It’s coming up to Halloween, and to get in the mood, we’ve got ten terrifying tales that you can read online – some you can also listen to. So draw the curtains, light the candles, and listen to Christopher Lee and Leonard Nimoy reading scary stories to you…
1. There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury
A haunting story set in a post-apocalyptic world, originally 1985, but changed to 2026 – so only a few years to go.Read the story here and listen to the story here.
2. The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens
A classic Victorian tale, where railway signal-man of the title tells of an apparition that has been haunting him. Each ghostly appearance is warning of a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works.
3. The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
A mystical charm, a monkey’s paw is brought into a family home by Sergeant Major Morris, who has served in India. The monkey’s paw has the ability to grant 3 wishes to 3 people. Morris is the second owner – and the first owner’s third wish was for death…
4. The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
This story from the king of gothic horror has a murderous narrator being driven slowly mad by the beating of his victim’s heart under the floorboards.
5. Oh Whistle and I’ll come to you my lad by MR James
A classic Edwardian ghost story, included in MR James’ collection Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904) named after the poem by Robert Burns. A professor investigating a Templar ruin finds a whistle and blows on it – with ghostly consequences.
6. The Dunwich Horror by HP Lovecraft
A horror story about a strange and monstrous son who grows to full manhood within a decade, and an even more monstrous ‘being’ that grows ever bigger to fill the family’s Massachusetts farmhouse… until the farmhouse explodes and the monster is let loose.
7. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
You’ve got to be in it to win it, but reading this story, you’ll slowly come to realise that you’d do best to give this particular lottery a wide berth.
8. Click-Clack The Rattlebag by Neil Gaiman
‘Before you take me up to bed, will you tell me a story?”
Reading bedtime stories to children has never been so terrifying.
9. Nightcrawlers by Robert McCammon
A Vietnam veteran with a guilty conscience and supernatural powers has a recurring dream that his abandoned army unit are hunting him down – and his nightmare becomes a reality, not only for him, but for the customers at a roadside diner.
Read the story here.
10. The Doll by Daphne du Maurier
There’s nothing creepier than a possessed toy – a stuffed toy clown, demonic doll, or monkey constantly clanging tiny cymbals. This tale was lost for 70 years, and is about of a man’s obsessive passion for Rebecca, a mysterious violinist who has a strange doll called ‘Julio’.
We hope you enjoy these stories – but don’t read them too close to bedtime!