Download a Free, New Halloween Story by Neil Gaiman (and Help Charities Along the Way)

We’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured the free, down­load­able sto­ries and nov­els by author Neil Gaiman avail­able online in video, audio, and text for­mat. This is a won­der­ful thing, to be sure; Gaiman’s a fan­tas­tic writer of dark fan­ta­sy for chil­dren and adults alike, so who bet­ter to inau­gu­rate this year’s Hal­loween cel­e­bra­tions with a new free sto­ry, avail­able for down­load through and read by Neil him­self?

Gaiman’s new sto­ry, enti­tled “Click-Clack the Rat­tle­bag,” is creepy, for sure, but that’s all I’m going say about it. You’ll need to down­load it your­self to find out more, and you real­ly should because for every down­load of the sto­ry, Audi­ble has agreed to donate a dol­lar to one of two char­i­ties that Neil has chosen—one for the U.S. and one for the U.K.. Gaiman has more infor­ma­tion on his per­son­al web­site, where he describes his nego­ti­a­tions with Audi­ble in set­ting up the dona­tions and the process of record­ing the sto­ry. He writes:

The sto­ry is unpub­lished (it will be pub­lished in a forth­com­ing anthol­o­gy called Impos­si­ble Mon­sters, edit­ed by Kasey Lans­dale and com­ing out from Sub­ter­ranean Press). It’s fun­ny, a lit­tle bit, and it’s scary, just enough for Hal­lowe’en, I hope.

Gaiman also has a few requests: first, you need to down­load the sto­ry by Hal­loween in order to make the dona­tion; sec­ond, please don’t give the sto­ry away—encourage peo­ple to go down­load it for them­selves; and last­ly, “wait to lis­ten to it until after dark.” Atmos­phere mat­ters.

You do not need an Audi­ble account to down­load the sto­ry, but you do need to give them your email address to prove you’re a human. U.S. read­ers should go to and U.K. read­ers to (Gaiman pro­vides no instruc­tions for read­ers in oth­er coun­tries; I sup­pose they could go to either site). So don’t wait—help Audi­ble raise mon­ey for some wor­thy edu­ca­tion­al char­i­ties and get in the spir­it with some great new fic­tion from one of the most imag­i­na­tive writ­ers work­ing today. Final­ly, if you’re look­ing for more scary reads this Hal­loween, down­load Gaiman’s “All Hal­low’s Read” book rec­om­men­da­tions in a .pdf.

Note: Do you want to lis­ten to oth­er free audio books by Neil Gaiman? Just head over to and reg­is­ter for a 30-day free tri­al. You can down­load any audio­book for free. Then, when the tri­al is over, you can con­tin­ue your Audi­ble sub­scrip­tion, or can­cel it, and still keep the audio book. The choice is entire­ly yours. And, in full dis­clo­sure, let me tell you that we have a nice arrange­ment with Audi­ble. When­ev­er some­one signs up for a free tri­al, it helps sup­port Open Cul­ture.

Final­ly, we also sug­gest that you explore our col­lec­tion of 450 Free Audio Books. It’s loaded with great clas­sics.

Josh Jones is a doc­tor­al can­di­date in Eng­lish at Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty and a co-founder and for­mer man­ag­ing edi­tor of Guer­ni­ca / A Mag­a­zine of Arts and Pol­i­tics.

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Comments (4)
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  • Ava says:

    Thanks for find­ing the sto­ry! I love Neil Gaiman.

    Just thought I’d men­tion, though, that the “All Hal­low’s Read” link is bro­ken.

  • Dan Colman says:

    Thanks Ava for the heads up.

    The link is now cor­rect!

  • Peta says:

    The sto­ry is not autho­rised for “sale” in Aus­tralia.

  • laura says:

    I did try to down­load the sto­ry, but it does seem to require either an Audi­ble or Ama­zon account. I tried via Ama­zon, but bailed when it asked me to con­firm my address infor­ma­tion. Why would it ask for my address again when Ama­zon already has it?

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