Author Topic: Favorite Horror Stories  (Read 1027 times)

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Offline Iconodule

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Favorite Horror Stories
« on: October 05, 2017, 05:55:03 AM »
Since it's October I'd like to periodically discuss some favorite horror stories. Hopefully others would like to talk about theirs too. First up is "Count Magnus," by MR James.   A visitor in Sweden gets a little too curious about the estate of an aristocrat who may have been a Satanist. I love MR James' understated, almost jocular style. He lets slip a few hints here and there, and seemingly insignificant incidents build up into an unnerving picture. The fact that James was also an accomplished classicist gives his stories a lot of colorful and atmospheric details.

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/j/james/mr/antiquary/chapter6.html

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 10:22:23 AM »
Sounds good, I'm reading it. I like The Black Cat by Poe, read it while too young and it scared the hell out of me. It's a disturbing piece of psychological horror about a man who becomes quite obsessed over his Satanic cat, dealing with madness and guilt.

For the same nostalgic reasons I love A Night in the Tavern, by Álvares de Azevedo. There are actually five tales, each told by one of five men in a tavern, all dealing with the most bizarre aspects of sex and death.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 10:54:18 AM »
Some of my favorite horror stories include anything posted by Indocern and Porter and NicholasMyra's lame, whitebread attempts at rap.  Scary stuff indeed!

But seriously, I enjoyed Stoker's original Dracula Werner Herzog's cinematic interpretation of the same in his version of Nosferatu.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 11:10:18 AM »
I like The Black Cat by Poe, read it while too young and it scared the hell out of me. It's a disturbing piece of psychological horror about a man who becomes quite obsessed over his Satanic cat, dealing with madness and guilt.

It's been a long, long time since I read the Black Cat. I should dig that up.

Quote
For the same nostalgic reasons I love A Night in the Tavern, by Álvares de Azevedo. There are actually five tales, each told by one of five men in a tavern, all dealing with the most bizarre aspects of sex and death.

I am very intrigued. Unfortunately it looks like there is no English translation on the market for this one. I guess I'd better learn Portuguese.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 11:33:31 AM »
Quote
For the same nostalgic reasons I love A Night in the Tavern, by Álvares de Azevedo. There are actually five tales, each told by one of five men in a tavern, all dealing with the most bizarre aspects of sex and death.

I am very intrigued. Unfortunately it looks like there is no English translation on the market for this one. I guess I'd better learn Portuguese.
I have actually started a translation many years ago. I did the first two chapters IIRC, but I lost this data (no big deal, it was probably bad).
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline William T

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 11:38:16 AM »
Not really my genre, so it's probably not worth me listing a lot of classic stuff everyone knows that was written before the 1950's...but those stories are classic for a reason I guess.  But all those old stories are stories I really like and were part of my formation, so there's that.

Off the top of my head I can't really think of anything from the past four decades I really liked, I read House of Leaves and it was good I guess.

I'll throw out a few names of some of those famous old French writers though just in case they aren't thought of:

Jean Ray
Gaston Leroux
Marcell Allain / Pierre Souvestre (Fantômas)



If anyone knows any good compilations of good pulp, or one of those history / appreciation books of things like horror please link it.  That may be a useful book to own.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 11:41:00 AM by William T »

Offline Agabus

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 11:39:24 AM »

But seriously, I enjoyed Stoker's original Dracula

A great Catholic novel.

My contribution is not as literary. Stephen King's Survivor Type.
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Offline William T

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 11:44:26 AM »

But seriously, I enjoyed Stoker's original Dracula

A great Catholic novel.

My contribution is not as literary. Stephen King's Survivor Type.

It's Orthodox! When I first read it, my mind was blown by the writing technique.  It was the first thing I ever read that was a multi perspective epistolary style.  That was the coolest thing in the world to me, mixed witht he fact that Dracula really didn't make many appearances.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 11:44:39 AM by William T »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 11:46:58 AM »
I've never read a Stephen King novel, but when I was about 11 years old I devoured his book of short stories called Night Shift. I'd like to read them again. Great stuff!

Selam
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2017, 11:54:30 AM »
I've never read a Stephen King novel, but when I was about 11 years old I devoured his book of short stories called Night Shift. I'd like to read them again. Great stuff!

Selam

Stephen King is a lot better in his short fiction than in his novels. And that, coming from a fan of his, says a lot. Everything's Eventual is an even better collection.

Horror is one of my favourite genres and my list of likes is long, but if I had to pick just one novel to recommend, that would have to be The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, by Chris Wooding. Wooding is very good with the atmosphere in all his stories, but the particular one is glorious proof that Lovecraftian horror can be given the YA treatment without losing its power.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 12:01:35 PM »
I've never read a Stephen King novel, but when I was about 11 years old I devoured his book of short stories called Night Shift. I'd like to read them again. Great stuff!

Selam

Children of the Corn was in that one.

The story I mentioned was published in a collection of short stories, Skeleton Crew.
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 12:21:25 PM »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2017, 12:54:30 PM »
I love Dracula, but have become less and less fond of Stephen King over time. I've read your story a long time ago, GMK.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 12:55:01 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2017, 02:01:24 PM »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2017, 02:04:14 PM »
Horror is one of my favourite genres and my list of likes is long, but if I had to pick just one novel to recommend, that would have to be The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, by Chris Wooding. Wooding is very good with the atmosphere in all his stories, but the particular one is glorious proof that Lovecraftian horror can be given the YA treatment without losing its power.

I'll have to check that out. I've been looking for Lovecraftian YA and am in the middle of writing one myself.
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Offline Luke

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2017, 02:13:25 PM »
Every once in a few years I read Bram Stoker's Dracula, like other posters on this thread do.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2017, 02:30:28 PM »
Been meaning to re-read Barbey d'Aurevilly for a while now. Last year read Villiers de l'Ilsle Adam.
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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2017, 03:18:07 PM »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2017, 03:48:59 PM »
I don't think Antonious meant to do anything more than poke fun...? Either way, I don't know that any writer can be successful without plugging their own stuff sometimes, and this seems like a relevant thread for it.  8)

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2017, 04:20:34 PM »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 11:36:26 AM »
"The White People," by Arthur Machen remains one of the most unsettling stories I've read. The prologue and epilogue, somewhat clunky but interesting, are typical of Machen in his more pedantic moods, expressing his mysticism and anti-materialism (he was an Anglo-Catholic with occult leanings). But the heart of the story, "The Green Book," is a found diary of a girl full of cryptic allusions to secret languages, games, and rituals she practices or witnesses in the countryside, leading to her eventual death. It is a master example of the sort of implied, suggestive horror that Lovecraft advocated, though he couldn't always restrain himself as well as Machen. As in a lot of Machen's stories, the idea of fairies lurks in the background; Machen's fairies are, more often than not, primeval terrors as inimical to human life as Lovecraft's Great Old Ones.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:44:15 AM by Iconodule »
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2017, 11:48:54 AM »
"The White People," by Arthur Machen remains one of the most unsettling stories I've read. The prologue and epilogue, somewhat clunky but interesting, are typical of Machen in his more pedantic moods, expressing his mysticism and anti-materialism (he was an Anglo-Catholic with occult leanings). But the heart of the story is a found diary of a girl full of cryptic allusions to secret languages, games, and rituals she practices or witnesses in the countryside, leading to her eventual death. It is a master example of the sort of implied, suggestive horror that Lovecraft advocated, though he couldn't always restrain himself as well as Machen. As in a lot of his stories, the idea of fairies lurks in the background; Machen's fairies are, more often than not, primeval terrors as inimical to human life as Lovecraft's Great Old Ones.

The narrator's voice can make all the difference, and Lovecraft knew that well, too. Also, the view of the Otherworld being an alien place with inhabitants actively malevolent towards humans, is very much a thing in Celtic myth of all three branches. Scottish fairies are the stuff of nightmares.
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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2017, 10:51:55 AM »
"The Wendigo," by Algernon Blackwood, is one of my all time favorite horror tales. A lot kids who grew up reading Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books will remember a story in the first volume, by the same name. That story was basically  a much abridged adaptation (and a pretty good one) of Blackwood's tale. As in his other classic, "The Willows," Blackwood's horror hinges on place, in this case, the remote pine forests and lakes of northern Canada. The tale of a few hunters being stalked by an otherworldly entity in a vast, inhospitable wilderness is an ancestor of Campbell's Who Goes There? (AKA The Thing) and Ridley Scott's Alien. Blackwood establishes his setting so well, till you can feel the wind and smell the pines. The title monster is never actually seen; it makes itself known by a strange odor, a sound of rushing through the trees, and "a soft, roaring voice ... overhead rather than upon the ground, of immense volume, while in some strange way most penetratingly and seductively sweet." All of this comes out of the pages so vividly, you will go to bed hearing DeFago's sad voice crying "My fiery feet! My burning feet of fire!" in the roaring wind.
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When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2017, 11:07:35 AM »
"The White People," by Arthur Machen remains one of the most unsettling stories I've read. The prologue and epilogue, somewhat clunky but interesting, are typical of Machen in his more pedantic moods, expressing his mysticism and anti-materialism (he was an Anglo-Catholic with occult leanings). But the heart of the story is a found diary of a girl full of cryptic allusions to secret languages, games, and rituals she practices or witnesses in the countryside, leading to her eventual death. It is a master example of the sort of implied, suggestive horror that Lovecraft advocated, though he couldn't always restrain himself as well as Machen. As in a lot of his stories, the idea of fairies lurks in the background; Machen's fairies are, more often than not, primeval terrors as inimical to human life as Lovecraft's Great Old Ones.

The narrator's voice can make all the difference, and Lovecraft knew that well, too. Also, the view of the Otherworld being an alien place with inhabitants actively malevolent towards humans, is very much a thing in Celtic myth of all three branches. Scottish fairies are the stuff of nightmares.

+1

Speaking of which, my favourite horror stories are some of the specimens of HP Lovecraft's Cthulu series, particularly the oldest one, concerning the nameless city in the desert.  I disliked those involving his attempts at writing a rural Maine accent, for example, the story concerning Wilbur Whateley.   He wrote one, I think it was entitled The Innsmouth Horror, where the narrator travels to a declining seaside town north of Arkham and begins a frightening metamorphosis, that was spectacular, and the Call of Cthulu with its non-Euclidean nightmare city of Ryleh, was brilliant.  These stories however were often quite racist; it was clear Lovecraft was a racist with a particular horror of people of interracial descent.  But if we can look past that, I think his nightmarish universe represents the best integrated corpus of horror stories set within the same universe as it were, with some good people and a few heroes, like the professors of the University of the Miskatonic in Arkham.

Although not strictly speaking horror, I also find Philip K Dick can be terrifying, particularly in some of his early short stories.

Stephen King is of course the universally respected horror writer of our era, and he deserves that respect; if Lovecraft was the HG Wells of horror, Stephen King would undoubtably be its Robert A. Heinlein, someone who has made the genre widely accepted and acceptable.  And many of his stories are beilliant, with lovely protagonists and happy endings despite all the darkness, for example, The Langoliers and The Stand.   I also really appreciate the compassionate element in his work; it is clear that Stephen King has a particular personal opposition to all forms of cruelty, especially to children, and in his work we frequently either encounter the disasters in terms of ruined lives of mistreated children, the most extreme example being Randall Flagg, or else children rescued from that cruelty, for example, in The Shining, usually as a result of some agency and initiative on their part working in synergy with a benevolent adult who is able to understand them.

However, the essential goodness of so many of his characters makes King less frightening than Lovecraft.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2017, 11:36:15 AM »
Lovecraft fans had also better check out Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. I'm not very far in it at all, and it's already established itself as something to reread every Halloween season.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2017, 04:59:19 PM »
Lovecraft fans had also better check out Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. I'm not very far in it at all, and it's already established itself as something to reread every Halloween season.

Roger Zelazny is quite a force to be reckoned with as far as science fiction is concerned, as well.  He's been on the list of writers I read since I was 14 or so.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2017, 05:23:54 PM »
I wrote a two sentence horror story today, based on a friend's real experience:

"The power was out and we had no lights. The cat had diarrhea."
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2018, 12:03:51 AM »
Based on the recommendation in the OP I got the collection Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M.R. James and enjoyed it. Of the other stuff I've read, the ones I've enjoyed enough to mention are:

The Beetle, by Richard Marsh. Supernatural horror involving... (take a guess). Strong first 40 pages with good tension and atmosphere, but it kind of waxed and waned in holding my interest after that. Still might be worth giving it a shot since it's free.

The Monk, by Matthew Lewis. Mostly suspense/supernatural horror. You know that Princess Bride line about the story having "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles"? That kind of describes this one, though dark and morbid rather than light-hearted and fun. Of the novels I read last year, this was my favorite.

Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2018, 12:06:19 AM »
The Beetle, by Richard Marsh. Supernatural horror involving... (take a guess).
A haunted Volkswagen?  ;D
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2018, 12:08:35 AM »
The Beetle, by Richard Marsh. Supernatural horror involving... (take a guess).
A haunted Volkswagen?  ;D

Hey hey hey, where's the SPOILERS warning!?

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Re: Favorite Horror Stories
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2018, 12:11:53 AM »
The Beetle, by Richard Marsh. Supernatural horror involving... (take a guess).
A haunted Volkswagen?  ;D

I was going to say a story about Paul McCartney being a vampire, but then I realized it's spelled differently.





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