🎧 Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson

October 28th, 2021 Kimberly Review 14 Comments

28th Oct

Narrated by Kirsten Potter, Kimberly Farr, Karissa Vacker and Mark Deakins with a forward from Ottessa Moshfegh, Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson shares a deliciously dark collection of some of her scariest stories. Grab some hot cocoa and your flashlight for these spooktacular tales.

🎧 Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson
Dark Tales
by Shirley Jackson
Narrator: Kimberly Farr, Karissa Vacker, Mark Deakins, Kirsten Potter
Length: 6 hours and 30 minutes
Genres: Horror
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

For the first time in one volume, a collection of Shirley Jackson's scariest stories, with a foreword by PEN/Hemingway Award winner Ottessa Moshfegh

After the publication of her short story 'The Lottery' in the 'New Yorker' in 1948 received an unprecedented amount of attention, Shirley Jackson was quickly established as a master horror storyteller. This collection of classic and newly reprinted stories provides readers with more of her unsettling, dark tales, including the 'The Possibility of Evil' and 'The Summer People'. In these deliciously dark stories, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the crumbling country pile, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods. There's something sinister in suburbia.

For more than 70 years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers and listeners trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


While I have read each of these shorts at one time or the other, this collection is perfect for a fall listen. From the stellar narrations provided by Kirsten Potter, Kimberly Farr, Karissa Vacker, and Mark Deakins to the perfect forward provided by Ottessa Moshfegh. They skillfully set the tone and making this audio collection a keeper.

I was going to review each story but fear giving things away. Jackson’s stories share mundane events as she skillfully turns them on end. So I have rated the whole audiobook and given you at least a coffee cup rating of each story. As is typical in a collection, I loved some, scratched my head at others and enjoyed the rest.

The Collection Includes the following shorts:

  • The Possibility of Evil – 3 cups
  • Louisa, Please Come Home- 4.5 cups
  • Paranoia- 5 cups
  • The Honeymoon of Mrs Smith- 3 cups
  • The Story We Used to Tell – 3 cups
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – 3 cups
  • Jack the Ripper – 3.5 cups
  • The Beautiful Stranger- 4 cups
  • All She Said Was Yes – 4 cups
  • What a Thought – 3.5 cups
  • The Bus- 5 cups
  • Family Treasures – 3 cups
  • A Visit – 3.5 cups
  • The Good Wife- 5 cups
  • The Man in the Woods – 4 cups
  • Home – 5 cups
  • The Summer People- 4.5 cups

Creepy tales from a runaway who returns home and isn’t recognized by her own parents to the fear of being followed. This collection has something for everyone. Shirley Jackson is the queen of creeptastic tales from her best-known tale of the Lottery (which still gives me nightmares) to the creepy story of The Haunting of Hill House. Her tales pull you in and hold you as you wait for the world to flip from normal to the twisted and haunting.

My favorites were Paranoia, The Bus, Louisa Please Come Home and The Summer People. The stories delve into everything from premonitions to ghosts. Warnings, lessons and a tad unpleasant you’ll want to listen with a friend.

I recommend this to fans of the author, those who enjoy spooky shorts turning mundane daily life into something eerie.

Amazon | Audible

Grab your friends an gather round to listen to Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson. Narrated by Kristen Potter, Kimberly Farr, Karissa Vacker, and Mark Deakins with a forward provided by Ottessa Moshfegh. #horror #Penguinclassics… Click To Tweet

About Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

Shirley Hardie Jackson (December 14, 1916 – August 8, 1965) was an American writer, known primarily for her works of horror and mystery. Over the duration of her writing career, which spanned over two decades, she composed six novels, two memoirs, and more than 200 short stories.

About Kirsten Potter

Kirsten Potter

Kirsten Potter, a graduate of the Boston University School for the Arts, has performed on stage, film, and television, including roles on Medium, Bones, and Judging Amy. An award-winning audiobook narrator, Kirsten has won AudioFile Earphones Awards for her reading of The Snowball by Alice Schroeder and her performance as Barbara in George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara. Her other titles include The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley, Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, Sammy's House by Kristen Gore, and Madapple by Christina Meldrum, which was a Booklist Editors' Choice for Best Audiobook 2008. Kirsten has received recognition from the American Academy of Achievement and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, as well as numerous regional awards.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

14 Responses to “🎧 Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson”

  1. Katherine

    I’m not sure there’s anyone better then Jackson for making the mundane absolutely terrifying. I haven’t read this collection so I must go get it. Thanks for share it!

  2. Sophia Rose

    I saw this on your list and thought you were a brave soul to listen in. 🙂 Glad you got such a wonderful collection of horror shorts.

  3. Lover of Romance

    This sounds so interesting and perfect for this time of year. Sometimes revealing too much can be spoil things for some readers especially with how some stories are written.

  4. Tyler H. Jolley

    I am downloading this today! Thanks for the recommendation, Kimba. I love a thriller this time of year and I’m just about to finish one. I know you enjoy a thriller too, I think you’d love Shari Lapena books. She’s a newer author and she’s awesome. Happy Friday Eve!

  5. Silvia

    Sounds like a creepy collection I should have! Thanks, Kimberly, horror stories fascinates me, so I’ll be sure to grab this Penguin Classic 😀

  6. Lorna

    Really have wonder why The Lottery wasn’t included here but perhaps it’s in another group of stories. I think that’s the only one I remember reading in more than one English class. It terrified me back then. Still vividly remember it. Some horror I really like-Karina Halle’s romantic horror series Experiment in Terror comes to mind-and other times nope. Thank you for sharing.