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Scariest short story in the world?!


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Posted on Aug 31, 2013 3:14:07 AM PDT
Luis DeJesus says:
There's a pretty scary one called Body Horror in this book I read recently called To Kindle the Unknown. It is illustrated on the cover. Dunno about scariest, but pretty creepy...To Kindle the Unknown

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2013 5:39:45 PM PDT
Gene Bivins says:
The author is M.R. James, so it's no wonder! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2013 12:44:52 PM PDT
This is just an opinion, but the scariest short story I've ever read is a little gem called "The Mezzotint." I don't remember the author, and I know it was written years ago, but if you can find it, I think you will enjoy the read and remember it well after you've finished.

Posted on Aug 23, 2013 7:43:21 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
I remember Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the famous "Madeline" children's books, wrote a very strange short story titled "Putzi". Not necessarily horrific, but very weird.

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 5:44:24 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
I scared for it to happen in the dark.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2013 3:50:42 PM PDT
Cathytg says:
Todd, I read "Wendigo's Child" as a kid, and it utterly terrified me. WEEKS of fear of the dark.

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 6:05:24 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
The black-and-white illustrated pulp horror magazines were stronger and more graphic than the comic books. I have been searching for one story I remember called "Pressed For Time", from the early Seventies. It may have been in "Eerie"; I dunno. About witchcraft in Puritan New England and being condemned to be slowly crushed by rocks. It MESSED ME UP.

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 1:06:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2013 1:00:03 PM PDT
J. K. Grice says:
When I was a kid in the mid 1970's, we would drive out to Nebraska every summer to visit my grandma. There was this tiny grocery store (aptly named The Midget Market) just down the street from her house. Not long after our arrival, I would high-tail it to The Midget and feast my hungry eyes on all of the pulp monster magazines lining the shelves. I salivated over titles like CREEPY, MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, EERIE, VAMPIRELLA, and other cool stuff I just didn't see back home. I'll never forget one of the magazines that I bought: Eerie #76 (Oogie and the Scroungers!).

EERIE had a recurring pair of boys who were featured in stories from time-to-time, and these two kids were called "THE MOON WEAVERS." They had special psychic abilities and routinely became involved in some sort of spooky adventure. In EERIE #76 there was a story called "The Moon Weavers: Deliver the Child." That story scared the HOLY HELL out of me at the time. I'm sure in part due to the graphic images on the pages.

Briefly, the story is about a man who wants his baby daughter protected from all of the evils of the world. He performs a mysterious conjuring ceremony, summoning a demon called Jaunt from the underworld. The Moon Weavers witness the ceremony, as the Pan-like Jaunt tricks the man into trusting him. Before the demon can strike, the man seals off the boundary between this world and his. In the process, Jaunt's hands are severed at the wrists. Enraged with pain, the demon ravages the man's house before disintegrating. His revenge is complete when he take's the infant's hands for his own! The Moon Weavers narrowly escape......

There was just something deeply disturbing about this story that made me leave the lights on at bed time for awhile. Like I said, the illustrations of the blood, body parts, Jaunt, etc. were quite graphic. Maybe it was more than my 11 year old mind could wrap itself around at the time. You know, it's weird; that story is still scary to me. It never gave me nightmares, but I don't know if I will ever forget it. Funny how the impressions from your childhood can hang in the back of your mind for decades, or even for the rest of your life....

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 3:30:47 PM PDT
Gene Bivins says:
"The Show Goes On," a non-Cthulhuoid, non-Lovecraftian story by Ramsey Campbell, follows a man staying overnight to guard his shop, which has a common wall with an old abandoned theater. Fear of the dark, and things that go bump in the night, one of the most effective Campbell stories I've ever read!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2013 1:03:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2013 1:03:53 PM PDT
I just read that one! One horror group over at Goodreads has been doing short story reads and Afterward was one of them. I thought it was awesome. So awesome, I grabbed the link to post here if anyone is interested in reading it:

http://www.classichorrorstories.com/texts/after.txt

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 11:46:19 PM PDT
Maybe not the scariest ghost story ever, but quite gothic, is Edith Wharton's "Afterward."

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 10:55:10 AM PDT
The scariest short story I ever read was Podolo by L P Hartley. Haunting and so very creepy.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2013 7:25:00 AM PDT
I'm so glad that you liked it! I thought it was awesome. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2013 9:31:20 PM PDT
Nightbreed says:
"Doom City" is the best! I still have a copy I bought in the 80s. It's well worn and well loved.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2013 5:58:39 PM PDT
Nick Jones says:
Finished reading "Doom City". Yikes! The one good thing about a failing memory is getting to rediscover great stories.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2013 5:07:15 PM PDT
I just read the Green Falcon last night. It was a GREAT story. Not horror and not scary, but riveting. Loved it!

Posted on Aug 5, 2013 12:12:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2013 9:46:37 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
RE That Evening Sun (Go Down)

When the story was anthologized later, for "This is My Best" in the 1940s, "Jesus" was softened to "Jubah". Nancy's murder had to have had a profound impact on the decaying Compson family; Faulkner refers to the incident elsewhere.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2013 12:08:26 PM PDT
I just recently re-read Blue World and I just loved it. Pin was great! My favorite from that collection would have to be The Night Calls The Green Falcon (or something close to that). It really was fantastic!

Posted on Aug 3, 2013 7:22:01 AM PDT
Nick Jones says:
I went to one of the used bookstores here to sell some books yesterday. I picked up Robert McCammon's collection, Blue World, which I had owned a number of years ago. I looked at the ToC and found "Pin", which I can't believe I'd forgotten. I'm not going to describe this story, but even if you aren't particularly squeamish, you ARE going to cringe!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2013 2:44:19 AM PDT
Mitz says:
Are the other stories in the anthology any good?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2013 3:24:54 PM PDT
Rick B says:
I agree The Room in the Tower is one of the scariest short stories out there.

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 7:28:54 AM PDT
The scariest short story ever is The Companion by Ramsey Campbell.
Runners-up? - What Happens when you wake up at Night by Michael Marshall, In the Trees by Ramsey Campbell, O Whistle and I'll come to You, my Lad by MR James, Dread by Clive Barker, 1408 by Stephen King, The Hospice by Robert Aickman (brilliant!), The Swords by Robert Aickman.
Read any of these and you'll begin to appreciate real quality in horror writing.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 1:40:58 PM PST
If you can find it, I thought George R. R. Martin's story The Sandkings ROCKED.
I found it to be engrossing and creepy.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 2:17:39 PM PST
spearshake says:
Thanks everyone, I'll have a look through the stories. I also don't find a lot that really scares me. Most horrors I've read lately seem to be either sadistic gore-fests or fantasy escapism. I think it's the ones that get into your head and are closest to home that have the greatest potential to terrorize.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 12:29:38 AM PST
Gene Bivins says:
I just recently read possibly the most horrific story in over 50 years of reading. It's by Michael Shea, titled "The Autopsy." It's about as gory-graphic as anything I've ever read, but with an ingenious plot and an absolutely stunning ending. It's in an old collection edited by David G. Hartwell, "The Color of Evil."
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Discussion in:  Horror forum
Participants:  75
Total posts:  165
Initial post:  Oct 22, 2010
Latest post:  Aug 31, 2013

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