The Sandman by E. T. A. Hoffmann. If that name isn’t familiar, he wrote The Nutcracker. He’s not an English writer so it’s a translation, but I think it’s a good one. It’s the longest story I have here, but it’s worth it.
The Birds by Daphne du Maurier. Absolutely nothing like the movie. It takes place in England, the main character is a middle aged man with a family—if you’ve read REBECCA, you know what you’re getting into here.
A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. The horror of this story isn’t fully realized until the end, but it’s skillfully foreshadowed. Like most of Faulkner’s work, it’s full of bitterness and heartbreak, but in this it’s taken to an extreme conclusion, hence the classification as horror.
The Landlady by Roald Dahl. Yes, that Roald Dahl. Like most of the stories here, it’s not straight up horror, but more subtle, and definitely not like any of his children’s books. The best part is, the scare doesn’t sink in until you’re done with the story and have time to think about it.
Miriam by Truman Capote. I’ve always considered Capote to be a literary writer, but here he flirts with the supernatural. I absolutely love this story, because even if you don’t believe in the supernatural, you can still be afraid of what’s going on here.
So those are the greatest, most unexpected scary stories I’ve found. What about you? What kin dof rare gems have you come across?