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Old 08-01-2006   #1
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My Favorite Horror Story

I have an entertaining book that is called My Favorite Horror Story. It was published by DAW Books in 2000. The editors asked fifteen contemporary horror authors what their favorite horror story was. The story was then prefaced by a brief reason why the author liked the story.This book is similar to Horror 100 Best Books except it deals with the short story. This is the contents page:

Sweets to the Sweet by Robert Bloch Chosen by Stephen King
The Father-Thing by Philip K. Dick Chosen by Ed Gorman
The Distributor by Richard Matheson Chosen by F. Paul Wilson
A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James Chosen by Ramsey Campbell
Opening the Door by Arthur Machen Chosen by Peter Adkins
The Colour Out of Space by HPL Chosen by Richard Laymon
The Inner Room by Robert Aickman Chosen by Peter Straub
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Chosen by Rick Hautala
The Rats in the Walls by HPL Chosen by Michael Slade
The Dog Park by Dennis Etchison Chosen by Richard Christian Matheson
The Animal Fair by Robert Bloch Chosen by Joe R. Lansdale
The Pattern by Ramsey Campbell Chosen by Poppy Z. Brite
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Chosen by Joyce Carol Oates
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Chosen by Dennis Etchison
The Human Chair by Edigawa Rampo Chosen by Harlan Ellison

A number of Poe and Ligotti stories are among my favorites. Also a couple of Lovecraft's. Maybe M.R. Jame's "Count Magnus" or "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs, or "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, or T.E.D. Klein's "Nadelman's God." But I think I will go with the paranoid animal fable "The Burrow" by Franz Kafka. This story is essentially about the futility of trying to fend off death. A mole-like creature is plagued with dread imaginings of being torn to shreds. It sees enemies everywhere. All of the animal's thought and energy is focused on strengthening the fortifications of its burrow. Its thoughts become incoherent due to the unmitigated anxiety of trying to defend itself from predators, both real and imagined. As with most of Kafka's stories, it is very funny too.


What is your favorite horror story?
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Old 08-01-2006   #2
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

I was completely done in by the claustrophobia of "The Graveyard Rats" by Henry Kuttner. "The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers has left me feeling tainted since I first encountered it many years ago...

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 08-01-2006   #3
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'The Upper Berth' and 'The Dead Smile' both by F Marion Crawford.

And if it can been seen as a separate story (as I think it can be), the second chapter of 'The Beetle' by Richard Marsh.

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Old 08-06-2006   #4
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

I remember reading and liking both "The Yellow Sign" by Robert W.Chambers and "The Upper Berth" by F. Marion Crawford. I'll have to track down "The Dead Smile." I know Necronomicon Press published a chapbook of this one in their Lovecraft's Favorite Stories series.

I have had a copy of Richard Marsh's The Beetle for ages, but I haven't gotten around to readng it yet.

I read "The Graveyard Rats" last night. I was blown away! Thanks GSC. That is as gruesome as any EC Comic that I have ever read. I bet Poe would have loved it.

"Belated fears were beginning to crawl, maggot-like, within his mind, but greed urged him on."
Henry Kuttner - "The Graveyard Rats"
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Old 08-07-2006   #5
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

OK, so far everyone has mentioned tales I also would have listed, for the most part.

I'll add E. F. Benson's "Caterpillers", Chamber's "The Repairer of Reputations", and a story entitled "What Was It?", whose author's name eludes me for the moment.

If we are counting stories beyond shorts, I must forward William Hope Hodgson's THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND.

-Aether

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-Nikola Tesla, July of 1934
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Old 08-07-2006   #6
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Wasn't What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien?

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Old 08-07-2006   #7
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Hey, Des! "The Diamond Lens"?

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 08-07-2006   #8
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

You are correct, sir. O'Brien it is. Thanks for the memory-jog, DF.

For your prize, I would reward you with your very own Star Vampire, but I see you already have your own...

_Aether

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Old 08-07-2006   #9
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Re: My Favorite Horror Story

Sorry, I've just realised that while skimming through the posts, in the last of them I took the title of the story to be a part of the sentence. Never mind... back to bed...

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 08-08-2006   #10
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Thanks for reminding me of 'The Diamond Lens', Yhaze!

I've looked all over - even via the eponymous lens - but can find no star vampire.
des

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