31 HORROR STORIES — “The Boarded Window” (1906)

Ambrose Bierce. His “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” got H.P. Lovecraft’s blood a-boiling. Being the Ramones to the whole Cthulhu Mythos alone gets him on this list. But, again, he’s got so many to choose from.

Fuck it, I’m choosing this. And all because of the last two sentences. It’s one thing to have Bierce’s gift for casually describing horror head-on (a favorite: “A man though naked may be dressed in rags”, describing a hideously mutilated corpse). Here, he tells a folksy, outdoors-y tale of the frontier. Nothing seems all too horrible — until those last…two…sentences.