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10 Must Read Short Stories

Sal Conte

Written by: Paula Limbaugh

Okay, so if you read my reviews you have probably figured out that I am a huge fan of short stories. I love the fact that a good story can be told in so few words and still leave me completely satisfied. Horror stories, of course, are my favorites. You know, a quick read before bedtime and I’m ready to dream the night away. So… here in no particular order is a brief run-down of 10 stories worth reading!

1 Because We Told Her To by Sal Conte 

Sal Conte

Creepy kids are well, CREEPY, to say the least. How someone so little can be so evil is beyond me, but here Conte introduces us to not one, but two nasty little girls who like to get their way. When the babysitter arrived to care for her charges she never dreamed that they would be able to persuade to do what she did. Unspeakably horrific!!

2 Peekers by Kealan Patrick Burke 

Peekers

What could go wrong? An elderly neighbor comes ‘round while you are eating breakfast and says he has a problem with his wife. So, you leave the food behind and go to give him a hand. Hah, if only it were that simple. Burke manages to up the creep factor with descriptive prose that has you imagining only the worse, and no, it doesn’t get better! You’ll be thinking about this story long after you’re done reading. Eerie!

3 The Boy Who Loved Death by Kellie Honaker 

Boy Who Loved Death

A surreal read of a young boy’s obsession with Death. He embraces Death, loves Death, and eventually finds he needs Death for all eternity. Hmm… Tainted love!

4 Buckets F. Paul Wilson

soft-and-others

The poor kids in this tale never had a chance, thanks to Dr. Cantrell. But, it’s Halloween night and time for the spirits to walk freely amongst the living. The doctor will soon find out why all those trick or treaters knocking on his door were carrying buckets! I should note, this story was considered quite controversial when it was first published. Gory!

5 Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk 

Gutted

I couldn’t even begin to imagine the horror of having my child abducted or the joy of having my child found after everyone has given up hope. But, for one father the horror isn’t over it after his daughter comes home it is only just beginning. Chilling!

6 Time Enough at Last by Lynn Venable 

wolds-of-science-fiction

This title may sound familiar and it should… The Twilight Zone television series adapted this story for an episode. Truly, can you imagine being the last living person and the only thing you can to do is to finally read all those books you always wanted to? But, alas, you wear glasses and you know the rest. Horribly heartbreaking!

7 The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery

This is a timeless classic that caused an uproar when it was first published. The story itself speaks volumes about humanity that is true even today. I don’t think I need to recap the tale for you, but if you would like to read it again click the title link for a free pdf of the story. Unnerving!

8 The Outsider by H.P. Lovecraft 

The Outsider

Another classic from the master himself. This is a story of loneliness and seclusion which would be horrible in itself, but then when one realizes why it is nothing short of terrifying. Reality bites!

9 The Pelican Bar by Karen Joy Fowler

What I Didn't See

Imagine being torn from your home and taken to an island where there is no escape except by good behavior. Norah’s parents have had enough of Norah’s antics and erroneously think this is the answer. A hard slap in your face reality check of actions and consequences. Brutal!

10 I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison 

i-have-no-mouth-and-i-must-scream

Ooh, remember all the concerns of a future where the machines take over? WWIII has come and the superpower nations are using computers to fight their battle for supremacy, ah, but imagine if you will a rogue computer who becomes disgusted with humanity and decides to take matters in his (?) own hands. Eye-opening!

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About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

5 Comments on 10 Must Read Short Stories

  1. A great selection of stories here.

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  2. Great list, especially during the holidays when time is short! I just picked up Peekers!

    Like

  3. “The Battering” by Steve Rasnic Tem, originally published in one of Charles L. Grant’s “Shadows” anthologies, is a heartbreaking story I’ve never forgotten. It’s quiet, psychological horror, and the ending packs a devastating impact.

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  4. May I recommend “Stickleybacks” by Rob Rowntree, published on Neverary.com in 2003 (Issue #1)-just search archive.org. It’s about a man who returns to his hometown in Texas where his friends died in an accident. He tried to bring them back with a spell, but it turned out very badly. It is a terrifying story.

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  5. “Stickleybacks” by Rob Rowntree-terrifying short story from 2003 on neverary.com.

    Like

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. 10 Must Read Short Stories | Slattery's Art of Horror Weblog
  2. Reading Links…11/29/16 – Where Genres Collide

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