Horror Stories for the Halloween Season

David Kubicek

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NOTE: Here again is the list of some of my favorite horror stories for the Halloween season. I’ve made two changes: I’ve added a short section on humorous horror stories, and I’ve added a link to Bob Rodden’s novelette “Sun Tea,” which, after being out of print for years, was published in digital and paperback versions in 2018.

It is almost an impossible task to make a list of good horror stories because there are legions of them, and there are many authors who aren’t on this list and probably should be. But in the interests of keeping the list manageable, I will only note a few of my favorites. The stories are listed in approximately the order in which they were published, ranging from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in 1820 to “Sun Tea” in 1989.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”by Washington Irving 

This is a well-crafted story by…

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2 responses to “Horror Stories for the Halloween Season

  1. I know it’s a matter of taste, but it would have been nice to see at least one female horror writer somewhere on that list.

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    • Charlotte Gilman’s THE YELLOW WALLPAPER might have fit nicely there, I suppose – but really, a list is a list. You have got to draw on what you are familiar with. True confession here – I have probably got more male horror authors on my shelves than female authors. Does that make me a sexist? I sure hope not.

      I enjoy the work of Nancy Collins (yay, Sonja Blue) and Sara Pinborough. I tried Charlee Jacobs but she just made my head hurt. I found Anne Rice a little too purple-prosey for my liking. Tanith Lee occasionally works for me as well – but I have a bias against British authors. There are always exceptions, of course, but by and large I tend to prefer the work of American authors. I find the tone and mannerism of most Brits a little off-putting.

      But we were talking about female authors.

      Let’s see. Who else have I read?

      Laurell K. Hamilton went way too far overboard in the hot vampire/elf/werewolf sex for my tastes. Nancy Kilpatrick I enjoy and we’ve often worked well together. Ellen Datlow has created some amazing work. Mary Sangiovanni is solid as well. Yvonne Navarro’s AFTERAGE was fucking brilliant. Mary Shelley created my absolutely favorite monster!

      I know I am missing some. You cannot read everything in this world. You can’t fit every writer on a single list. And, as you mentioned, this is a matter of taste. Some people love some authors that other people don’t.

      If you’d like to come up with a list of your ideas of authors you think we missed on this list I’d be happy to cross-blog it here. We all speak and read in different tongues and all voices should be heard.

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