J.S. Le Fenu’s Ghostly Tales, Volume 1 (there are five volumes, all free)
A collection of ghost stories by classic writer J.S. Le Fenu (more well known for the vampire tale Carmilla). Volume 1 includes “Schalken the Painter” and “An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street”. Written in the 1850’s, they are still terrifying today.
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
Ranked among the classic novels of the English language and the inspiration for several unforgettable movies, this early work of H. G. Wells was greeted in 1896 by howls of protest from reviewers, who found it horrifying and blasphemous. They wanted to know more about the wondrous possibilities of science shown in his first book, The Time Machine, not its potential for misuse and terror. In The Island of Dr. Moreau a shipwrecked gentleman named Edward Prendick, stranded on a Pacific island lorded over by the notorious Dr. Moreau, confronts dark secrets, strange creatures, and a reason to run for his life.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
One of the world’s most famous ghost stories, this spine-chilling tale is told through the journal of a governess, depicting her struggle to save her two young charges from the demonic influence of two former household servants. Only the governess can see the ghosts; only she suspects that the previous governess and her lover are controlling the two orphaned children for some evil purpose. But are the children being deceptive, or is the governess being paranoid?
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. It tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a sycophantic, lean, lanky, and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. As Crane leaves a party he attended at the Van Tassel home on an autumn night, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, who is supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.