The best classic horror story collections

Why am I passionate about this?

My Swedish grandmother first introduced me to the horror genre when I was a small boy. Her folktales of trolls and witches really fueled my imagination! Then, when I was in junior high, my father encouraged me to read Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. I didn’t get hooked on things Gothic, however, until I heard the lyrics of Jim Morrison and the Doors in high school. After college, I became a freelance writer. I quickly learned that 80% of my spooky stuff got accepted by magazines while only 10% of my general interest work was published. That said, it’s no wonder I became a horror writer! 


I wrote...

Ghosts Revisited

By William P. Robertson,

Book cover of Ghosts Revisited

What is my book about?

Ghosts Revisited by William P. Robertson exhumes 32 chilling tales from the crypts of Pennsylvania and Western New York. Who knew that Erie Cemetery housed a vampire, or that High Hat, the Seneca Bogeyman, roams Allegany State Park to quench his cannibalistic urges? Hell hounds frequent Goodleburg Graveyard while Hotel Conneaut is home to the specter bride Elizabeth who burned to death on her honeymoon. Scarier yet, is the serial killer whose ghost resides at the Bergen House near Rochester, New York. That was where he slaughtered children and fed them to the pigs.

Historic sites such as the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, the Dunkirk Lighthouse, and Eastern State Penitentiary have their share of phantoms, as well. Add in a haunted hospital, a derelict poorhouse, and a rat-infested factory, and this book becomes truly spooktacular!

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood

William P. Robertson Why did I love this book?

The Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood features the author’s scariest tales, including “The Willows” and “The Wendigo”. Blackwood piles detail after detail atop one another until the reader nearly suffocates from the gloom and terror they create! He also squeezes much fear from isolated places like Canada and the Danube River.

By Algernon Blackwood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman of snow . . . a midnight caller keeping his promise . . . forests where Nature is deliberate and malefic . . . enchanted houses . . . these are the beings and ideas that flood through this collection of ghost stories by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951). Altogether thirteen stories, gathered from the entire corpus of Blackwood's work, are included: stories of such sheer power and imagination that it is easy to see why he has been considered the foremost British supernaturalist of the twentieth century.
Blackwood's ability to create an atmosphere of unrelieved horror and sustain it…


Book cover of Night Shift

William P. Robertson Why did I love this book?

Night Shift by Stephen King is another creepy masterpiece. ”Graveyard Shift,” “The Lawnmower Man,” and “Children of the Corn” especially stand out from this strong collection of short fiction by today’s most notable horror author. Pop culture references bring his work up to date, and several of the stories read like they came from King’s own experience.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Night Shift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King’s first collection of short stories, originally published in 1978, showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination and will "chill the cockles of many a heart" (Chicago Tribune). Night Shift is the inspiration for over a dozen acclaimed horror movies and television series, including Children of the Corn , Chapelwaite, and Lawnmower Man.

Here we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a possessed, evil lawnmower (“The Lawnmower Man”); unsettling children from the heartland (“Children of the Corn”); a smoker who will try anything to…


Book cover of Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre: The Best of H. P. Lovecraft

William P. Robertson Why did I love this book?

The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre showcases some of the weirder stories of the horror genre. “The Rats in the Walls” and “The Thing on the Doorstep” put the “f” in fear! H.P.’s evil space creature, Cthulhu, also makes an appearance in this anthology.

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”—Stephen King

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”—H.P. Lovecraft

This is the collection that true fans of horror fiction must have: sixteen of H.P. Lovecraft’s most horrifying visions, including:

The Call of Cthulu: The first story in the infamous Cthulhu mythos—a creature spawned in the stars brings a menace of unimaginable evil to threaten all mankind.
The Dunwich Horror: An evil man’s desire to perform an unspeakable…


Book cover of Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

William P. Robertson Why did I love this book?

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe is a must-read for anyone interested in horror. Poe was the first to inject Gothic principles into the short story format and pumped in some psychological terror for good measure. Incest, torture, and premeditated murder are just some of the topics he covers.

By Edgar Allan Poe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This single volume brings together all of Poe's stories and poems, and illuminates the diverse and multifaceted genius of one of the greatest and most influential figures in American literary history.


Book cover of More Haunted Northern New York

William P. Robertson Why did I love this book?

More Haunted Northern New York by hometown girl, Cheri Revai, examines the region’s ghostly tales with a journalistic eye. History and horror go hand-in-hand in such stories as “DocRoc’s Z Bar,” “Spanky’s Diner,” “The House at the Racket,” and “Burrville Cider Mill.” Photos of each haunted place help bring these horrors to life.

By Cheri Farnsworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked More Haunted Northern New York as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Another fascinating compilation of true ghost stories and spirit encounters from around the North Country region. Cheri Farnsworth has done it again, weaving unbelievable bits of Northern New York history into these new chilling accounts of ghostly encounters and deftly illustrating the very personal nature of encounters with the spirits of deceased loved ones in this admirable follow-up to her best-selling book, "Haunted Northern New York."


You might also like...

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

Book cover of The Road from Belhaven

Margot Livesey Author Of The Road from Belhaven

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Secret orphan Professor Scottish Novelist

Margot's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Road from Belhaven is set in 1880s Scotland. Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small girl that she can see the future. But she soon realises that she must keep her gift a secret. While she can sometimes glimpse the future, she can never change it.

Nor can Lizzie change the feelings that come when a young man named Louis, visiting Belhaven for the harvest, begins to court her. Why have the adults around her never told her that the touch of a hand can change everything? When she follows Louis to Glasgow, she begins to learn the limits of his devotion and the complexities of her own affections.

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-century Scotland

Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn’t, for instance, see that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her “pictures” foretell various incidents and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the supernatural, pop music, and ghosts?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the supernatural, pop music, and ghosts.

The Supernatural Explore 324 books about the supernatural
Pop Music Explore 46 books about pop music
Ghosts Explore 229 books about ghosts