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Ten Short Horrors

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Think of this as my Halloween contribution. For the last several years, I have celebrated Halloween not by Trick-or-Treating, not by gorging myself with candy, but by reading collections of horror stories, mostly those published by Dover Publications. I find that the best works of horror fiction are usually not the longest (sorry, Stephen King), but either short stories or novellas.

Here is a list of ten of my favorites, in order of publication:

  • Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the red Death” (1842)
  • J S Le Fanu, “Carmilla” (1871)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Body Snatcher” (1884)
  • Henry James, “The Turn of the Screw” (1898)
  • Bernard Capes, “An Eddy on the Floor” (1899)
  • W W Jacobs, “The Monkey’s Paw” (1902)
  • Arthur Machen, “The White People” (1904)
  • Algernon Blackwood, “The Willows” (1907)
  • M R James, “Casting the Runes” (1911)
  • H P Lovecraft, “The Colour Out of Space” (1927)

Happy Halloween, and Boo!


5 thoughts on “Ten Short Horrors

  1. That’s a great list! I’ve read seven of them. I know I haven’t read Capes’ “An Eddy on the Floor.” I have read some by Arthur Machen, but I don’t remember if “The White People” was one of them. I’m not certain about M.R. James’ “Casting the Runes” either.

    Blackwood’s “The Willows” is my all-time No 1 favorite horror story.

    Two I would add to your list are M. R. James’ “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” and Oliver Onions’ “My Beckoning Fair One.”

    I’ll have took around for the Capes’ tale and, if I can find my copies of the collections by James and Machen,

  2. I see that he has a number of short story collections. Is there one that you would recommend? Which collection do you have or are you getting the stories off the Net?

  3. Two of Capes’s stories — “The Green Bottle” and “An Eddy on the Floor” — can be found in Hugh Lamb (ed.), Tales from a Gas-Lit Graveyard ISBN 0-486-43429-X.

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