Edited by Michael Knost
The depth and darkness of the coalmine has been described as the blackest of black, the loneliest of lonely, and the coldest of cold. American miners have tunneled the earthâ€™s bowels for the black diamond since the early 1700s, and unexplained tales of ghosts and specters have made their way to the surface with nearly every load of anthracite.
An eerie collection of coal camp stories from some of the horror genreâ€™s finest storytellers, Specters in Coal Dust will leave you cold, lonely, and gasping for air.
â€œThen in the trees on the mountain-side of the property, she could hear a breeze picking up, but after only a few seconds she knew it wasnâ€™t wind at all, but breathing, difficult breathing, from lungs that never could get enough air. Dark figures appeared in the spaces between scattered trees, carrying lanterns that did nothing to illuminate them.â€ â€” from Steve Rasnic Temâ€™s "Old Men on Porches."
Stories and Contributors:
In the Valley of Love and Delight, Gary A. Braunbeck
Breathe My Name, Christopher Golden
Holding the Line, Tom Piccirilli
Old Men on Porches, Steve Rasnic Tem
Something You Need to Know, Elizabeth Massie
The Fall of the Mountain King, Lee Thomas
Anniversary, Ronald Kelly
Centralia Is Still Burning, Bev Vincent
The Shoogling Jenny, William Meikle
A Sprinkling of Ashes, Nate Southard
Riding the Bull Moose Special, Joshua Reynolds
A Hymn for Celia, Barbara Jo Fleming
Pushing Coal, Michael Bracken
The Hungry Earth, Brian J. Hatcher
â€œAs a boy, Tommy had told his dad to be careful down there, worried that if they dug too deep, the miners might break through into Hell. His mother had still been making him go to church in Wheeling every Sunday back then, and Hell presented a special terror for him. His father and the other miners would come back with their clothes caked with black dust, faces painted with the same crap that filled their saliva when theyâ€™d spit, and Tommy worried they might one day encounter demons down there.â€ â€” from Christopher Goldenâ€™s "Breathe My Name."