Classic Tales of Horror

Joyce Carol Oates, editor
Joyce Carol Oates selects and introduces a collection of American gothic stories ranging from the early 19th century up to modern times.
Bram Stoker

This classic vampire novel will hold you in suspense and keep your heart pounding to the very end.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The original story will leave you asking the question, which is the monster-- the creature or its creator?

Various authors

Scary Stories features an all-star lineup of contemporary masters and timeless authors, including H. G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, O. Henry and 17 others. What sets this book apart from all others is Barry Moser's stunning black-and-white illustrations.

Ray Bradbury

Three hours after midnight, one week before Halloween, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show rolls into Green Town, Illinois. A carnival like no other, it feeds on the dreams and weaknesses of those drawn to its eerie attractions, destroying every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. Two boys--best friends Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade--are about to learn the secret of its smoke, mazes and mirrors as they confront a nightmarish evil that will change their lives forever.

H.P. Lovecraft

"A series of major works by the master of the horror genre--including 'The Rats in the Walls' and 'The Dreams in the Witch-House'--showcases his meticulously described and historically grounded style, which became the basis for the modern horror story."

Edgar Allan Poe

"Once upon a midnight dreary..." Enter the world of premature burials, tell-tale hearts, and the conqueror worm if you dare.

Ambrose Bierce
The best from the legendary 19th-century journalist, including stories that still amuse, shock, and entertain. Bierce wrote many horror tales in his career. Look for them here under “Can Such Things Be?”
M.R. James

M.R. James was one of the most accomplished scholars of his generation, a brilliant, internationally known authority on early Christian manuscripts. He was in turn a Fellow, Dean, and Provost of Kings College, Cambridge, and then finally the Provost of Eton, where he died a much-loved and revered figure in 1936.

Shirley Jackson
The four visitors at Hill House-- some there for knowledge, others for adventure-- are unaware that the old mansion will soon choose one of them to make its own.
H.G. Wells

Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying an unusual cargo—a menagerie of savage animals. Nursed to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. There, he meets the sinister Dr. Moreau—a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilized world. It soon becomes clear that he has continued to develop these experiments with truly horrific results.

Washington Irving
"Paintings as crisp and clear as a Halloween night recreate the chilling tale of the headless horseman galloping through the haunted woods of Sleepy Hollow." Unabridged version!
Peter Haining, editor

"Some of this century's greatest writers turn their hand to storytelling at its most chilling. In the hundred years since Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, the literary ghost story has attracted many distinguished writers of fiction, & this outstanding collection represents thirty of the best, with authors as varied as Jack London, Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, P. G. Wodehouse, John Steinbeck, Muriel Spark, Henry James, Fay Weldon, John Mortimer, Ruth Rendell, Mary Higgins Clark, & William Trevor, among many others."

Chris Baldick, editor

"E. Nesbit's The Hursts of Hurstcote is only one of the many stories found in The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales, the first anthology of this spinetingling genre. Though Gothic fiction has generally been identified with Walpole's Castle of Otranto and the works of Ann Radcliffe, these thirty-seven selections compiled by Chris Baldick provide a unique look at the genre's development into its present-day forms. We see standard gothic elements of incest, murder, and greed in The Poisoner of Montremos, a late eighteenth-century story by Richard Cumberland. We find in Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher the tale that set a new standard of decadence for Gothic stories. In Hawthorne's Rappacini's Daughter, a young girl is raised on the very essence of poison.

"In Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, a woman's death satisfies a neighborhood's curiosity with a bizarre discovery. In other tales, a ghost reveals his sin of parricide, madness drives a man to murder,and a young girl spends her lifetime locked in a single room. All these stories and more contain the common elements of the gothic tale: a warped sense of time, a claustrophobic setting, a link to archaic modes of thought, dynastic corruption, and the impression of a descent into disintegration. Yet they also reveal the progression of the genre from stories of feudal villains amid crumbling ruins to a greater level of sophistication in which writers brought the gothic tale out of its medieval setting, and placed it in the contemporary world."

Robert Louis Stevenson
This intriguing novel, both fantasy thriller and moral allegory, depicts the struggle of two opposing personalities -- one essentially good, the other evil -- for the soul of one man.
Henry James

A governess battles to save the souls of her two young charges from evil spirits.

Manly Wade Wellman

"This is a fine collection of Wellman's most recent Appalachian tales written in the 70's and 80's. Tales about Judge Pursuivant, John Thunstone, Silver John and others all make appearances."

Trill Coster’s Burden -- The Spring -- Owls Hoot in the Daytime -- Can These Bones Live? -- Nobody Ever Goes There -- Where Did She Wander? -- A Witch For All Seasons (originally by “Gans T Field”) -- The Beasts That Perish -- Willow He Walk -- Chastel -- Rouse Him Not -- Hundred Years Gone -- Keep Me Away -- Yare -- Chorazin -- The Petey Car -- Along About Sundown -- What of the Night -- Dead Man’s Chair (as “Rock Rock”) -- Lamia -- Caretaker -- The Ghastly Priest Doth Reign -- Goodman’s Place --

Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert, editors

"There's nothing like a good ghost story. And, in Victorian Ghost Stories, Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert bring together thirty-five well-wrought tales of haunted houses, vengeful spirits, spectral warnings, invisible antagonists, and motiveless malignity from beyond the grave.
"The Victorians excelled at the ghost story, it was as much a part of their literary culture as the realistic novel, and it was practiced by almost all the great writers of the age. Cox and Gilbert here provide samples from Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, and Wilkie Collins, as well as such classic ghost-story specialists as M.R. James and J.S. Le Fanu (whose "Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street," considered one of the best haunted-house story ever written...), plus one or two genuine rarities for the supernatural fiction enthusiast to savor."