Stephen Graham Jones, Raphael. This wasn’t a tale or author I’d ever heard of before digging into some classic story collections, but holy moly did it leave an indelible impression on me. He wrote within horror, but featured strange, alien-like creatures and blurry mythologies (versus well-crafted and tightly-conceived backstories). Some of them happened in the past some are happening in the present, and some of them feels like a first hand experience of the author. This paw supposedly grants three wishes to its owner — a claim that’s jokingly rebuffed by the Whites and their son. (, Lovecraft was a master of “weird fiction”; he’s even credited with establishing the sub-genre of that name. Bierce’s frontier-like voice is unique in short stories, especially within this horror/supernatural genre. The horror short story can be a quick shock, a twist with teeth, or a quiet chill, a slow build to a moment of ineffable unease. Oscar Cook – His Beautiful Hands (1931) “Mr A”, a celebrated concert violinist, is irresistibly drawn to a Paulina, a Javanese manicurist, who cares for his fingers like no one else. And so that becomes how you as the reader feel as well, which leaves you with a twisted feeling about what just happened. Where as many of these others are pretty Victorian, Bierce wrote with a uniquely American pen. The ship is fogbound, surrounded by icebergs. In Stevenson’s fictional tale, two older doctors run into each other and come to remember their time as students under a notorious professor. Where there are alienated teenagers there will be novelists not far behind. He wrote within horror, but featured strange, alien-like creatures and blurry mythologies (versus well-crafted and tightly-conceived backstories). What’s striking about Branch Line to Benceston is not just its uncanny sense of the possibility of living two different lives in two different realities at the same time, but also its contemporary postwar setting of city commuters and Green Belt suburbanisation. The Art of Manliness participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links. Maybe the last part of the series isn't the best one, but the whole series deserves the readers attention. Short story collections are typically like boxes of candy. Yet, as with any good haunted house story, the suspense is less with the ghosts themselves than with the psychological terror which permeates the walls of a dark, creepy home. When you buy through the links on our site we may earn a commission. 35 best horror books: the scariest books of all time, Best Stephen King novels, ranked: scariest King books revealed, Best coming-of-age novels: great books about growing up, Best Black Friday deals 2020: early Black Friday deals and more, The best gifts for her: fantastic Christmas ideas revealed. So be aware of the long-dead fingers upon your ankle! It’s admittedly not a particularly scary story — it’s more about intuition than the macabre — but it’s classic Dickens, and provides a bit of a shock ending. Harvey’s startling little masterpiece is the best story of its kind. There was one story that I quite enjoyed, however, which was “The Outsider.” A shadowy, unnamed individual has been residing in a castle for his entire waking memory of life. Best Horror Short Stories Great scary horror short stories. When you were a child, a teacher perhaps assigned you to read Edgar Allen Poe’s The Telltale Heart or Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, or a ghost story with a title you can no longer remember, but you’ll never forget how it made you feel. Do you feel that ghost stories became boring lately? He goes for a walk, and finds himself at the workplace of a monumental mason. Kaaron’s story is genuinely keep-you-up-at-night creepy, but what makes it linger are the ripples and after affects not only for Stuart, the mine collapse survivor, but for his loved ones and the community. I read a couple dozen of Bierce’s stories and the most impactful, without a doubt, were those contained in his. Below you’ll find 10 of my favorite classic tales of the macabre. In this horror short, a father and son must come to terms with their tumultuous history, devastating family loss, and a past that will not stay buried. You must have a goodreads account to vote. Here’s Paul's choice of scary stories, in his own words. Aickman was a magnificent writer of short fiction at its most unsettling and uncanny – in the Freudian sense of not being at home with oneself. Most of his stories just weren’t really in my wheelhouse. Sir Andrew Caldecott – Branch Line to Benceston (1947) A London music publisher travels by train to a non-existent seaside resort called Benceston, where he kills his hated business partner, and is found guilty of murder. As he is shown the way to the post road, he hears the tragic story of a mail coach accident nine years previously, in which all six people on board were killed. His short story was featured in Wattpad’s Top Horror stories reading list. Out of the night, he sees a mail coach coming . The characters and plot line found in this story mirror the real-life body-snatching phenomenon of the early and mid-1800s, in which freshly interred bodies were often stolen from graveyards for the purpose of being sold to medical schools as dissection samples. While the supernatural elements found in his non-war stories can certainly elicit fear, the realistic nature of the fictional Civil War stories only adds to their horror. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our. On board the ship, he meets people who remind him of other people: a travelling companion who looks like a woman he met at the hospital; a doctor who looks like his father. Then they start to rot. This is a seriously nasty and perverse little number. He keeps hearing the same piece of music over and over again. Mid Harvest Road: Jacob Kearns Series, Part I, From Beyond the Grave: A Collection of 19 Ghostly Tales, Enter At Your Own Risk: Fires and Phantoms, Someone Wicked: A Written Remains Anthology. MS Waddell – The Little Girl Eater (1964) A man is trapped by a falling girder under a pier on a beach. While the supernatural elements found in his non-war stories can certainly elicit fear, the realistic nature of the fictional Civil War stories only adds to their horror. Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes. Conrad Aiken’s dazzlingly literary story is in a tradition of metaphysical sea-stories, from Poe to Melville to Conrad. Lovecraft is the most verbose writer in horror genre, his sentences run on for half a page at times, but the imigiary world he created is unique and scary as hell. A story guaranteed to get both your pulse and mind racing. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. He writes the ending that is the truth as he sees it. , he did also contribute a few short stories, one of which has endured and is often found in fright-filled anthologies. Ichabod Crane is competing for the hand of the daughter of a wealthy farmer. Insomniacs, she is told, are unearthly and mysterious, and often seem to acquire foresight; they are like trolls, like lost souls, like witches, like vampires. For good reason. As a reader, you’re wondering the whole time: Are these “ghosts” real? It’s a strong contender for the scariest story ever written. Part of their duties included taking receipt of bodies, but eventually things took an even darker turn when corpses started showing up under rather suspicious circumstances. A group of outsider kids (“We’re the only ones … It’s easy to forget, in fact, that A Christmas Carol is rife with ghosts, and it’s actually a slightly scarier story than the innocent adaptations you usually see come the holidays. What does this mean to the average reader? Author’s Description. Paul Tremblay's chilling new short story collection Growing Things is published by Titan Books and will be released on 2nd of July. list created May 10th, 2011 She travels to Sweden on a business trip with her husband, where she finds herself staying overnight at the Kurhus, a sanitorium for insomniacs, some of whom have not slept for years (there is a young girl who has never slept in her life). Oscar Cook – His Beautiful Hands (1931) “Mr A”, a celebrated concert violinist, is irresistibly drawn … You’ll feel like washing your hands afterwards – but maybe it’s best not to. Rather against her better judgement, she stops the car and decides to climb the tower.