Halloween: Twenty Spooky Stories

The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson (~ 7,500 words)

The Brazillian Cat by Authur Conan Doyle (~ 8,000 words)

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft (~ 12,000 words)

The Cedar Closet by Lafcadio Hearn (~ 3,750 words)

Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker (~ 4,750 words)

The Furnished Room by O. Henry (~ 2,500 words)

The Haunted Author by Marcus Clarke (~ 1,500 words)

John Charrington’s Wedding by E. Nesbit (~ 3,000 words)

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (~ 3,500 words)

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs (~ 4,000 words)

The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley (~ 5,500 words)

Nerves by Anton Chekhov (~ 1,500 words)

The Night Wire by H. F. Arnold (~ 2,500 words)

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (~ 3,750 words)

Oh Whistle, And I’ll Come To You, My Lad by M.R. James (~ 8,000 words)

The Signalman by Charles Dickens (~ 5,000 words)

Sredni Vashtar by Saki (~ 1,750 words)

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (~ 2,000 words)

A Terribly Strange Bed by Wilkie Collins (~ 6,750 words)

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (~ 6,000 words)

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Update: In the comments, Em asks, “what about Washington Irving?” Ah, yes. Well, I originally drew the line at 10,000 words, but, in the end, couldn’t bring myself omit Call of Cthulhu. Having broken my own rule once, I see no reason not to do so again.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (~ 12,000 words)

And, while we’re at it:

Afterward by Edith Wharton (~ 12,000 words)

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16 comments.

  1. if too lazy to read, listen to the Classic Tales Podcast

  2. DAMN YOU MATT why do you hate my productivity?

  3. So glad you included M.R. James. That story was actually made into a very scary short (if I remember correctly) film. Black and white, beautifully shot. Gorgeous stuff.

  4. WHERE IS STEPHIN KING HE IS THE SCARIEST AUTHER OF ALL THESE. HAVE YOU HEARD OF CARRIE??????????????

  5. The Yellow Wallpaper: Terrifying on so many levels, like Rosemary’s Baby.

  6. And if you’re brutally lazy, check my 10 free public domain scary movies. I think I’m dragging down the IQ around here again…

  7. Great list. Kudos on the M.R. James–”Ghost Stories of an Antiquary” has to be one of the scariest books of all time.

  8. Ooh, great list, but what about Washington Irving?

  9. My pitchers are pretty scary. Especially the ones with the Hummel Figurines having Satanic group sex. Man, I’m so hard right now.

  10. Not Halloween-spooky, but creepy on the same levels as “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Occurrence”– D.H. Lawrence’s “Rocking Horse Winner”.

  11. Great collection of stories, but why does Rob Cockerham have to be the funniest commenter ever? Ever!

  12. Great list, but what about Irving Washington?

  13. Great list, how about Irving Washington though?

  14. I’m loving your list, but what about Flannery O’Connor? Some of the spookiest…

  15. Cast of Amontillado!!

  16. I did my first undergrad research paper on “Afterward.” It stands out in my mind as one of the best-written short stories, of any genre, of all time. The more time I spent studying it the more detail I noticed: the thing is crafted like a house made of cinnabar. It so rocks that you included it.