Saturday, October 19, 2013

Scared Yet?

And in continuing with this month’s theme of things to be scared of, I tracked down a bunch of short stories that are both scary and written by the person you least suspect. Don’t worry. They’re not too scary : P.
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?


  1. The Birds by Daphne du Maurier is definitely different from the movie. The ending of the movie was kind of slow and anti-climactic, but I won't reveal how the book ends. The movie used innovative techniques by Hitchcock, but there's nothing like reading the book.

  2. I love those short stories by Roald Dahl. They're all so deliciously creepy. I first read them as a kid after finding them on my parents' bookshelf and thinking they'd be like Willy Wonka. Boy was I in for a shock! I think I had nightmares for weeks.

    1. I love Roald Dahl too! I remember reading "The witches" when I was a child- I had nightmares too, for weeks!

  3. I think the creepiest short story I ever read was "The Cold Equations". I don't seek out horror, and this would be classified as sci fi. But it bothers me still.

  4. Pickman's Model by H.P. Lovecraft is chilling.Most of his stories had a subtle, eerie edge to them.

  5. Totally agree with you on The Birds. To this day, The Fall of the House of Usher still gives me the creeps! :)

  6. Cool Air by H P Lovecraft is chilling as Diane's choice: PICKMAN'S MODEL.

  7. Thanks for the suggestions, will add them to the 'to read' list :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe


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