Is This a Horror Story?

In my introduction to this piece, published in the Fall of 1989, about a couple who find something disturbing hidden in their house, I wrote:

“This story marked a turning point for me, in that it grew out of my disgust with what is traditionally called a horror story. I am tired of the mythic monsters traditionally used (or should I say, the monsters are themselves tired myths from being overused) and this grew out of my search for something new.

“I have been asked a number of times—is this piece fiction? Or is it non-fiction? I always answer that I don’t know. I never do.”

Pulphouse was an interesting publishing experiment, in that it was a magazine in book form. The reason that this cover isn’t entirely legible is because all of the type is embossed in red foil on a pebbled stock. (It looks great on the book itself, though.)

This story was chosen to appear in Quick Chills II, a collection of the best short stories of the previous year, and then the 1997 anthology 100 Fiendish Little Frightmares. It was also collected in These Words Are Haunted.

And if you’re in a listening rather than reading mood, you can hear a podcast of “Is This a Horror Story?” over at Pseudopod.