10 Horror Stories From Famous Non-Horror Authors

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We’ve all heard about the adored classics written by authors who have shaped our childhoods, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as well as the work of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The names of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain are household names. Did you know these authors had an attraction to writing tales that made you shiver? Here are ten horror tales written by famous authors whose most popular works aren’t frightening.


10. “The Story of a Mother”Hans Christian Andersen

The thought that a child might lose their life because of an illness can be a frightening thought for parents of any age. Particularly when the medical treatment available by Andersen’s time isn’t comparable to the modern facilities. This tale chronicles the heartbreaking experience a mother goes through while her child rots in the midst of illness. The mother must face an actual manifestation Death and The Grim Reaper himself. But, nobody can end the cycle that is death and life regardless of what they really want to.

The horror of this story is that of despair when the mother is determined to do every trick in her arsenal in order to help her baby. Each day her hopes are shattered. [1]

9. “A Thousand Deaths”
Jack London

While Jack London is well-known for his novels such as White Fang and The Call of the Wild Did you know that the first work of fiction his name ever appeared in was “A Thousand Deaths”? It was published in 1899. This terrifying tale was the first book that launched his career. The reader is privy to the horror of the drowning of the protagonist, and who regrets that they didn’t live an enlightened life.

When he is sucked into disappearance, he discovers that he’s being returned to his former the boat that’s not his. The boat is rigged up to a variety of devices and gadgets The protagonist is in the hands of an mad scientist seeking to blur the lines between death and life. [2]

8. “To Be Read at Dusk”
Charles Dickens

In this tale couriers from all over Europe are settling down in a gathering near an old convent in the mountains. After drinking their share of smoke and alcohol the subject about supernaturaloccurrences is brought up. Some people believe in the legitimacy of these claims. Some dismiss them as a fanciful nonsense. It’s only that Giovanni Baptista is urged by another friend to share about his affair with an English bride that things take a an unexpected turn.

A decade back, a couple knew had recently got married. They were blissfully happy and enjoying marriage bliss. Then, the wife became enthralled by a mysterious male who appeared in dreams. After becoming obsessed by her spectre, the person appears at dinner with her husband and wife. She is ill, and even though she leaves the restaurant on friendly terms with her husband the man checks in with her during the week following to see how she’s doing. Then, a few days later, she disappears without leaving a trace. The stories of supernatural encounters between men begin. [3]

7. “The Silver Mirror”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Based on the same imagination that conceived Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creates an eerie story about an overworked leadger who receives by a mysterious mirror. At first, everything appears normal and the mirror operates as a normal one would. But when the character is confronted with visions of ghostly figures and other terrifying images through the mirror’s glass He begins to question the strangeness of the mirror and his own logic.

The protagonist seeks guidance from the doctor who’s fascinated by the way mirrors can make people into mad. The protagonist must decipher the complicated and bloody story of the mirror before losing any mental sanity that he still has. [4]

6. “Phantasmagoria”
Lewis Carroll

In rhyme, line-for-line, Lewis Carrol pens the life of ghosts during his early 1900s. The story begins with a spirit being invited by the main character to sit at his house, eat some food, and unwind while it explains the different ways that the dead and the ghostly creatures frighten the living. The ghost recounts the way it was killed (with an incredibly hard blow to the face by a bottle from an enemy) with the same kind of humor you’d think of from the writer of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The two alternate between humorous comebacks and snide comments and yet they manage to develop a kind of relationship at the final paragraph. This is so much so that, when the protagonist wakes after a evening of alcohol crying, he regrets that his ghostly friend was in the wrong home and is haunting a man by the name Tibbs. While this may not cause a stir in adults, it can be a good start for children who are being first introduced into the genre of horror! [5]

5. “A Ghost Story”Mark Twain

In a similar vein like the previous entry The novel of Mark Twain A Ghost Story chronicles the story of a man that seeks refuge from the rain in the basement of an almost abandoned structure that may not have witnessed move in years. The storm that is outside eases and the protagonist is able to go to sleep. Later in the middle of the night, he awakes with a scream. Being relieved that he’s not alone, he feels the mattress covering his body being pulled off by an unknown force.

There are other spooky occurrences when the main character is sucked through the night by a variety of obvious signs of an eerie ghostly presence. One of them is “a grating noise overhead, like the dragging of a heavy body across the floor; then the throwing down of the body, and the shaking of my windows in response to the concussion.” [6of a scream, a groan, and the thud

4. “A Haunted House”
Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s story may read more melancholy than terrifying, but the tale she writes is eerie nonetheless. The tale is told by two couples: one living and the other that’s been dead for a while. The storyteller writes that she hears the ghostly couple moving around the house, opening and closing doors and drawers, cabinets and so on. She can hear them searching at their long lost ” treasure.”

She is aware of them entering her room at night and gaze over her partner as they try to go to sleep as they talk about how they must discover the “treasure.” It’s only an hour later, when the narrator awakes and realizes that what “treasure” the dead couple were looking for was something she and her husband have now: love and life in the marriage that is still in place. [7]

3. “Napoleon and the Spectre”
Charlotte Bronte

When she was in her teens Charlotte Bronte’s “Napoleon and the Spectre” is a hilarious tale of the then-Emperor Napoleon(yes that Napoleon) being plagued by a ghost or poltergeist. The story begins with him going to sleep, while experiencing things that look like illusions of light, and hearing strange sounds where it is difficult to discern the sounds and is convinced over and over again that he was going to be haunted. However, every time up to this point has turned out to be an untrue alarm.

In the late evening, as he’s settling down to sleep an apparition of a dark figure is seen by his bedside. Napoleon is tempted to write this appearance off as an optical illusion, but his reality is destroyed when the figure speaks to him. The figure of the demon explains it’s actually real and exists to bring an ego-driven ruler to beyond. [8]

2. “The Canterville Ghost”
Oscar Wilde

In the year Virginia Otis and her family bought their first house it was not too extraordinary. The locals had advised them that the house was plagued by spirits everywhere and every crevice. The place had slipped seamlessly into their lives, both in elegance and cost that they were able to strike with the iron while it was hot. It was perfectly. Then they saw those bloody stains that were on the ground.

Mrs. Umney, the elderly and gaunt housekeeper of the house, snarkily informed the family that previous owners were the ones to blame for an extremely violent incident. It was a sad day for the lady. Eleanore was brutally killed by her husband just couple of weeks ago in the exact spot where the red stain was visible on the floor. The family attempts to get rid of the stain but one day following every cleaning, it resurfaces like it was never cleaned. The saga of the ghosts is just beginning with this. The story develops to reveal a more complicated story that those in the Otis family could ever thought of finding. The decisions Virginia decides to make will uncover the secrets she has kept hidden for years that her new house has kept for years. [9]

1. “The Red Room”
H.G. Wells

While probably more connected in more of the Science Fiction genre, H.G. Wells was not a stranger to the darker part of the genre. The novel “The Red Room,” Wells writes about the story of a man in his 20s who meets an elderly couple living in a house that is believed to be haunted. The Narrator (and the protagonist) is at best skeptical of the creepy old couple’s ideas. They insist they are true and that he ought to be cautious when in their home. Confident in challenging the truth, the storyteller insists on visiting the room which is believed to be the cause of the strange occurrences. They inform him that if they want to visit it at this particular time that he’ll need to go there on his own. They won’t even guide him along the hallway, but instead guide him into the “Red Room.”

The journey down the halls and into the room itself prove to be more than a skin-crawling than the author had was expecting. His cautious attitude is gradually dispelled by a renewed feeling of fear and anxiety. The room is filled with death. Although he attempts to convince himself that ghosts don’t exist The candle’s flame persists to flicker. Then he discovers why the couple advised him not to go there, particularly on the time of night. [1]

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