A Halloween Treat for Grownups

With Halloween season well underway, it’s time to give some props to good old-fashioned ghosts, who’ve been sorely neglected amid all the vampires and zombies devouring the popular imagination. Yes, AMC’s zombielicious  series The Walking Dead returns  on Sunday, and I’ve already DVR’d it, but I don’t think you can top a classic haunting courtesy of O. Henry, Mark Twain, Joyce Carol Oates, Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, or Willa Cather.

The Big Book of Ghost Stories, a doorstopper edited by Otto Penzler, brings together all those authors—and many more—for a total of 75 supernatural tales. Haunted mansions?  Check. Lovers from beyond the grave? Check. Playful poltergeists?  Check, check, check, complete with delightful illustrations. My favorite opener is by the late mystery writer Donald E. Westlake: “It’s hard not to believe in ghosts when you are one.”

So let the kids get giddy on candy corn and Snickers minis: This is a treat for adults. (And if you consume it with a pound of corn-syrup-sugar -bombs, we won’t tell a soul.)

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.