Here at Atlas Obscura, there’s nothing we love more than sinking our teeth into some blood-chilling tales. Give us swamp monsters and witch caves any day, truly any day. We don’t want to have to wait around till Halloween for an excuse to delve into spine-tingling stories. So as the days grow longer and the flowers bloom, we cling to the shadows offered by some of our favorite seasonal scares. This is the Rites of Spring.

As the sun beats down, we’ll travel to the jungles of Sri Lanka teeming with illness-causing demons, Kenya’s grasslands where possessed “night runners” tear through the dark, and Australia’s outback where sharp-clawed creatures devour children whole. You’ll learn about Tennessee’s shape-shifting Bell Witch, Patagonia’s long-necked cryptid, Norway’s evil violin-playing water spirit, and much, much more.

As fires roar and flower-crowned May Queens dance in ancient festivals, we at Atlas Obscura celebrate the only way we know how—by sharing some startling tales. We hope you’ll join us as we uncover just what horrors lurk in the dark, even in this season of lengthening days.