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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.

1.

“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.

2.

“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.

3.

“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.

4.

“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.

5.

“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.

6.

“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.

7.

“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.

8.

“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.

9.

“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.

10.

“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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