If you’re looking for something to get you in the Halloween spirit before this weekend’s round of costume parties and horror movie marathons, try one of these:
The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe
I love the tight focus and the thoroughly cold-blooded narrator, and I’ve always wondered what Fortunato did to provoke such a drastic reaction.
The Yellow Wall Paper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I like this story best when I imagine that the ending wasn’t inevitable, that things would have gone differently if only anyone had listened. Point-of-view madness makes it the scariest one of the bunch.
The Mask, by Robert W. Chambers
Art and alchemy have tragic effects on a love triangle. This one went in a different direction than I expected, but my inner mean person wishes it had ended a little sooner.
The Haunter of the Ring, by Robert E. Howard
After a meeting with friends provokes a strange reaction, one of the characters explains that he’s afraid of an inherited curse. This story hooked me quick and kept the twists coming.
For maximum effectiveness, be sure to read these in a dark room during a thunderstorm.