10 Favorite Tales of Terror

It is a human trait to have favorites. Shoot, it may even be a trait of living things. After all, my cat has her favorite toys, food, and places to sleep.

And so it is with fiction. We all have our favorite stories. Today I am going to share with you 10 of my favorite tales of terror. At least 10 of my favorites to date, given that I’ve not read everything that’s out there.

The list is a mix of novels, short stories, novelettes, and novellas. And regardless of length, they are all good. So without further ado, here is my list of (today’s) 10 favorite tales of terror.

  1. Church Mouse: Memoir of a vampire’s servant by RH Hale. This is the story of Rona, who becomes the servant of three vampires, but primarily the servant of the head vampire, Serge. And this is one whopper of a novel. Move over Anne Rice and Bram Stoker. Church Mouse is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever.
  2. Your Arms Around Entropy: and other stories by Brian Fatah Steele. Steele is an amazing writer. He can easily don HPL’s mantle, IMO. His imagination is beyond wild. And this collection of stories is amazingly terrifying. The story “Bleak Mathematics” is my favorite in the collection and is a fabulous addition to the Cthulhu Mythos and cosmic horror. In this story, Steele makes the Mythos personal. How can you beat that? This is slowburn horror at its finest. Seriously.
  3. “Sredni Vashtar” by Saki. I first read this story in grade school some 60 years ago. It still thrills me. You feel the hate. The despair. And the deliciously dark humor is delightful. I love this story. It is one of my lifetime favorites.
  4. “The Colour Out of Space” by HP Lovecraft. My first reading of any of HPL’s work. I ran across the story in Groff Conklin’s fabulous Omnibus of Science Fiction. I think “Colour” is Lovecraft’s best work. A terrifying story of slowburn horror. A story I’ll never forget.
  5. The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin (5 volumes) by Seabury Quinn. I love Jules de Grandin. He might be my favorite occult detective. There’s plenty of action, the stories are scary, and they’re also very fun. What more could you ask for?
  6. 01134 by Crispian Thurlborn. This is a novella of great power. It’s stark. It deals with the question “What if?” What if we didn’t take that phone call? What if we didn’t catch that bus or train? What if… Life is full of what ifs. And sometimes they are deadly. Don’t miss this one.
  7. Herkimer’s Nose by Richard Schwindt. This book is all kinds of spooky fun. It has everything: monsters, ghosts, spies, a threat to end the world. You just gotta read this.
  8. Daguerreotype by Ray Zacek. Zacek writes amazing tales of terror. They are highly imaginative, with smothering atmosphere, and suspense so tangible its suffocating. And this is one of my favorites of his stories. Don’t miss it.
  9. An Angel Fallen by Andy Graham. Graham’s horror is so suspense-filled there are times I have to put the book down so I can breathe. Angel is intense. It’s a slowburn terrifying thriller. It’s so good. You just gotta read it. In fact, read all of Graham’s work. Phenomenal.
  10. 1984 by George Orwell. What? This isn’t a horror novel. Oh, yes it is. This book scared the crap out of me. It’s one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. It’s so real, because Orwell was portraying the reality of the totalitarian state. And he had plenty of real life examples. 1984 is so real I don’t think I will ever give it a second read. It’s too bleak. Too terrifying. Shows me too much of me.

Those are 10 of my favorites. Terror reads I think will scare the crap out of you, or surround you in spooky dark humor. I hope you find them as enjoyable as I did.

Ever since reading Lovecraft’s “The Lurking Fear” back in my early college days (some 50 years ago), I’ve had a special fondness for the story.

So I decided to do a riff on it. That book is Terror in the Shadows. It is the third book in my Pierce Mostyn Paranormal Investigations series.

You can find Terror on Amazon.

Take a read and tell me what you think.

Cheers! And until next time, happy reading!


2 responses to “10 Favorite Tales of Terror”

  1. Ah, the classics. Always a good choice, as they never seem to fall out of print, at least permanently. Case in point: I’m going to offer you a scavenger hunt item, and should you ever see it, snap it up! I speak of Being Joe by Erin Lee. This was only available as part of a collection, Carnival of Fear, which collects a sweet thirteen shorts and novellas that bring horror set in carnivals and circuses, places where behind the scenes horror is almost a given. Fitting, since the very word carnival has its origins in the Old Italian carnelevare: taking meat away. I can’t say much about a short story without ruining the whole thing but let me try to set the mood. Being Joe is told by the dominant member of a set of conjoined twins. The subordinate twin, Moe, is little more than a head that has very little control or feeling of any part of the shared body; all he does is complain, and who can blame him for being bitter? A one-armed baton-twirling dwarf named Cat is in love with Moe, and Joe can’t stand her, not least because she may or may not have killed her last husband and fed him to the circus’s big cats. Oh, the joy of indies; you’ll never see Universal or Random House going down this particular rabbit hole! Sadly, I can no longer find this on the ‘Zon or B&N, but should it turn up in a thrift shop or yard sale, jump on it! You can thank me later…


    • Lots of good stuff Indies have put out there. And sad to say, a lot has been taken down by those same authors for whatever reason. So grab the good stuff while you can.

      Liked by 1 person

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