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Scary Monsters–Some Reads for the Halloween Weekend

October 27, 2012

If I can recommend one horror hidden gem for you to read over the Halloween weekend, I’d recommend you take a look at Karl Edward Wagner’s short story ‘Sticks’.

It’s about a man and his wife who, on a jaunt through the woods, start finding all these strange little constructions consisting of twigs configured in a peculiar manner. Eventually, they stumble upon a house in the middle of the forest constructed out of sticks. They go inside (of course) where they encounter a ghoul in the darkness and then flee.

And then things actually start to get scary.

I love the story for a few reasons. First because it is a finely crafted piece of horror fiction in its own right. But secondly, because it’s a basically a bridge text, linking the Cthulu mythos of Lovecraft to modern creepers like ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘In the Mouth of Madness’. Both of those films (and others) lean on tropes established by Wagner in ‘Sticks’.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, you might try some of these:

  • The Man in the Black Suit– Stephen King
  • Rawhead Rex– Clive Barker
  • Young Goodman Brown– Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • We Ate the Children Last– Yann Martel
  • The Mindworm– C.M. Kornbluth
  • The Open Window– Saki
  • Annabelle Lee– Edgar Allen Poe
  • August Heat– W. F. Harvey
  • The Lottery– Shirley Jackson
  • In a Dim Room– Lord Dunsany
  • In the Middle of the Night– Robert Cormier
  • A Study in Emerald– Neil Gaiman
  • Pickman’s Model– H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Damned Thing– Ambrose Bierce
  • The Willows– Algernon Blackwood
  • Don’t Look Now– Daphne du Maurier

What about you? Got any favorite horror short stories worth sharing?


From → Horror

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