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Horror and Ghost Stories

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By: Henry James (1843-1916)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James The Turn of the Screw

Christmas Eve. Guests round a fireside begin telling each other ghost stories. One of them relates a true incident involving the governess of his little nephew and niece. Strange events begin to take place, involving the housekeeper, a stranger who prowls round the grounds, a mysterious woman dressed in black and an unknown misdemeanor committed by the little nephew. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James was published in 1893 and it remains one of the best-known and admired works of this great American writer...

The Jolly Corner by Henry James The Jolly Corner

“The Jolly Corner,” published in 1908, is considered by many to be a ghost story ranking second only to “The Turn of the Screw.” James’s protagonist, Spencer Brydon, is an American of 56, returned to New York after 33 years in Europe, where he has apparently accomplished little while living off his New York rentals. His friendship with Alice Staverton, and his engagement in the development of a property awaken him to the possibilities that might have been his, had he chosen a different course of life...

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome Told after Supper

It is Christmas Eve, and the narrator, his uncle and sundry other local characters are sitting round the fire drinking copious quantities of whisky punch and telling ghost stories until bedtime, when… But no, I won’t spoil the fun. This is a little gem: Jerome at his tongue-in-cheek best.

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Book cover Ghost: A Modern Fantasy

The novel opens with Carl Foster, a recently qualified doctor, coming to London to try and make his fortune. He meets a famous tenor, Signor Alresca, who suffers a dreadful injury backstage and Foster tends to him. He thus meets the lead soprano, Rosetta Rosa, and falls hopelessly in love with her.Alresca takes Foster under his wing and they travel to Alresca's home in Bruges. It is clear to Foster that Alresca has some strange obsession. Foster also notices a stranger who seems to be dogging his footsteps.Things take an even more sinister turn when Alresca inexplicably dies. . .

By: Washington Irving (1783-1859)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Set in the small secluded valley of Sleepy Hollow, Irving’s short speculative story follows the rivalry between Ichabod Crane and Brom Van Brunt for Katrina Van Tassel’s hand in marriage. Mostly inhabited by descendants from Dutch settlers, the residents are known for their belief in superstitions and the supernatural, and have many stories to suffice their colorful imaginations. The story begins when the scrawny schoolmaster Ichabod Crane from Connecticut moves to Sleepy Hollow for a teaching job and rotates living with the families of his students...

By: Anna Katharine Green (1846-1935)

Missing: Page Thirteen by Anna Katharine Green Missing: Page Thirteen

Violet Strange, a clever petite detective, is called upon to solve the mystery of a page gone missing from an important document. The futures of several people, including an eccentric misanthrope, a chemical scientist, a bride and groom, depend on the quick resolution of this problem. In solving one mystery, she uncovers another which dates back many years.

By: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)

Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories by Ambrose Bierce Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914?), satirist, critic, poet, short story writer and journalist. His fiction showed a clean economical style often sprinkled with subtle cynical comments on human behaviour. Nothing is known of his death, as he went missing while an observer with Pancho Villa’s army in 1913/14. (Summaries by Peter Yearsley)The Ways of Ghosts: Stories of encounters with the ghosts of the dead and dying. The spirits of the dead reach out to the living, to pass on a message or to pursue a killer...

The Parenticide Club by Ambrose Bierce The Parenticide Club

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa’s army. Four grotesque short stories about murder within the family, seen through the gently innocent eyes of family members … usually the murderer himself.My favorite murder (00:23)Oil of Dog (20:13)An Imperfect Conflagration (29:32)The Hypnotist (37:14)

Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce Can Such Things Be?

24 short stories in fairly typical Bierce fashion - ghostly, spooky, to be read (or listened to) in the dark, perhaps with a light crackling fire burning dimly in the background. Stories of ghosts, apparitions, and strange, inexplicable occurrences are prevalent in these tales, some of which occur on or near Civil War fields of battle, some in country cottages, and some within urban areas. Can Such Things Be? implies and relates that anything is possible, at any time.

Book cover The Damned Thing 1898, From "In the Midst of Life"

By: Thomas Preskett Prest

Varney the Vampire Or the Feast of Blood by Thomas Preskett Prest Varney the Vampire Or the Feast of Blood

By: Montague R. James (1862-1936)

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R. James Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

An English tourist in a small, rural town in the South of France discovers an ancient manuscript with a strange illustration on the last page. A young orphan is sent to live with his elderly cousin, a secretive man who is obsessed with immortality. A picture that tells stories that change according to who is viewing it. These and other delicious, goose bump evoking tales are part of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R James. A master of his craft, MR James was an academic and administrator of King's College, Cambridge and later of Eton...

By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

Book cover Enchanted Typewriter

The Enchanted Typewriter is a collection of short stories by the American author John Kendrick Bangs, written in 1899 in the style that has become known as Bangsian fantasy. Bangs attributes many of the stories to the late (and invisible) James Boswell, who has become an editor for a newspaper in Hades, and who communicates with the author by means of an old typewriter. The fantasy stories in this book are part of the author's Hades series, named for the stories' setting.

Book cover Water Ghost and Others

Eight ghost stories by a master story teller and humorist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

By: Charles Brockden Brown

Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown Arthur Mervyn

Kicked out of his parental home by his scheming young stepmother, a young country boy, Arthur Mervyn arrives in Philadelphia. Here he finds the city in the throes of a deadly yellow-fever epidemic. However, he finds a small job as a clerk and is determined to make his way in the world. He soon discovers that his employer is a con man and a murderer. One night, Arthur helps him dispose of a body in the river. While they're struggling with the corpse, the employer is swept away by the current... If you haven't encountered American Gothic before, Arthur Mervyn by Charles Brockden Brown is a great introduction to this genre...

Book cover Wieland: or, the Transformation, an American Tale
Book cover Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker

By: Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933)

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80’s and early 90’s, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of “The King In Yellow”. This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author’s life as an artist in France...

By: Robert Smythe Hichens

The Return of the Soul by Robert Smythe Hichens The Return of the Soul

Can the soul of the dead come back to haunt the one who was responsible for its death? What would happen if the responsible one did not believe it could be so, and yet was in love with the returned soul? The Return of the Soul is a horror story of a man who is visited by the returning soul of a deceased, and who has some very perplexing issues to deal with upon that return. (Introduction by Roger Melin)

Book cover Tongues of Conscience

Tongues of Conscience (1898) is a collection of five thought-provoking stories where an innocent, but selfish, action leads to horrific consequences. Robert Hichens writes some wonderfully evocative descriptions of nature: from a raw and exposed violent seascape, to the serene and idyllic countryside “…the violets seemed to sing in odours…” , to a train pushing through the white-out of a blizzard. In Sea Change an artist with a dark secret (“…I painted for him in words, the varying colors of waves in different seas… I drowned little Jack in the sea...

By: Walter De la Mare (1873-1956)

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

By: L. T. Meade (1854-1914)

Book cover The Time of Roses

By: Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)

The Willows by Algernon Blackwood The Willows

A tale of horror in which a pleasant sojourn down the Danube tumbles terrifyingly awry as the veil between this world and an unfathomably weird dimension is inadvertently pierced by an innocent pair of vacationers, “The Willows”, arguably Algernon Blackwood’s seminal contribution to supernatural literature, has had a lasting influence on the field. No less a personage than H. P. Lovecraft describing it as “…the greatest weird tale ever written.” A reading will reveal a clear influence to one familiar with Lovecraft’s work...

The Camp of the Dog by Algernon Blackwood The Camp of the Dog

A party of campers on a deserted Baltic island is terrorized by a huge wolf… or is it?

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood The Wendigo

Another camper tale, this time set in the Canadian wilderness. A hunting party separates to track moose, and one member is abducted by the Wendigo of legend. Robert Aickman regarded this as "one of the (possibly) six great masterpieces in the field".

Book cover Four Weird Tales

Four stories: The Insanity of Jones, The Man Who Found Out, The Glamour of the Snow, and Sand. Tales by one the greatest practitioners of supernatural literature. Reincarnation, the Occult, and mystery.

Book cover The Damned
Book cover John Silence

Six stories about Dr. John Silence if you want the shivers to run up your back, this is the right place to be

Book cover The Garden of Survival

By: Émile Zola (1840-1902)

Therese Raquin by Émile Zola Therese Raquin

An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.

By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Carmilla

Published in 1872, Carmilla is an early work in the vampire literature genre and is incidentally one of the most influential of its type. The gothic novella accounts the tale of Laura, a young woman who becomes susceptible to the friendship and seductive charms of the mysterious Carmilla. A gripping tale of coincidence, mystery, compulsion, dark romance, and deception, Le Fanu’s classic is regarded as having paved the way for modern takes on vampires. Narrated by Laura, the novel opens with a recount of her childhood, as she depicts growing up in a beautiful, yet solitary castle encompassed by a forest in Styria, Austria...


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