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The following stories are the best short horror stories of all time – in my opinion, at least. After many of the stories there’s a number that corresponds to an anthology or collection that can be found at the bottom of the post. If there is no number, I found the story in the public domain:


The Death Wagon Rolls On By           Andersson, C. Dean           28

The Night Wire           Arnold, H. F.

The Dead and The Countess           Atherton, Gertrude

The Room in the Tower           Benson, E. F.

A Tough Tussle           Bierce, Ambrose

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge           Bierce, Ambrose

The Boarded Window           Bierce, Ambrose

The Damned Thing           Bierce, Ambrose

The Middle Toe of the Right Foor           Bierce, Ambrose

The Moonlit Road           Bierce, Ambrose

The Secret of Macarger’s Gulch           Bierce, Ambrose

The Suitable Surroundings           Bierce, Ambrose           20

Medusa’s Coil           Bishop, Zealia           34

The Curse of Yig           Bishop, Zealia           34

The Mound           Bishop, Zealia           34

First Hate           Blackwood, Algernon

Running Wolf           Blackwood, Algernon

The Wendigo           Blackwood, Algernon

The Willows           Blackwood, Algernon

The Ensouled Violin           Blavatsky, Helena

Fane of the Black Pharaoh           Bloch, Robert           23

Notebook Found in a Deserted House           Bloch, Robert           9

The Rubber Room           Bloch, Robert           5

The Shadow from the Steeple           Bloch, Robert           9

Curfew           Boston, L. M.           11

All Summer in a Day           Bradbury, Ray           12

Next in Line           Bradbury, Ray           13

Skeleton           Bradbury, Ray           13

The Jar           Bradbury, Ray           13

The Wind           Bradbury, Ray           13

Canavan’s Back Yard           Brennan, Joseph Payne           5

Bells of Oceana           Burks, Arthur J.           25

The Grave           Cacek, P. D.           30

The Chimney           Campbell, Ramsey           32

The Guide           Campbell, Ramsey           11

Among the Wolves           Case, David           32

The Limping Ghost           Chetwynd-Hayes, R.           11

Fishhead           Cobb, Irvin S.           7

Man Overboard!           Crawford, F. Marion

The Dead Smile           Crawford, F. Marion

The Screaming Skull           Crawford, F. Marion

The Horla           De Maupassant, Guy

The Terror           De Maupassant, Guy

Was It a Dream?           De Maupassant, Guy

Ithaqua           Derleth, August           23

The Peabody Heritage           Derleth, August           41

The Thing That Walked on the Wind           Derleth, August           23

The Oram County Whoosit           Duffy, Steve           39

Charon           Dunsany, Lord

The Entrance           Durrell, Gerald           6

A Rose for Emily           Faulkner, William

The Shadows on the Wall           Freeman, Mary Wilkins

The Mummy’s Foot           Gautier, Theophile

The Yellow Wallpaper           Gilman, Charlotte Perkins

Innsmouth Bane           Glasby, John           16

The Old One           Glasby, John           37

August Heat           Harvey, William F.

The Horror in the Burying-Ground           Heald, Hazel           34

The Horror in the Museum           Heald, Hazel           34

Out of the Aeons           Heald, Hazel           34

Winged Death           Heald, Hazel           34

How Love Came to Professor Guildea           Hichens, Robert

Keys and Locks and Open Doors           Hicks, Jane Wallis

A Voice in the Night           Hodgson, William Hope

Out of the Storm           Hodgson, William Hope

Dig Me No Grave           Howard, Robert E.           19

Recompense           Howard, Robert E.

The Callenge From Beyond           Howard, Robert E.; Lovecraft, H. P.; Long, Frank Belknap; Moore, C. L.; & Merritt, A.           19

The Hoofed Thing           Howard, Robert E.           19

The Thing on the Roof           Howard, Robert E.           19

Worms of the Earth           Howard, Robert E.           19

The Floor Above           Humphreys, M. L.           25

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow           Irving, Washington

Wolfert Webber, or Golden Dreams           Irving, Washington

The Sticks           Jacob, Charlee           28

The Aquarium           Jacobi, Carl           23

The Monkey’s Paw           Jacobs, W. W.

Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad           James, M. R.

The Ash Tree           James, M. R.

The Church at Garlock’s Bend           Kaufman, David           29

The Thing in the Cellar           Keller, David Henry

The Church Grim           Kincaid, Jack           24

Children of the Corn           King, Stephen           10

Graveyard Shift           King, Stephen           10

Gray Matter           King, Stephen           10

Jerusalem’s Lot           King, Stephen           10

One for the Road           King, Stephen           10

Sometimes They Come Back           King, Stephen           10

Suffer the Little Children           King, Stephen           20

The Man who Loved Flowers           King, Stephen           10

Bells of Horror           Kuttner, Henry           23

The Crawling Sky           Landsdale, Joe R.           39

Mad Dog Summer           Landsdale, Joe R.           30

Green Tea           Le Fanu, J. Sheridan

In Amundsen’s Tent           Leahy, John Martin           25

Where Does the Town Go at Night?           Lee, Tanith           16

A Madman           Level, Maurice

The Shadow, The Darkness           Ligotti, Thomas           30

At the Mountains of Madness           Lovecraft, H. P.           15

Cool Air           Lovecraft, H. P.           15

Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family           Lovecraft, H. P.

Herbert West – Reanimator           Lovecraft, H. P.

Imprisoned with the Pharaohs           Lovecraft, H. P.           15

Pickman’s Model           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

The Beast in the Cave           Lovecraft, H. P.

The Call of Cthulhu           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

The Colour Out of Space           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

The Haunter of the Dark           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

The Lurking Fear           Lovecraft, H. P.

The Rats in the Walls           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

The Shadow Out of Time           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

The Shadow over Innsmouth           Lovecraft, H. P.           14

Aunt Hester           Lumley, Brian           31

Cement Surroundings           Lumley, Brian           40

Fruiting Bodies           Lumley, Brian           32

Recognition           Lumley, Brian           40

The Fairground Horror           Lumley, Brian           39

The Diary of Alonzo Typer           Lumley, William           34

The Night Sea-Maid Went Down           Lumley, Brian           40

Discovery of the Ghooric Zone           Lupoff, Richard A.           9

Novel of the Black Seal           Machen, Arthur           25

Novel of the White Powder           Machen, Arthur           25

Remembering Melody           Martin, George R. R.           4

Crickets           Matheson, Richard           26

He Wanted to Live           Matheson, Richard           16

The Doom that Came to Innsmouth           McNaughton, Brian           39

The Yellow Dressing Gown           Monette, Sarah           33

The Ghost of the Capuchins           Montfort, Eugene           8

Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity           Morrell, David           3

What Nature Abhors           Morris, Mark           38

The End of Wisdom           Myers, Gary           22

Major Prevue Here Tonite           Nolan, William F.           17

The Beckoning Fair One           Onions, Oliver

Berenice           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Black Cat           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Cask of Amontillado           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Fall of the House of Usher           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Man in the Crowd           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Narative of Arthur Gordon Pym           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Oval Portrait           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Tell-Tale Heart           Poe, Edgar Allan

The Disinterment           Rimel, Duane W.           34

The Spheres Beyond Sound (Threnody)           Rainey, Stephen Mark           29

The Last Reel           Rucker, Lynda E.           38

The Tale of Toad Loop           Sargent, Stanley           37

Ghasta, or The Avenging Demon!!!           Shelley, Percy Bysshe

The Double Shadow           Smith, Clark Ashton

Listen           Smith, James Robert           35

The Body Snatcher           Stevenson, Robert Louis

The Squaw           Stoker, Bram           2

Beyond the Door           Suter, Paul           25

Resettling           Tem, Steven Rasnic & Tem, Melanie           17

Spawn of the Green Abyss           Thompson, C. Hall           23

The Howler in the Dark           Tierney, Richard L.           27

Drums           Trotter, William R.           35

The Fare           Vail, Chris           22

Blind Man’s Bluff           Wakefield, H. R.           8

Along About Sundown           Wellman, Manly Wade           21

Goodman’s Place           Wellman, Manly Wade           21

Rock, Rock           Wellman, Manly Wade           21

The Pineys           Wellman, Manly Wade           21

The Country of the Blind           Wells, H. G.

The Tomb of the Old Ones           Wilson, Colin           36

The Barrens           Wilson, F. Paul           18

Moonlight Sonata           Woollcott, Alexander           1

1.  Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural

2.  The Colour Out of Space – Tales of Cosmic Horror

3.  Prime Evil

4.  Fears

5.  Gallery of Horror

6.  Visions of Fear

7.  The World’s Greatest Horror Stories

8.  Ghosts

9.  Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos

10.  Night Shift

11.  The World’s Greatest Ghost Stories

12.  A Medicine for Melancholy

13.  The October Country

14.  Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre

15.  The Road to Madness

16.  H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror – Vol 2

17.  Post Mortem – New Tales of Ghostly Horror

18.  Cthulhu 2000

19. Nameless Cults – The Cthulhu Mythos of Robert E. Howard

20.  Nightmares and Dreamscapes

21.  The Devil is Not Mocked and Other Warnings: The Selected Works of Manly Wade Wellman Vol. 2

22.  Strange Tales Issue No. 8

23. Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos

24. Insidious Reflections No. 6

25. H.P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Weird Tales

26.  Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

27.  The Howler in the Dark

28.  Cemetery Dance #57

29. The New Lovecraft Circle

30. 999

31. The Whisperer and Other Voices

32. The Mammoth Book of New Terror

33. Weird Tales March/April 2008

34. The Horror in the Museum

35. Song of Cthulhu

36. The Antarktos Cycle

37. The Tsathoggua Cycle

38. The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #18

39. The Book of Cthulhu

40. Haggopian and Other Stories

41. The Watchers Out of Time

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