Before films, TV and the monster mash, if people wanted to be frightened they needed to find a good storyteller. An accomplished teller of tales amplifies the horror of a story through intimacy; eye contact and inflection personalize the experience: It's just you and the storyteller. At the Book House's annual Halloween event Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
("A Gathering of One Hundred Supernatural Tales"), another old weapon is added to the storyteller's quiver: darkness. Volunteers recite creepy stories one by one in a room filled with candles; at the end of each recitation, a candle is extinguished. The deeper you go into the night, the darker it gets — and what happens when the last candle dies is a mystery that can only be uncovered by surviving the experience. Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai takes place at 7 p.m. tonight at the Book House (7352 Manchester Road, Maplewood; www.bookhousestl.com
). Admission is free.