my opinion.
Everything–aside from the particular tastes/preferences of the reader–hinges upon this one author. How is their style? Does every story sound the same, or do the themes vary? Do the characters remind you of dozens of others, or are they somewhat unique and imaginative?
This particular book consisted of 15 individual tales, each of varying length and topic. Of these, I rated the vast majority five-stars, based on their style, originality, and the fact that they were able to affect me with occasional shivers, looking over my shoulder, and two stories in particular have me never wanting to venture into my basement again! The rest I rated four-stars, with the exception of only two tales. Of those two, one I simply didn’t “connect with”–my own personal taste. The other felt like a variation of a common theme. To be fair, that one did have its own twists, but they didn’t surprise me particularly.
Overall, I am looking at a solid collection of stories that I would not hesitate to recommend to other horror fans out there. Some personal favorites of mine included:
–“The Lonely”: This one hit all the right emotions. At times almost poetic, it was poignant and deep reaching–making me feel for the characters. “The Lonely dwells in a dark forest made of the shards of shattered hope . . . “
–“Hotel”: The one selection of poetry, this painted a picture that was all TOO real . . . and difficult to banish.
–“Lingering Things”: While I would have loved more explanation on this title piece, there is no denying the dreadful atmosphere that grabs you right from the start and never lets up. This one would make a good start to a novella or novel length book, in my humble opinion.
–“Unrest”: The last, and one of the shortest of the offerings. I felt that its placement in the collection, and the meaning behind it, was the absolute perfect choice.
–“1999”: Wow! Sums this one up in one word. This is one of those stories that carries nearly too much of an element of truth in it. I just couldn’t shake that creeping sensation afterwards! “. . . I don’t have to almost drown to appreciate breathing . . . “
–“Bar Shadows”: These last two tales I’m highlighting are tied for my personal favorites. This inclusion was short and simple, yet genuinely gave me chills that lasted long after I finished it. I can still vividly recall the effectively set atmosphere and each individual scene. (I’ve re-read this one twice so far and have gotten the same feeling each time!)
–“Newton’s Third”: I think the purposeful ambiguity of this story is sheer genius. Told from the point-of-view of kids, this was very effective in conveying the underlying wonder, terror, and fear of their situation directly to the reader. To say this one got under my skin is putting it mildly! “. . . They said that they heard the other voices . . . “
A FANTASTIC collection of tales that makes me look forward to reading more from this author!
About The Author
About Dana Noraas
Dana Noraas was born in rural Pennsylvania where she grew up reading R.L Stine and various children’s horror stories. It was when she moved onto the works of Stephen King she realized she had a desire to write horror herself. In Philadelphia, she studied film for two years at Temple University, writing screenplays for horror movies in her free time before switching majors. She graduated in 2015 with a degree in Strategic Communication and moved to North Carolina, where she currently resides. Her first book “Lingering Things and Other Dark Tales” is the first in a series of 3 horror anthologies.
Dana draws inspiration from true crime documentaries, long walks in the woods with her dog, and things that go bump in the night.