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10 Must-Read

Classic Short Stories for

Fall, Thanksgiving, and Halloween

As the air turns crisp & the leaves begin to fall, it’s the perfect time to delve into some seasonal short stories. Here’s a list of tales put together by our staff sure to get you in the mood for fall, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.


“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
by Washington Irving

Season: Fall, Halloween

This iconic story sets the tone for fall with its eerie descriptions of Sleepy Hollow and the haunting tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.


“The Lottery”

Season: Fall

Though not explicitly set in autumn, the harrowing ritualistic sacrifice in “The Lottery” carries a heavy, gathering-dread that pairs well with the season.


“The Tell-Tale Heart”
by Edgar Allan Poe

Season: Halloween

If you’re in the mood for psychological horror, this classic story of murder and madness is a Halloween must-read.


“A Good Man is Hard to Find”
by Flannery O’Connor

Season: Fall

The story’s southern gothic tones and the impending sense of doom make this a compelling read for a fall evening.


“Young Goodman Brown”
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Season: Fall, Halloween

This tale of a young man’s nightmarish journey into the woods explores themes of morality and corruption, making it a perfect fall read.


“The Corn Maiden”
by Joyce Carol Oates

Season: Fall, Thanksgiving

With themes of sacrifice and community rituals, this suspenseful tale is apt for reflecting on darker aspects of Thanksgiving.


“The October Game”
by Ray Bradbury

Season: Halloween


Bradbury’s short story, centered around a ghastly game at an All Hallows’ Eve party, is a quintessential Halloween tale.


“An Occurance at Owl Creek”
by Ambrose Bierce

Season: Fall

The story’s eerie atmosphere and unexpected twist make it an engaging read for a chilly fall afternoon.


“Turkey Season”
by Alice Munro

Season: Thanksgiving

Munro’s coming-of-age story set in a turkey barn offers an unconventional but poignant look at Thanksgiving themes of family and transition.


“Pumpkin Head”
by Joyce Carol Oates

Season: Halloween

A story of two college students attending a strange Halloween party, where masks and identities blur, making it a haunting read.

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