Boo! Ready for another time-honored season of scaring the wits out of ourselves? Here is a classic list of short and scary stories to put you in the holiday spirit, because everyone knows life's no fun without a good scare. These are the top ten goriest, creepiest, spookiest short stories to put you in a Halloween mood. The best part of all is that you can read or listen to every one of these short stories for free online (Links to each of the reads are within the list below) and likely hunt down even more frightening tales to peak your interest. Happy hunting, happy Halloween, and here is the list!
1. "The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe
What's a perfect spooky short story list without some Poe? The ultimate creator of creepy tails "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a psychological thriller that will keep you up at night— staring at your door.
2. "The Terrible Old Man," H. P. Lovecraft
In this eerie tale a wealthy recluse is preyed upon by a group of robbers. In this minimalist piece, the suspense and eeriness is found in the details that aren't written.
3. "Bluebeard," Charles Perrault
In the spirit of Halloween, I'm throwing a fairy tale into the mix. Charles Perrault's rendition of "Bluebeard" is one of the best campfire spookers. , old Halloween scare list isn't complete without this classic tale!
4. "The Monkey's Paw," W. W. Jacobs
In this dark piece of fiction the White family gain a magic monkey's paw that grants the owner three wishes, but those wishes come with them a harrowing price…
5. "A Ghost Story," Mark Twain
Mark Twain writes a surprising haunting based on the Cardiff Giant, a 19th century hoax in which a petrified giant was buried for others to "find" later on.
6. "Graves and Goblins," Nathaniel Hawthorn
This charming short story is told from the perspective of a ghost.
7. "A Rose For Emily," William Faulkner
When Miss Emily Grierson dies the narrator recalls everything that the community knows about the aristocratic recluse. This suspenseful Southern Gothic is a treat.
8. "The Veldt," Ray Bradbury
Lions and evil children and killer robots, oh my! If you enjoy sci-fi with your horror this little short story is the perfect mix of both.
9. "Afterward," Edith Wharton
Here's a story about greed, retribution, and a mysterious ghost. It's said that there is a ghost at Lyng, but one would never know of it until long afterward.
10. "The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow," Washington Irving
Irving's chilling classic is last but not least on the list of short stories to read this October. There's no way this list would be complete without the legend of one of Halloween's most infamous characters: The Headless Horseman.