Who doesn’t know the story of Frankenstein’s monster or Dracula?
These are timeless tales that have kept people on the edge of their seats for decades, or in some cases, hundreds of years.
Classic horror stories like these are so popular, in fact, that they’re re-created into written fanfiction, movies, and plays. They’ve also inspired musicians, painters and the list goes on from there.
Whether readers are fans of short horror stories or more lengthy scary stories, re-reading the classics is always a fun way to spend an evening or to liven up a sleepover.
Classic Horror Stories – The Top 10 Greatest Horror Stories of All Time
Readers who are ready for some spine-tingling fun should read these classic horror stories, whether it’s the first time or the millionth. Here’s Audiobook Store’s Classic Horror Stories List of Must-Read Classic Tales of Terror.
1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Bringing a human back to life after death is something that has fascinated humans since the beginning of time. Writing a story where someone actually does that is both enticing and terrifying – two important elements that have kept Shelley’s book popular for over 200 years.
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
When it comes to classic horror stories, Bram Stoker was a genius.
Though Count Dracula wasn’t the first vampire character to grace the scary stories genre, he is one of the most memorable. It’s because of the popularity of this story and character that other vampire stories seem to pop up in popular culture nearly every year, including:
3. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
When looking for short horror stories for teenagers, Edgar Allan Poe is a go-to source.
One of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous stories is The Tell-Tale Heart, the story of a never-named narrator who may or may not be in their right mind. The narrator spends their time trying to convince the reader of their sanity, while at the same time describing a murder they committed.
Throughout the story, the narrator hears a thumping noise, which they interpret as the beating heart of their victim.
4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Another story for teens and adults alike is The Turn of the Screw. It’s one of the best classic scary stories to tell at sleepovers.
Like The Tell-Tale Heart, the reader is never really convinced of the main character’s sanity. Is she, the governess with two small children in her care, just imagining things, or is there something supernatural going on?
The Turning of the Screw has lent itself to dozens of interpretations over the years, with readers dissecting the sanity of the governess, while simultaneously trying to identify the evil entity in the story.
5. The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
The Monkey’s Paw is another one of the great short horror stories for teenagers. In this story, Mr. and Mrs. White and their son Herbert are introduced to a mummified monkey’s paw. Anyone in possession of it gets three wishes. Their wishes come true. Unfortunately, it’s to the detriment of the White family. Why? Read and find out.
6. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
When it comes to short horror stories, The Yellow Wallpaper is one that will resonate with anyone who’s experienced cabin fever.
The narrator has been placed on postpartum bedrest at the behest of her physician (her husband). Slowly, she begins a descent into madness, seeing another woman trapped in the yellow wallpaper that enshrouds her room. The narrator will stop at nothing to free the trapped woman.
7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
While not the scariest or most horrific of all classic horror stories, Rebecca is a tale that will keep readers hooked to the very end.
A young woman happily enters into marriage with a widower. Once she’s taken back to his home, though, she lives a life shadowed by the man’s dead wife. Her husband becomes distant and the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, does her best to slowly drive the newlywed into madness and despair. She constantly compares her to the lovely, perfect first wife and showcases the new wife’s inferiority.
8. Intensity by Dean Koontz
A woman survives an attempt on her life by a murderous sociopath, a man who remorselessly revels in the act of killing. All she wants to do now is move on with her life – until she finds out that he’s now after another innocent life and she’s the only one that can stop him.
Intensity is one of those books that readers won’t be able to stop listening to until the very end.
9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
What happens when order goes out the window? This thought-provoking question has been asked repeatedly throughout the ages. The answer is simple—chaos.
William Golding proves that point in Lord of the Flies, a story about a plane full of war evacuees that crashes on a tropical island. The survivors try to keep some semblance of order at the beginning. Soon, though, chaos ensues, and the survivors must fight to stay alive while overcoming warring factions and paranoia.
10. Psycho by Robert Bloch
For anyone who loves classic horror movies, Psycho is typically at the top of their list. Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, knew there was an entertaining, thrilling, horrifying movie to be made when he read Robert Bloch’s Psycho.
He was right! Pretty much everyone knows about Norman Bates and The Bates Motel, both of which are classic, freaky characters in this story that will forever be known as one of the creepiest scary stories of all time.
Sit Back and Enjoy a Spine-Tingling Escape from Reality
When someone has some downtime, whether they’re trying to enjoy some quiet time after work or want to entertain themselves on their commute to and from work, audiobooks are an ideal way to escape from reality.
Whether readers are looking for the latest Irish horror stories or classic horror stories, Audiobook Store has them covered.
Once you’ve heard all the classics, what should you listen to next? Why not check out our “coming soon” section to find out which audiobooks (including scary tales of horror) will be headed your way in the near future?