Read to me classic stories of horror.
September 21, 2015 6:04 PM   Subscribe

This Halloween, I'm going to bake myself a Halloween cake, light some candles, turn the lights off, and listen to recordings of classic horror stories read by masters of the form. Need to beef up the story list!

I'm looking for audio recordings of classic horror stories (19th - early/mid 20th century), or radio broadcasts of terrible tales, read by great actors (or just great readers). Examples: "The Monkey's Paw" read by Christopher Lee or John Lithgow. (I see that Lee did a whole series called "Fireside Tales." PERFECT.)

The famed Orson Welles broadcast of "War of the Worlds" is also on my mind. I'll probably google Charles Laughton, Peter Lorre, and company.

Please do recommend me some more. Audiobooks are a possibility but I'm looking for something I can listen to in the span of one evening. An audiobook of a story compilation would be just ducky.
posted by Sheydem-tants to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You really cannot go wrong with M. R. James' stories narrated by Derek Jacobi - available quite inexpensively on Audible. Here's Volume 1.
posted by timeo danaos at 6:14 PM on September 21, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: This may a little off what you want, but James Earl Jones reading The Raven is a personal favorite.
posted by Ruki at 6:26 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: Christopher Walken reads "The Raven". Lovecraft.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:34 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I really like Garrick Hagon's reading of The Call of Cthulhu (bonus points for the reader's name being just one letter away from an Elder Thing.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:40 PM on September 21, 2015

I once read a book of utterly terrifying short stories that I think were by Arthur Conan Doyle. This might jog someone else's memory but I'll try googling too (I want to re-read them too).
posted by kitten magic at 7:01 PM on September 21, 2015

Found it, omg just the titles are bringing back the shivers
posted by kitten magic at 7:06 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: Oh! Give The Thing on the Fourble Board a listen. It's from the radio program Quiet, Please, and it is so creepy.

I hope it's not too far off of what you're looking for, since it's a radio piece and not narration of a classic short horror story. But it's definitely short and Halloweeny.
posted by zoetrope at 7:10 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: Anthology is a podcast that does audio adoptions of works in the public domain. They did a really chilling retelling of the Yellow Wallpaper and they've done some Poe. Also a creepy ship story the name of which I can't recall.
posted by KernalM at 7:10 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is also plenty of Old Time Radio "Suspense", Crime classics, Nero Wolf, etc.
posted by nickggully at 7:31 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: Vincent Price is my Halloween standby -- I love listening to A Hornbook for Witches and the Edgar Allan Poe recordings done by him and Basil Rathbone.
posted by pepper bird at 9:19 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

PseudoPod is a horror story podcast that releases a story a week. Often they are classic stories, and often they are new. wikipedia has an extensive list of their episodes.
posted by garlic at 10:03 PM on September 21, 2015

The H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast has a selection of readings on their site.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:35 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

You mentioned the original War of the Worlds, but you might also enjoy the L.A. Theatre Works version too. Stars include Star Trek luminaries such as Leonard Nimoy, John de Lancie, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, Armin Shimerman, and Wil Wheaton. They had a lot of fun with it.

(I had a Halloween like this a few years ago. Best. Ever. Just me and the cat, snacks, candles, and spooky, spooky radio. Enjoy!)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:18 AM on September 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Stuff You Should Know does a yearly read of a scary public domain story on Halloween. They do break the fourth wall at times but it's a fun time.
posted by Fuego at 10:02 PM on September 24, 2015

Ice Box Radio - The Thing on the Ice is a fantastic story... scared myself something awful listening to that while driving on a dark road during a snowstorm...
posted by noonday at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2015

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