Fiona's Ever-Expanding List of Favorite Horror (& Dark Fantasy) Tales

In response to feedback, I've decided to start a page devoted to my own favorite horror (and dark fantasy) short stories of all time. Nothing definitive, of course, just the seed for a larger list which will expand as I have time to go back through my books, and read or remember other stories I could add. What follows is some favorites off the top of my head. If you have a favorite short story or a few favorites, drop me a line, and I'll look into adding it to this list. In other words, this could be a collaborative project, where I'm making suggestions to you, and you're making suggestions back to me. No polls, though, and no opinions from critics, for this list. This page will only feature stories that I have read (and usually, re-read) and I consider to be superior examples of the only true form for horror fiction—the short tale.

Just to make things difficult, I'll start with a rule that I can't list more than 3 stories by any one author here. And a short story will be arbitrarily defined as no longer than 50 pages (which allows in Onions's "The Beckoning Fair One," but rules out Arthur Machen's "The White People" and "The Great God Pan.")

One more thing: please don't be, like, all shocked if some obviously top-notch author or story is not here yet. This is just the beginning of the list, and in many cases, I just haven't decided which story or three from a given author are my favorites. If you have a strong suggestion, just let me know!

Aickman, Robert — "The Fetch" | "Into the Wood"
Aiken, Conrad — "Silent Snow, Secret Snow"
Ballard, J. G. — "The Drowned Giant"
Barker, Clive — "In the Hills, the Cities" | "The Midnight Meat Train" | "Madonna"
Bierce, Ambrose — "The Damned Thing"
Blackwood, Algernon — "The Willows" | "The Wendigo"
Bradbury, Ray — "The Crowd" | "Small Assassin" | "The Veldt"
Brite, Poppy Z. — "The Sixth Sentinel"
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward — "The Haunters and the Haunted" (AKA "The House and the Brain")
Burrage, A. M. — "Smee"
Campbell, Ramsey — "The Voice of the Beach" | "Mackintosh Willy"
Coover, Robert — "The Babysitter"
Crawford, F. Marion — "The Upper Berth"
Ellison, Harlan — "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs"
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins &151; "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Jackson, Shirley — "The Lottery" | "The Summer People" | "The Bus"
Jacobs, W. W. — "The Monkey's Paw"
King, Stephen — "The Reach" | "The Mangler"
Lansdale, Joe R. — "The Night They Missed the Horror Show"
Ligotti, Thomas — "The Last Feast of Harlequin" | "The Tsalal"
Lovecraft, H. P. — "The Call of Cthulhu" | "The Colour Out of Space"
McCammon, Robert — "Nightcrawlers"
O'Connor, Flannery — "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
Oates, Joyce Carol — "The Bingo Master"
Onions, Oliver — "The Beckoning Fair One"
Poe, Edgar A. — "The Fall of the House of Usher" | "The Pit and the Pendulum" | "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"
Saki (H. H. Munro) — "The Music on the Hill"
Schulz, Bruno — "Father's Last Escape"
Smith, Clark Ashton — "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis" | "The Dweller in the Gulf" | "The Empire of the Necromancers"
Straub, Peter — "Blue Rose"
Tem, Steve Rasnic — "Little Cruelties"
Tuttle, Lisa — "The Dragon's Bride"
Wagner, Karl Edward — "Sticks"

Feel free to ask me where I found any given story. I can't necessarily tell you where it's in print right now, but I can tell you where I found it. Let me know if you think I should link each of these story titles to a book or two containing it, with publication info. I could do that, for sure.

Copyright Fiona Webster 1996 <>

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