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Short Horror Stories by Famous Authors

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

How many times have your students asked for scary stories? If they're anything like most kids, they've probably asked an awful lot. Use this list of horror stories to appeal to your students' darker reading desires.

Why Teach Horror Stories?

Students seem to be naturally drawn to horror stories. They like to be scared a little, and horror stories provide that rush that students crave. These are especially interesting for kids that avoid reading, or have a difficult time getting interested in books. Horror stories are exciting and engaging, giving these students the extra push they might need.

This collection of short stories is sure to captivate your students. They'll read stories by famous horror authors like Edgar Allan Poe, and other authors who only wrote a limited amount of horror, like Edith Wharton.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

Montresor hates his fellow nobleman, Fortunato, although Fortunato doesn't know. Montresor decides to take revenge on Fortunato during the festival Carnival. Both men enjoy wine quite a bit, so Montresor decides to use this interest to trick Fortunato. One night, Montresor tells Fortunato that he has a cask of a very rare and expensive wine, called Amontillado, down in the catacombs of his house. He leads Fortunato down into the catacombs, giving his friend more and more wine along the way. When they get into one of the catacombs, Montresor chains Fortunato to the wall. Then he fills up the entryway with rows of brick, leaving his friend to starve and die in the catacombs.

The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Neil Gaiman

This story is set in the world of nursery rhymes. Mr. Horner is a private investigator who is trying to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty. Humpty's sister comes to him and claims that his death was not an accident, suggesting that the king's men are covering up a murder. Mr. Horner goes on a mission to find the killer. As he navigates the world of nursery rhymes, he meets characters that students will recognize--Georgie Porgie, Little Bo Peep, and Ma Hubbard.

The Corner Shop by Cynthia Asquith

Peter stumbles upon an antique shop run by two young women. He browses the shop and buys a little trinket for very cheap. He loves this shop, and decides he'd like to go back. When he returns, the women aren't there anymore. Instead, there's an old man who seems very dour. He buys another little trinket for very little money. Later, he finds out that it's actually worth a lot more. He goes to the women and offers to pay back the money he made off his purchase from their store. The women tell him a story of ghosts that helps him understand why the old man is now working there.

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