Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FREE Fantastic Horror Stories

I love classic horror fiction, and enjoy tales that can create a mood, setting, and leave you thorougly creeped out within 40 minutes of reading. These are some awesome short stories/novelettes you can download for free!

I'm also highlighting the fact that these are all from ManyBooks. This is a fabulous free ebook site that has all sorts of literature that is available for free download in all kinds of formats. Check it out!

Here are some I'd recommend:

by Charlotte Perkins Stetson

"A journal of the descent into madness of a woman suffering from a ''temporary nervous depression — a slight hysterical tendency.'' Hints throughout the story suggest the woman's problem is the recent birth of her child, insinuating postpartum depression. Confined in an upstairs room to recuperate by her well-meaning but dictatorial and oblivious husband, the yellow wallpaper in the room becomes the focal point of her growing insanity."

I LOVE this story. It creeped me out for the first time when I was in college. Me and a friend actually started 'creeping' around my apartment to mess around with my roommates after we read it together one evening. Read it to know what I mean. (Though this is kind of a hilarious version of it.)

by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

"The novel begins on a ship sailing north of the Arctic Circle, where the captain spots a figure traveling across the ice on a dog sled. This is Victor Frankenstein's creature, and close behind is Dr. Frankenstein himself. Invited onto the boat, the weak and ill Doctor tells the story of his alchemical studies and eventual construction of a man from inanimate matter."

This classic delves into the nature of humanity and what it means to be human. A lot of philosophy runs through this novel.

by H.P. Lovecraft

" The story describes a strange hybrid race, half-human and half an unknown creature that resembles a cross between a fish and a frog, that dwells in the seaside village of Innsmouth (formerly a large town, but lately fallen into disrepair)."

This was my introduction into Lovecraft. The mood and setting in this story are phenomenally done. Very eerie, and Innsmouth is a town that visibly reflects the horrors that affect it. I would also recommend The Call of Cthulu and At the Mountains of Madness to those new to the Cthulu Mythos.

by Edgar Allan Poe

How could you talk about classic horror without mentioning Poe? Here are three of his more famous stories. 

Have fun reading these or any other awesome books you may find on ManyBooks

What classic horror gems would you recommend? 


  1. Oooh, thanks for the tip! I see some Ambrose Bierce and Algernon Blackwood that I will definitely check out, along with some Seabury Quinn (although, sadly, not the 2 classics of his I've been so desperately searching for). 

  2. I read everything creepy I could find when I was a teen, not so much these days - does Minette Walters count?  I find her work absolutely convincing and more creepy as it worms into the mind and suggests more than it says.  I found a copy of an old Alfred Hitchcock collection - stories he gathered by other writers for (as he puts it) : "...young people at the awkward age.  Children who are too lazy to walk but still too young to drive.  Here are nine stories carefully compiled to furnish reading material in  Life's great waiting room where we while away the hours until our drivers' license is issued."

    My favourite as a kid and still: Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons by Walter R. Brooks.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I would say that Minette Walters counts, especially if it "worms into the mind" to reveal something frightening or shocking. In many ways, those kinds of stories are the most horrifying.

    I'm interested in what "Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons" is about. Haven't read it!

  4. I read The Yellow Wallpaper in high school and was thoroughly creeped out.  To this day (20 years later), I STILL cannot paint a room yellow!  :)

  5. Beth- It's amazing how these stories can stick with us if we read them at the right time in our lives! 


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