Short Story Centre

9 Must Read Short Horror Stories (Not for the faint-hearted)


So you think you’ve heard and read the scariest of the stories? 

You’ve read about the Vampires, Ghosts, Zombies, and all things sinister. 

And at this point, you think nothing can scare you. Nothing can send shivers down your spine. 

Well, I beg to differ. 

To prove there’s still a wealth of spine-chilling reads, I’ve got you the list of the most horrifying short stories ever written. 

Read them. Feel the Fear. Question the bump you’ll hear in the night and come back here to tell me if you disagree:


    • A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson 

A Collapse of Horses is a cerebral horror short fiction that stretches into a multiplicity of genres — mainly horror. The narrator is obsessed by his confusion about two seemingly unrelated things: a team of horses he’s seen lying down in a paddock and the house in which he recovers after a workplace accident.



    • Patient Zero by Tananarive Due 

Tananarive Due’s Patient Zero is a short tale written in a diary format about a teenage boy who is an autosomal carrier of a deadly disease that would be a pandemic if he wasn’t quarantined.



    • The Tell-Tale by Edgar Allan 

Edgar Allan’s The Tell-Tale is a short fiction where the narrator tries to convince readers of his sanity while simultaneously describing the events of the murders he had committed. 



    • A Tree or a Person or a Wall by Matt Bell

Mat Bell’s A Tree or a Person or a Wall begins when a boy is abducted by a man of rough appearance and locked in a basement with an albino monkey. Later in the story, this boy becomes the jailer and imprisons another small boy and the vicious cycle of evil perpetuates.



    • The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs

“The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs is a supernatural short story. In the story, the owner of The Monkey’s Paw is granted with three wishes but all these wishes come with a huge price for interfering with fate.



    • The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

The 1890’s horror novella, The Great God Pan, begins with an experiment to allow a woman to see the supernatural world. The author recounts a series of deaths and mysterious happening over many years surrounding her, and in the end, she is forced to kill herself. 



    • The Raft by Stephen King

Stephen King’s The Raft is about four college students who celebrate the end of school by swimming out and rafting on a remote lake. On this excursion, they come across a malevolent monster who puts an end to their vacation in a way they never had expected. 



    • The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

The Pit and the Pendulum narrates a creepy tale about the torments endured by a Spanish Inquisition prisoner. The story begins at the moment the narrator is sentenced to death at the time of the Catholic Inquisition. Later in the story, he finds himself in a dark dungeon where he is tormented by the scuttling rats and many invisible creatures. 



    • The Colour Out of Space by H. P. Lovecraft

In The Colour Out of Space, an unnamed narrator tells us a spine-chilling story about an area called by the locals as the “blasted heath.” He narrates how a desolated piece of land got that name due to the coming of a strange meteorite containing a mysteriously coloured globule inside. 


Well, the list ends here. 


I hope this list is scary enough to keep you awake tonight? If so, share it with a friend. And if not, let me know what your list of scary short stories looks like in the comments below.