Discover weekly, the best short stories

Looking for a steady supply of horror short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.

160+ Short Horror Stories to read

Submitted by writers on Reedsy Prompts to our weekly writing contest. From hauntings and murderers to terrifying creatures from the deep, our collection of horror stories will have you breaking out in cold sweats. Take a look… if you dare.

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The Best Horror Short Stories

Horror stories. What is it that you think of first? Maybe it’s malevolent, otherworldly spirits. Or perhaps it’s psychopaths, serial killers, and struggling writers driven mad by a deserted hotel? Whatever it is, there’s one thing that unites you and every other horror lover out there — adrenaline. You know the feeling: your skin crawls, your heart pounds, a shiver runs down your spine. And, as all the best horror story writers will tell you, the cause of this feeling isn’t just the presence of a monster, but the creation of suspense. 

That’s where short stories come in. Think Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, H. P. Lovecraft: some of their best horrors take the form of a short story. Tales that climb steadily towards a dark and horrific denouement. The kind of thing that, if you’re brave enough, you’d tell your friends around a campfire — a torch casting spooky shadows on your face. 

Looking for some spine-chilling horror stories?

If you’re into creepy stories that keep you awake at night, then look no further than our collection of short horror stories, compiled from submissions to our weekly writing contest. Here we’ve gathered together all the scary stories that made us want to lock our laptops in a cupboard and hide under the blankets. And at the top of the page, is the cream of the crop: horror stories that have either won our competition or been shortlisted. 

Lots of promising new writers have emerged from this collection, deftly creating atmosphere and building that all-important suspense. So who knows? You might just discover the next Stephen King. And if you enjoy this collection of horror stories, then why not try your hand at writing your own? You could join this week’s free short story contest, and walk away with the cash prize!