This is the first part of two part blog on scary stories. This blog post will focus on classic scary stories while next week’s blog will focus on newer and still scary books. This time of year people are gearing up for scary parties, kids are getting ready to go trick or treating and some of us like to curl up with a scary book. Classic scary stories are a great place to start as these are the inspiration for today’s horror storytellers.
This original telling of the monster created by science and lightening was published in 1818. This was Shelley’s most famous work and has served as inspiration for movies, books, graphic novels and cartoons and hopefully will continue to do so. Frankenstein has been scaring children and adults for years and is considered a classic monster along with the Mummy and Dracula.
This is considered to be, by some, the real story of Count Dracula, without any teen angst in sight. Written in the form of letters, this story recounts dark interactions with this vampiric nobleman, deep in the forests of Transylvania.This straight forward piece of horror fiction has inspired authors such as Anne Rice and L.J. Smith who have continued to create vampires to scare readers.
Poe wrote horror fiction in serial form and experienced some success while alive. Like many, his genius was better appreciated with his death and many of stories continue to appear in popular culture today. His stories such as “The Raven”, “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” continue to be popular, especially around this time of year. His tales were full of mystery and macabre moments to make readers uncomfortable.
This tale of a headless horseman seeking a replacement for his own lost head scares children every Halloween. From the same author of Rip Van Winkle, this tale of bullying, ghosts and fear set in Sleepy Hallow, 1790. A lovelorn teacher hopes to win the hand of a young maiden, but another is determined to marry her and get her fortune.
H.P. Lovecraft was a recluse who lived in Rhode Island and produced horror stories that were appreciated after his death. Lovecraft did not spend a lot of time in school, but rather at home with his mother, aunts and grandfather who encouraged reading. The precocious child devoured stories and then learned to tell his own scary stories in pulp magazines. He never achieved much commercial success in his lifetime, but he has many fans who appreciate his contributions to horror.
From the man who brought us Treasure Island we get this scary tale examining the duality of man. A respectable doctor by day and an evil monster by night terrorizing Edinburgh through a chemical formula. Both personalities begin to fight with each other and Jekyll is forced to remove himself more and more from society causing great concerns among his friends.