Something special happens when you take the folklore passed along through the ages and add a supernatural twist. Tradition becomes occult, ceremony shifts to ritual, and warnings turn into whispered dread passed among the trees.
Where most supernatural horror stories focus on the monsters, folk horror hones in on the people. It’s their beliefs that drive the horror, and what those beliefs drive them to do. Not just within their community, but more often, what happens when a newcomer happens stumbles on their territory.
Folk horror is a subgenre that intertwines ancient folklore, eerie landscapes, and unsettling rituals. Folk horror, characterized by its exploration of rural settings, pagan beliefs, and the supernatural, captivates audiences with its haunting narratives that tap into primal fears.
This haunting combination achieves what horror does best: shines a light on the unknown while reminding us that even among people we recognize, we aren’t ever truly safe.
From tales rooted in rural traditions to those weaving eerie connections between the past and present, folk horror anthologies and short stories are a staple of the genre.
If you’re longing to dance in the woods and howl at the moon with creatures long forgotten, we recommend spending some time with these seven folk horror anthologies.
Damnable Tales: A Folk Horror
The Fiends in the Furrows: An Anthology of Folk Horror
Rural isolation. Monstrous rituals. Ceremonies of the arcane. These are some of the themes woven into the nine stories included in this anthology. With a careful balance, each story weighs the modern with the ancient, offering a perfect range of horror for both readers new to folk horror and long-time enthusiasts.
The Gathering Dark: An Anthology of Folk Horror
Deep in the shadows, liminal spaces exist. This is where curses are born and monsters lurk. This collection of folk horror stories by critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling authors shine a harsh light on the terrifying stories made of nightmares
A Walk in a Darker Wood: An Anthology of Folk Horror
Twenty-seven authors and four artists join in the dark woods to bring you a collection of terrifying folk horror stories meant to keep you awake all night long. Dance with Pan, hide from the Dark Mother, and listen to the secrets being carried on the wind.
Lonely Hollows: 15 Tales of Folk Horror
In the shadows of the isolated world, strange beliefs and forgotten gods linger. It’s a place where the old world bleeds into the new. This collection is filled with stories by some of horror’s best writers, exploring the evil lurk in the countryside, mysterious things creep in the swamps, and monsters crawl in the backwoods.
The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror
Folk horror is a relatively new addition the horror genre, but one that is only new in name. Writers have been dabbling in the mysterious elements of the arcane hidden in the wilds for over a century. With the four original authors of the genre serving as the foundation to raise up newer voices. To bring added depth, each story is accompanied by the atmospheric photography of Michael Marshall Smith, tapping into the tradition that what’s dead is never forgotten.
Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga
Deep in the forest, where the trees crowd in darkness, a strange cottage sits obscured in the mist. Bird legs raise it, and a fence of skull surround it. And inside, a guardian resides. Those who come to her may find help—or horror. This stunning collection of stories by the leading voices of women in horror tell the tales of the Baba Yaga.