Sometimes a writer of what’s often unfairly called “genre fiction” completely transcends that genre. John le Carré wrote spy novels, and yet his George Smiley series and “A Perfect Spy,” to name a few, were among the most fully realized and enjoyable novels of their moment. The same goes for Stephen King and the genres of horror and the supernatural.

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The days before Halloween are a good time to revisit the realm of the spooky, and, this week, we bring you a collection of eerie seasonal stories. We begin with King’s “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French,” in which a woman experiences a shiver of déjà vu on a visit to Florida with her husband. In “The Bog Girl,” Karen Russell depicts a young Irish boy who discovers the remains of a girl who died two thousand years ago. In “All Aunt Hagar’s Children,” Edward P. Jones tells the tale of a man haunted by his past as he tries to solve a lingering murder mystery. “A Shinagawa Monkey,” one of Haruki Murakami’s greatest works of short fiction, describes a young woman who receives alarming information about her life from an unlikely source. And, finally, a story that you may have first encountered in a tattered anthology in school: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” a tale as haunting and relevant today as it was when it was first published, in the pages of The New Yorker, in 1948.

David Remnick


That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French

“There were ordinary miracles; there were also ordinary ghosts. You found these things out as you got older.”

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People in a field.

The Lottery

“The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions; most of them were quiet, wetting their lips, not looking around.”

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A photograph of parents and child

All Aunt Hagar’s Children

“As soon as I stepped through the dream door the dead white woman was waiting for me.”

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A close up of a macaque's face

A Shinagawa Monkey

“A life without a name, she felt, was like a dream you never wake up from.”

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An illustration of a muddy bog

The Bog Girl

“She had been killed, and now her smile seemed even more impressive to him, and he wanted only to protect her from future harm.”

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