35 classic horror stories, free to download

Classic horror stories Halloween free to download

Project Gutenberg offers classic horror stories that are free to download in several ebook formats

On this list, you’ll find classic horror stories from the 19th and 20th century, including the ones by Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Nowadays, when people want get horrified, they turn on ghost games or watch horror movies. However, both games and movies have one origin.

Vampires, ghosts, paranormal activities… in the beginning they were seen on the pages on numerous books.

Dracula by Bram Stoker, the works of Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft, are not the only must-reads for anyone who wants to bring some horror to an evening on a sofa.

Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan, now a classic in horror genre, was at first denounced for its deeply decadent style and obscenity.

The House of the Vampire, written by George Sylvester Viereck, is one of the first horror novels to explore the psychic and emotional aspects of vampirism.

In The Lost Stradivarius (John Meade Falkner), the source of the evil is a single object – a found Stradivarius violin.

All the stories are available for free from Project Gutenberg. You can get them to your Kindle or other e-readers and apps, including iPad or iPhone, Kobo, and Nook.

You can use a one-click download to Dropbox or Google Drive, so getting multiple files is pretty easy.

A great thing about Project Gutenberg is that the site offers book collections. This list is based on Horror Bookshelf.

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35 classic horror stories, free to download

1. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

by Ambrose Bierce

Set during the American Civil War, it is the story of Peyton Farquhar, a Confederate sympathizer condemned to death by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge.

This is the most famous story by Ambrose Bierce, valued for its irregular time sequence and twist ending.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

2. The Damned Thing

Ambrose Bierce

The story focuses on how the human race takes their views of nature for granted, and how there may be things in the natural world that the human eye cannot see or the human ear cannot hear.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

3. The Damned

Algernon Blackwood

One of the short stories from Algernon Henry Blackwood, English novelist and one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

4. Four Weird Tales

Algernon Blackwood

The collection contains four short stories: The Insanity of Jones, The Man Who Found Out, The Glamour of the Snow, and Sand.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

5. The Wendigo

Algernon Blackwood

Probably one of the best-known stories by Blackwood. A group of men deep in the Northern wilderness are visited by a terrifying creature from Native American legend.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

6. The Willows

Algernon Blackwood

H.P. Lovecraft considered this story to be the finest supernatural tale in English literature.

Two friends are on a canoe trip down the Danube. Their antagonist is the surrounding environment (river, sun, wind, and most importantly — the willows) which imbues them with a powerful and threatening character.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

7. The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers

A collection of ten highly weird stories, described by S.T. Joshi as “a classic in the field of the supernatural.”

⇢ Project Gutenberg

8. The Lost Stradivarius

John Meade Falkner

In this Gothic short story, aristocrat John Maltravers, discovers a Stradivarius violin, and becomes obsessed with the instrument.

The black magician’s history and this obsession eventually destroy him.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

9. The House on the Borderland

William Hope Hodgson

A supernatural horror story being a hallucinatory account of a recluse’s stay at a remote house, and his experiences of supernatural creatures.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

10. The Night Land

William Hope Hodgson

A classic horror novel, described by H.P. Lovecraft as “one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written”.

A gentleman, mourning the death of his beloved woman, is given a vision of a distant future where their souls will be reunited.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

11. The Boats of the “Glen Carrig”

William Hope Hodgson

A story about the passengers who escaped in two lifeboats the wreck of a ship, which was lost at sea and struck a hidden rock.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

12. The Turn of the Screw

Henry James

A gothic ghost story novella written by Henry James. It tells a story of how the young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the death of their parents.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

13. A Thin Ghost and Others

M. R. James

A collection of ghost stories includes, among others, The Residence at Whitminster, and The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

14. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

M. R. James

First collection of ghost stories by M. R. James. The stories rely “on a gentle, bucolic background to emphasize the awfulness of the otherworldly intrusions.”

⇢ Project Gutenberg

15. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Part 2

M. R. James

The second part of M. R. James’ collection brings 15 more horror stories.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

16. Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka

A famous short novel by Franz Kafka, which begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a large, monstrous insect.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

16. The Trial

Franz Kafka

One of Kafka’s best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor the reader.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

17. Carmilla

Sheridan Le Fanu

This Gothic novella tells the story of a young woman’s susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

18. The Shunned House

H.P. Lovecraft

One of H.P. Lovecraft’s best short novels. The protagonist and his uncle, Dr. Elihu Whipple, have been tracking the mysterious, yet apparently coincidental sickness and death of many who have lived in the house on Benefit Street.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

19. The Great God Pan

Arthur Machen

A classic horror novella by Arthur Machen was widely considered as degenerate and horrific because of a decadent style and sexual content.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

20. The House of Souls (collection)

Arthur Machen

Most notable works by a Welsh author and mystic Arthur Machen. Besides The Great God Pan, you’ll find here also A Fragment of LifeThe White People, and The Inmost Light.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

21. Animal Ghosts Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter

Elliott O’Donnell

First of three books by Elliot O’Donnell, digitized by Project Gutenberg. The author was known primarily for his books about ghosts.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

22. Scottish Ghost Stories

Elliott O’Donnell

A collection of seventeen ghost stories located in Scotland.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

22. The Sorcery Club

Elliott O’Donnell

This occult fantasy novel is one of the most popular works of Elliott O’Donnell.

Three people make a pact with the “Unknown” to obtain occult powers. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize with whom they made the pact.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

Classic horror stories free to download

23. Widdershins

Oliver Onions

One of the best ghost story collections by a British writer Oliver Onions. It includes The Beckoning Fair One, widely regarded as a classic of the horror genre.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

24. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume 1

Edgar Allan Poe

First of the five-volume set of digitized works of Edgar Allan Poe, includes The Gold-BugThe Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Oval Portrait.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

25. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume 2

Edgar Allan Poe

The volume includes: The Purloined LetterThe Black CatThe Fall of the House of Usher, and The Masque of the Red Death.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

27. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume 3

Edgar Allan Poe

In this volume, you’ll find The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, the only complete novel written by Poe.

This is a story of the young Arthur Gordon Pym, who stows away aboard a whaling ship called the Grampus.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

29. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume 4

Edgar Allan Poe

Among the included works: The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor FetherMellonta Tauta, and The Devil in the Belfry.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

30. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume 5

Edgar Allan Poe

The last part of the collected works of Poe, includes among others, a short story Hop-Frog. The title character, a dwarf taken from his homeland, becomes the jester of a king particularly fond of practical jokes.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

31. The Vampyre; a Tale

John William Polidori

A horror short story by John William Polidori, is often viewed as the progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction.

It tells a story of Aubrey, a young Englishman, who meets Lord Ruthven, a man of mysterious origins who has entered London society.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

32. Varney the Vampire: Or the Feast of Blood

Thomas Preskett Prest

It’s a Victorian era serialized gothic horror story by Thomas Preskett Prest. Altogether it totals over 666,000 words, and has been described as the worst book of the 19th century.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

33. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

A famous novella by a Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, focuses on a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

34. Dracula

Bram Stoker

A classic Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread undead curse.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

35. The House of the Vampire

George Sylvester Viereck

One of the first horror novels to delve into the psychic and emotional aspects of vampirism, lending a measure of psychological suspense to the story.

⇢ Project Gutenberg

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