Columns > Published on October 30th, 2015

10 Spooky Horror Stories for Halloween Night

It's Halloween night, you're all alone at home and it's too early to party or watch that horror flick you've got waiting for you. But you still want to be scared. Check out these spooktacular stories I've selected for you, available for free online, courtesy of some of the best horror short fiction magazines out there. Enjoy.

1. "The Crevasse" by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud 

The Lovecraft eZine

Let the cold in. A story about Antarctic explorers, vaguely inspired by the Douglas Mawson expedition (I'm only guessing, but they got done in by crevasses, so it reminded me of it).

This one will keep you up at night.


2. "Frontier Death Song" by Laird Barron

Nightmare Magazine

Alright, bear with me here. This is another story that's a bit uh, frosty. Have you ever heard of The Hunt? A legend circulating in Alaska among Iditarod participants. The Huntsman and his pack of wolves appear out of the Alaskan blizzards to claim their souls. Our protagonist has witnessed him and is now fleeing him, for the rest of his life.

[amazon B00FAHZPWG inline]


3. 'The Crowgirl' by Megan Arkenberg

Nightmare Magazine

One of my favorite post-apocalyptic stories, ever.

[amazon B00FJRQR88 inline]


4. 'The Hanging Game' by Helen Marshall

Sometimes a game, even a sacred game, can have far-reaching consequences. In bear country young Skye learns just how far she is willing to go to play the game properly in order to carry on the traditions that came before her and will most likely continue long after she is gone.

A spooky little fairytale/folktale where things become significantly more heartbreaking as you go.


5. 'Burial' by Hellena Bell

The Dark Magazine

A short little messed up story, a bit reminiscent of some old sci-fi pulp tales, of things and planets that want to devour you. 

Read it. It'll only take you a few minutes.


6. 'The Hollow Man' by Norman Partridge

Nightmare Magazine

A hermit squares off against a gang of men. And...other things.

[amazon B00RNV3NUI inline]


7. 'On Post-Mortem Birds' by Natalia Theodoridou


Everyone carries a bird inside of them. Learn how to safely remove it post mortem.

A weird little story about death and what comes after.


8. 'Seeking boarder for rm w/ attached bathroom, must be willing to live with ghosts ($500 / Berkeley)' by Rahul Kanakia


A slightly funnier story, but still very much in the Halloween spirit. A cranky old Ghostbusters-esque man is trying to rent a room without much success. Unfortunately the house is full of ghosts and he's a really cranky old man, so things fall apart increasingly fast.

[amazon 0692304657 inline]


9. 'The Things' by Peter Watts


A kind of sequel, if you will, to the movie The Thing, written from the POV of the alien. We get to see what happens after the credits roll and how it thinks of us, which is pretty creepy. It was a finalist for a bunch of awards in 2011, including the Hugo. A cool little tale for horror movie buffs and everyone else, really.

[amazon B003IPD48E inline]


10. 'The Thyme Fiend' by Jeffrey Ford

I'll close with something a bit longer: a ghost story of novelette length.

“The Thyme Fiend” by Jeffrey Ford is a dark fantasy novelette about a young man who can only prevent seeing visions by eating or smoking thyme. When he finds the skeleton of a missing man the skeleton begins to haunt him. What does it want?

Hope you enjoy some of these. What's your favorite scary story?

About the author

George Cotronis lives in the wilderness of Northern Sweden. He designs book covers and sometimes writes. His stories have appeared in XIII, Big Pulp and Vignettes from the End of the World. He is also the editor in chief at Kraken Press and Aghast: A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic. You can see his work at or read his rants over at his blog.

Similar Columns

Explore other columns from across the blog.

Book Brawl: Geek Love vs. Water for Elephants

In Book Brawl, two books that are somehow related will get in the ring and fight it out for the coveted honor of being declared literary champion. Two books enter. One book leaves. This month,...

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Books That Should Be Box Office Blockbusters

It seems as if Hollywood is entirely bereft of fresh material. Next year, three different live-action Snow White films will be released in the States. Disney is still terrorizing audiences with t...

Books Without Borders: Life after Liquidation

Though many true book enthusiasts, particularly in the Northwest where locally owned retailers are more common than paperback novels with Fabio on the cover, would never have set foot in a mega-c...

From Silk Purses to Sows’ Ears

Photo via Moviegoers whose taste in cinema consists entirely of keeping up with the Joneses, or if they’re confident in their ignorance, being the Joneses - the middlebrow, the ...

Cliche, the Literary Default

Original Photo by Gerhard Lipold As writers, we’re constantly told to avoid the cliché. MFA programs in particular indoctrinate an almost Pavlovian shock response against it; workshops in...

A Recap Of... The Wicked Universe

Out of Oz marks Gregory Maguire’s fourth and final book in the series beginning with his brilliant, beloved Wicked. Maguire’s Wicked universe is richly complex, politically contentious, and fille...

Learning | Free Lesson — LitReactor | 2024-05

Try Reedsy's novel writing masterclass — 100% free

Sign up for a free video lesson and learn how to make readers care about your main character.

Reedsy Marketplace UI

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

Enter your email or get started with a social account: