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13 spooky short story collections you need to read right now


If you’re not going to read a spooky story or two this time of year then what are you doing with your life?

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It’s ok, we get it. Halloween and horror isn’t for everyone. But that’s why you’ll find a full range of collections on this list. No spook? No problem! Happy reading! *evil cackle*

1. ‘Grim’ ed. Christine Johnson

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Featuring some of your fave authors including Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking and Julie Kagawa, ‘Grim’ has an ecclectic mix of the slightly supernatural to full frontal freaks. These are, if you haven’t guessed from the title, retellings of certain fairy tales. And it’s a lot of fun!

2. ‘Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales’ ed. Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant

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Is the cover not enough to want to pick it up? #gagging
Plus, there are stories from Cassandra Clare, Holly Black and Patrick Ness. Yes!

3. ‘The Wrong Train’ by Jeremy de Quidt

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The blurb for this book is brilliant. Seriously, check it out, we can’t even summarise it in a way that will do it justice. Just be afraid… be very afraid!

4. Slasher Girls & Monster Boys ed. April Genevieve Tucholke

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If you saw the name ‘Leigh Bardugo’ and you didn’t instantly want to grab for this book then here’s the harder sell: These stories are scary, in so many different ways. They make you think. They make you shudder. They make you want to stop, but you can’t.

5. ‘The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories’ Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, Tessa Gratton

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The title does this complete justice. Think Alice, think “curiouser and curiouser” and think WTF? in the best possible way. Strange, supernatural and totally magical.

6. ‘The White People and other Weird Stories’ by Arthur Machen

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On the other hand, the title does not do this book justice. At all. These stories may be older, and some of the phrasing might feel it, BUT it’s creepy and twisty and the epitome of this strange season.

7. ‘Skin and other stories’ by Roald Dahl

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How could we NOT include Dahl in this list? If you’ve not heard of or experienced the sickening delight that is ‘Skin’ then you need to fix that. Stat. Some of these stories are more intriguing than full on terrifying, but all top notch!

8. ‘The Bloody Chamber and other stories’ by Angela Carter

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No one has, or ever will, turn a classic fairy tale into something else (something magically distorted) like Angela Carter. Beware, your fave stories will NEVER be the same again. Enjoy.

9. ‘The Lottery and Other Stories’ by Shirley Jackson

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Alright, let’s stop messing around. These will terrify you. End of.

10. ‘Prom Nights from Hell’ by Meg Cabot, Stephanie Meyer, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe and Lauren Myracle

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Prom can be a bit of nightmare before you throw in the Grim Reaper and other such supernatural screams!

11. ‘The Restless Dead’ ed. Deborah Noyes

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Featuring Holly Black, Marcus Sedgwick and Holly Black et al. Welcome to the realms of the undead. *cackles*

12. Edgar Allan Poe – collected stories

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The master of horror? Quite possibly. Read stories such as ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Black Cat’ out loud in a dark and slightly morose voice and you’ll be getting your Halloween rocks off before you know it!

13. ‘Zombies vs. Unicorns’ ed. by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

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Because why not? Finish on a high… and when we say “high” it may or may not portend to how you might feel reading this book. Including tales from Scott Westerfield and Garth Nix no less!

Which one would you deffo pick up? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.