Don't Turn on the LightsDon’t Turn on the Lights by Cassandra Khaw, Saskia Maarleveld
My rating: 5/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

i read this back in 2017 for my december short story advent calendar, and it was AMAZING! and now, NOW, thanks to tor’s new horror imprint: nightfire, i was able to HEAR cassandra khaw read this amazing take on my second-favorite urban legend*. AND SO CAN YOU!!! it is FREE to listen to, here.

i am reposting my earlier review, with the additional fact i learned from listening to it this morning: cassandra khaw has a dead-sexy growl when she reads**, and even though i don’t really ‘do’ audio, i would listen to that voice read anything. i’m going to make my way through all the other stories up for grabs, and you can, too, here.


Stories are defined by a beginning, a middle, and an end. In more literary circles, people talk about denouements and layers, textures, the way a word can transcend to a synesthetic experience. But at the end of day, it all comes back down to those three things. A beginning, a middle, an end.

You’d be amazed as to how much detail gets lost in between, how a good storyteller can make you forget the bits that don’t make sense.

this story makes me love cassandra khaw even more than i already learned to this year. holy molythis takes my second-favorite urban legend/horror story and twists it again and again, just for fun. and this is just the kind of reworking i like, where you’re given a variant

and then another

and another.

hmmmm, what does that remind me of???

oh, yeah, that.

but this story, good as it is, is not like Clue in any way other than being like a choose-your-own-adventure that does the legwork for you and lets you decide which version you want to retell at your next haunted hayride.

my love for her continues.

read it for yourself here:…

* in the comments section for that review, cassandra khaw actually turned up, vowing to write a version of my FAVORITE urban legend (I am definitely taking that urban legend and trying my twist on it. Just ’cause.). i’m not sure if she ever finished it, but if she has, IF YOU HAVE, DEAR CASSANDRA, i would love a link.

** while i’m still not ruling out that cassandra khaw has a dead-sexy reading growl, the growl narrating THIS story belongs to saskia maarleveld, which is properly credited above and on nightfire’s ‘come sit by the fire’ page, but NOT on the individual story’s page, and i made an ass outta me for sure.

read my book reviews on goodreads

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amazon Disclaimer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including but not limited to,, or,,, or


this feels gauche, but when i announced i was starting a blog, everyone assured me this is a thing that is done. i’m not on facebook, i’ve never had a cellphone or listened to a podcast; so many common experiences of modern life are foreign to me, but i’m certainly struggling financially, so if this is how the world works now, i’d be foolish to pass it up. any support will be received with equal parts gratitude and bewilderment.

To Top