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Friday, October 28, 2016

Spooky Scary Short Stories

I'm going to do something a little different today.
Our poll this month is to decide (among your write in nominations) what is the best horror novel/novella. I hope you take a moment to pop over there and give the poll your opinion.

However, a couple of you nominated short stories and I didn't take the nominations because I want to do something kind of special for short stories.

Short stories and horror are a particularly effective mix. The brevity lends itself to our human nature to be more afraid of what we don't see than what we do. Characters' flaws show through more intensely. And of course the author is less afraid to have a brutal twist or a terrible outcome. The conceits play out faster. Not that a novel has never scared me, but what consistently gets under my skin the most has always been shorter works.

So what I want to do is form a collection of really great horror shorts. I will keep editing this post to add more and more and more great horror short stories to the bottom of the post.

If you can't find your story online, just name it (and the anthology or book it's in if you know that information) and I'll put it at the bottom of the list. If you can find your story online, put the title and a URL and I will keep coming back here and adding more to the list periodically throughout the weekend.

One caveat: I am but a mere mortal human. I can't put up a thousand people's list of their best 30 scary short stories. So, much like our nomination process for polls, I am limiting each user to TWO stories.

And of course, if you have a few minutes....enjoy!

The Fall of the House of Usher E.A. Poe
The Pit and the Pendulum E.A. Poe
The Monkey's Paw W.W. Jacobs
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge A. Bierce
The Veldt R. Bradbury


  1. Masque of the Red Death, Poe

  2. Hmm... this may be pushing it as on the humorous side of horror... and is a poem... but does have some scary and creepy bits. Feel free to disallow on either of the above grounds :) Tam O'Shanter by Robert Burns.


    Couple of my favourite bits...

    The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
    The rattling showers rose on the blast;
    The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd
    Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
    That night, a child might understand,
    The De'il had business on his hand.


    And in an instant all was dark:
    And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
    When out the hellish legion sallied.

  3. The Easthound by Nalo Hopkinson http://www.baen.com/Chapters/9781597804608/9781597804608___8.htm

  4. Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt" is a classic.
    As an aside, here's a small collection of stories from a Super Short Scary Stories subreddit, they're quite good. https://www.scoopwhoop.com/world/short-scary-stories-reddit/