10+ Short Scary Stories You Definitely Don’t Want To Read Alone

Deirdre Kaye
·7 mins read

Fall is practically on our doorstep and you know what that means. There are plenty of cold, dreary evenings ahead. We don’t know about you, but we think the best way to fill those evenings is by sipping on some Pumpkin Spice Latte or hot cocoa and reading. Of course, between working from home during a global pandemic and taking care of kids, we’re finding less and less time to enjoy entire books. All our other friends finished Where The Crawdads Sing months ago and, while we love it, we’re still on the second chapter. Novels just don’t fit into many moms’ lifestyles. Short stories, though? Those work perfectly!

We sneak quick reads while waiting for our grocery pickup or on our rare outings alone to Starbucks. We also, occasionally get to enjoy a short story or two during a rare post-bedtime bath. While we spent our summer lost in “trashy romance” and erotic literature, autumn is meant for something entirely different. It’s time to turn up the spook-factor.

These short, scary stories are written by some world-renowned writers. They’re quick, creepy and sure to make your heart race whether it’s Halloween season or not. What more could you want during a candlelit rainy-day soak in the tub after spending all day entertaining your kiddos with fall activities?

1. “Lacrimosa” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“The woman is a mound of dirt and rags pushing a squeaky shopping cart; a lump that moves steadily, slowly forward, as if dragged by an invisible tide. Her long, greasy hair hides her face but Ramon feels her staring at him.” Continue…

2. “The Body-Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson

“Every night in the year, four of us sat in the small parlour of the George at Debenham—the undertaker, and the landlord, and Fettes, and myself. Sometimes there would be more; but blow high, blow low, come rain or snow or frost, we four would be each planted in his own particular arm-chair.” Continue…

3. “The Lady Of The House Of Love” by Angela Carter

“At last the revenants became so troublesome the peasants abandoned the village and it fell solely into the possession of subtle and vindictive inhabitants who manifest their presences by shadows that fall almost imperceptibly awry, too many shadows, even at midday, shadows that have no source in anything visible; by the sound, sometimes, of sobbing in a derelict bedroom where a cracked mirror suspended from a wall does not reflect a presence; by a sense of unease that will afflict the traveller unwise enough to pause to drink from the fountain in the square that still gushes spring water from a faucet stuck in a stone lion’s mouth. A cat prowls in a weedy garden; he grins and spits, arches his back, bounces away from an intangible on four fear-stiffened legs. Now all shun the village below the chateau in which the beautiful somnambulist helplessly perpetuates her ancestral crimes.” Continue…

4. “The Landlady” By Roald Dahl

“Billy Weaver had travelled down from London on the slow afternoon train, with a change at Swindon on the way, and by the time he got to Bath it was about nine o’clock in the evening and the moon was coming up out of a clear starry sky over the houses opposite the station entrance. But the air was deadly cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice on his cheeks.” Continue…

5. “Abraham’s Boys” by Joe Hill

“Maximilian searched for them in the carriage house and the cattle shed, even had a look in the springhouse, although he knew almost at first glance he wouldn’t find them there. Rudy wouldn’t hide in a place like that, dank and chill, no windows and so no light, a place that smelled of bats. It was too much like a basement. Rudy never went in their basement back home if he could help it, was afraid the door would shut behind him, and he’d find himself trapped in the suffocating dark.” Continue…

6. “Patient Zero” by Tananarive Due

“September 19
The picture came! Veronica tapped on my glass and woke me up, and she held it up for me to see. It’s autographed and everything! For you, Veronica mouthed at me, and she smiled a really big smile. The autograph says, TO JAY—I’LL THROW A TOUCHDOWN FOR YOU. I couldn’t believe it. Everybody is laughing at me because of the way I yelled and ran in circles around my room until I fell on the floor and scraped my elbow. The janitor, Lou, turned on the intercom box outside my door and said, “Kid, you gone crazier than usual? What you care about that picture for?”” Continue…

7. “The Signal-Man” by Charles Dickens

““Halloa! Below there!”
When he heard a voice thus calling to him, he was standing at the door of his box, with a flag in his hand, furled round its short pole. One would have thought, considering the nature of the ground, that he could not have doubted from what quarter the voice came; but instead of looking up to where I stood on the top of the steep cutting nearly over his head, he turned himself about, and looked down the Line. There was something remarkable in his manner of doing so, though I could not have said for my life what. But I know it was remarkable enough to attract my notice, even though his figure was foreshortened and shadowed, down in the deep trench, and mine was high above him, so steeped in the glow of an angry sunset, that I had shaded my eyes with my hand before I saw him at all.” Continue…

8. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

“The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took only about two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner.” Continue…

9. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

“True! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed –not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily –how calmly I can tell you the whole story.” Continue…

10. “The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains” by Neil Gaiman

“You ask me if I can forgive myself? I can forgive myself for many things. For where I left him. For what I did. But I will not forgive myself for the year that I hated my daughter, when I believed her to have run away, perhaps to the city. During that year I forbade her name to be mentioned, and if her name entered my prayers when I prayed, it was to ask that she would one day learn the meaning of what she had done, of the dishonour that she had brought to my family, of the red that ringed her mother’s eyes.” Continue…

11. “The Call Of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” Continue…

See the original article on ScaryMommy.com