by William Wymark Jacobs. From Harper's Monthly, September 1902. WITHOUT, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlor of Lakesnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire. "Hark at the wind," said Mr. White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it. Continue reading


by Edgar Allan Poe. from Graham's Magazine, May 1843. A man dressed in garments of the grave arrives at Prince Prospero's masquerade ball. THE Red Death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its sealthe redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole Continue reading


by Wardon Allan Curtis. Originally Published in Pearsons Magazine September 1899. An earthquake releases a strange creature from bottomless Lake LaMetrie! Being the narration of James McLennegan, M.D., Ph.D. Prof. Wilhelm G. Breyfogle. University of Taychobera. DEAR FRIEND,--Inclosed you will find some portions of the diary it has been my life-long custom to keep, arranged in such a manner as to narrate connectedly the history of some remarkable occurrences that have taken place here during the last three years. Years and years ago, I heard vague accounts of a strange lake high up in an Continue reading


by H. P. Lovecraft. From The Vagrant, March 1922. In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative. It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; Continue reading


by A. E. Van Vogt. Originally Published in Astounding, July 1939. Hell breaks loose when the crew of the exploratory Space Beagle takes an alien life form aboard in the name of science! On and on Coeurl prowled! The black, moonless, almost-starless night yielded reluctantly before a grim reddish dawn that crept up from his left. A vague, dull light it was, that gave no sense of approaching warmth, no comfort, nothing but a cold, diffuse lightness, slowly revealing a nightmare landscape. Black, jagged rock and black, unliving plain took form around him, as a pale-red sun peered at last above Continue reading


by Catherine L. Moore. Originally Published in Weird Tales November 1933. Northwest Smith finds that even on strange planets inhabiting the spaceways, love is the most dangerous thing! Shambleau! Ha . . . Shambleau!" The wild hysteria of the mob rocketed from wall to wall of Lakkdarol's narrow streets and the storming of heavy boots over the slag-red pavement made an ominous undernote to that swelling bay, "Shambleau! Shambleau!" Northwest Smith heard it coming and stepped into the nearest doorway, laying a wary hand on his heat-gun's grip, and his colorless eyes narrowed. Strange sounds were Continue reading


by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Originally Published in Blue Book December 1916. The apeman attempts to track down God! AMONG THE BOOKS of his dead father in the little cabin by the land-locked harbor, Tarzan of the Apes found many things to puzzle his young head. By much labor and through the medium of infinite patience as well, he had, without assistance, discovered the purpose of the little bugs which ran riot upon the printed pages. He had learned that in the many combinations in which he found them they spoke in a silent language, spoke in a strange tongue, spoke of wonderful things which a Continue reading


by W. C. Morrow . Originally Published in Weird Tales December 1928. A man gets more than he bargained for when he procures the services of a sinister surgeon! A young man of refined appearance, but evidently suffering great mental distress, presented himself one morning at the residence of a singular old man, who was known as a surgeon of remarkable skill. The house was a queer and primitive brick affair, entirely out of date, and tolerable only in the decayed part of the city in which it stood. It was large, gloomy, and dark, and had long corridors and dismal rooms; and it was absurdly Continue reading


by Charles Willard Diffin. Originally Published in Astounding Stories of Super Science February, 1930. The Earth lay powerless beneath those loathsome, yellowish monsters that, sheathed in cometlike globes, sprang from the skies to annihilate man and reduce his cities to ashes! The sky was alive with winged shapes, and high in the air shone the glittering menace, trailing five plumes of gas. When Cyrus R. Thurston bought himself a single-motored Stoughton job he was looking for new thrills. Flying around the east coast had lost its zest: he wanted to join that jaunty group who spoke so easily Continue reading


by O. Henry. from Munseys Magazine, vol. 42 #5, February 1910. Getting in the middle of feuds in Indian Territory can be dangerous. I never cared especially for feuds, believing them to be even more overrated products of our country than grapefruit, scrapple, or honeymoons. Nevertheless, if I may be allowed, I will tell you of an Indian Territory feud of which I was press-agent, camp-follower, and inaccessory during the fact. I was on a visit to Sam Durkee's ranch, where I had a great time falling off unmanicured ponies and waving my bare hand at the lower jaws of wolves about two miles away. Continue reading