“No-one knew where the toy had come from…”
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Surreal, Horror, Age: Children’s+
Released: 5th October 2009 (UK Version)
A short story in this anthology, that looks at a eerie toy in a mansion.
A group of four young siblings are terrified and won’t go near the Jack-in-the-Box. Stories are made up about how he got trapped in the box, and what kind of creature he is.
Warning! May contain spoilers!
The four siblings sleep-walk to the nursery at night and one-by-one are corrupted by the toy. Later in life, two of them die but it’s unknown whether Jack is behind it. The other two refuse to visit the house because of their own fears. Meanwhile Jack waits for them.
Overall, amazingly, for a story that’s just three pages long, it has the power to seep into your brain. The plot is very simple, and although the story spans from childhood to old age for the children, the main focus is on the un-aging Jack.
It reminded me of Jane Eyre, being about siblings raised together. It has a aged feeling to it, and a quiet simplistic horror.
Rated – 2/5 Daily dose of horror.