What's the Scariest Story You've Ever Read?

Isah Brand

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The scariest short story I have read is "Harold" from Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The scarecrow story really got me right at the part where Harold began to trot around on the roof, "like a horse on its hind legs." Just that imagery. Harold was first and "The Drum," (from that very same book) was second; you may remember it as the story where the mother constantly threatened to give her children away to a new mother with a glass eye and a wooden tail.
 

Extollager

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Welcome to Chrons, Isah!

That story you mention in your final words reminded me of. Victorian story called “The New Mother.” It was by a woman whose name escapes me at the moment. I haven’t read it in many years. ...looked it up — her name was Lucy Clifford.
 

kythe

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The Colour out of Space by HP Lovecraft. Scary hints of radiation, but nothing is resolved or explained - which made it even spookier.
I'll second this one. It actually gave me nightmares for a few days after reading it. I agree that the lack of a distinctive "villain" makes it scarier - you never know what exactly it was.
 

Matteo

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The Monkey by Stephen King. A short story in his excellent Skeleton Crew collection.
 

Guttersnipe

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Welcome to Chrons, Isah!

That story you mention in your final words reminded me of. Victorian story called “The New Mother.” It was by a woman whose name escapes me at the moment. I haven’t read it in many years. ...looked it up — her name was Lucy Clifford.
I read "The New Mother" in a Short and Shivery collection. I thought it was weird, but I don't think it scared me. It reminds me of my stepmother. Sometimes I wonder if that jerk is even human.
 
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