recommendations for spooky/mystery short stories?

I teach a literature class for middle school students and I thought it would be cool to have them read a spooky short story this week, it being Halloween and all.

They are advanced ESL students. We just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Oliver Twist (unabridged) - they understood most of the text, if not all the subtleties. I think they would enjoy a short story mystery, but a creepy story would also be cool. I considered Lovecraft, but I somehow doubt they’d appreciate him. Any ideas?

POE–any short story. How about “The Cask of the Amontillado”?
(and hello, you–missed you!)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Irving Washington
The Raven by Poe (not a short story of course, but creepy.

More Poe- Masque of the Red Death, perhaps House of Usher. I like The Black Cat but in this day & age, half the class would react in utter revulsion at the treatment of the cat & the other half might see it as a good idea. The Tell-Tale Heart is always cool.

Lovecraft suggestions- The Herbert West stories, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Over Innsmouth- none of those are too advanced for middle schoolers.

Chapter 5 of Frankenstein through to the Coleridge quote (the monster’s creation & Victor’s nightmare- which no movie has yet done).

Chapter 16 of Dracula (the Staking of Lucy Westenra).

Oh- if you can get it & have time in class, play the CD for the Alan Parsons Project’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe.

The Monkey’s Paw by a guy I can’t remember.

The Open Window by Saki (for a humorous spooky story)

The New Mother by Lucy Lane Clifford

W.W. Jacobs, and it’s a great one–good recommendation. :wink:
[li]“Cypress Swamp Granny” from Vivian Van Velde’s Curses, Inc.[/li][li]Even more Poe: “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” (warning: this one is gross!)[/li][li]“The Rats in the Walls” by H.P. Lovecraft[/li][li]“A Rose for Emily” by Faulkner[/li][li]“Was It A Dream?” by Guy de Maupassant[/li][li]“How Love Came to Professor Guildea” by Robert Hichens[/li][/ul]

You may find some good ones in this thread:

I read The October Game, Ted’s Cave Story, and Pidgeons From Hell, and they were all really good. The Cave Story is a series of web pages, but still a really interesting and suspenseful read.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

You can read it here.

Two Bottles of Relish, by Lord Dunsany.

Many of Roald Dahl’s stories have a creepy element. “Mr. Botibol” does not, but it fits the roleplaying theme of Halloween and is by far the most uncomfortable of the bunch.

Thanks for the recs, everyone. I’m off to the bookstore today to see what I can find.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Not exactly what you’re looking for, but themoonlitroad is really good.

You could combine the two and pick something from the “weird detective” genre. The classic example are the stories about Carnacki The Ghost-Finder.

For sheer creepiness, how about “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs. Encourage discussion after reading.

Love, Phil

And/or watch the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror segment inspired by the story.

How about “Oh Whistle And I’ll Come To You My Lad” by Montague Rhodes James? Somebody suggested him and I just happened to read that one, and I’ve seen it referenced a million times after that. It scared the crap out of me sitting here at my desk at the library.