Gotcha is really good and scarey.
But if I may (devert from Ray for a moment).
Egar Allen Poe...writes some pretty scary stuff, in fact pretty much ALL of Poe is scarey.
However no matter what you choose good luck, because if you widen your search your going to discover a large number of authors that write "scarey" stories.
The Body-Snatcher is the most scariest story I had ever read.
It -- Stephen King,Black Magic,Don't Turn On The Light and The Ghost in the Alley are few more scary stories.
But this one is an Albertan with a dot com address! Can they be spreading to the Great White North?!
Don't be fooled by the dot com; it is not unique to the US. That last site is for a NZ company. I checked.
It is AMAZING, though, that so many different people from so many different places are coming here, making one post with a NZ web address in their sig and never coming back.
It has to be, "The Traveller".
Written in 1946, it predicts the use of fully automatic cars, and the tragic consequences when techology goes awry.
Still gives me a the tingles.
October Games is so scary and it has a chilling end. "The Wind" is also scary.
Lots of good scary Bradbury. Though I love Ray in every permutation, i think his horror stuff is my favorite. It's funny how identified he is with SF and yet he's one of the best horror writers of all time. (Of course, he's also one of the best SF writers of all time so...)
Anyway, got to say "The Trap Door" from "Toynbee Convector" really gave me the spooks, especially since our house's attic trap door is at the top of the stairs. Can't walk underneath it anymore without getting a little chill. The short story "the Illustrated Man" also has a nice creepy ending. Though not in the horror vein, I get the willies every time I read "The Murderer" because of how dead-on the prediction in that story was, and we're worse off for it, sorry to say.
The scariest story would be if Ray’s stories were no longer read and we must do everything to ensure that does not happen.
Although spammers are pretty scary too.
Looking through old threads again for inspiration . . . the teacher asked for scary stories from RB fans, but I did not understand her to say that these had to be RB stories, only stories recommended by RB readers. Accordingly, after touting 'The Emissary' and 'The Jar'and 'Heavy Set' (which everyone forgets) I would go to the all-time greatest, 'The Monkey's Paw', then to "Same Time, Same Place' by Mervyn Peake, then to three stories by Philip K. Dick, 'The Father-Thing', then the one where the man finds the robot in the ditch and starts to follow its instructions -- can't remember its name --- and the one about the guy in a war with the insects, again can't remember. But this of course leads us to the classic 'Leiningen and the Ants'. All these stories give pleasure from their -- whaddaya call it -- smart elegance, and are suitable for junior-high-level students. Unlike certain MODERN HORRIFIERS, whom we WILL NOT NAME.
No, I was wrong, she said Ray's stories. But truth be told, he wasn't all that scary. Just a little bit. But he liked H. P. Lovecraft, who kept me near a burning lamp when I read him -- "The Rats in the Walls". Couldn't turn that lamp out and cross the darkened room.
And Mildred Clingerman's "Horrer Howce."
Really, Mike? Ray Bradbury's stories are just a "little bit" scary?
Sigh. I suppose every reader is different, and every story strikes the individual reader differently. It really does come down to taste, which is probably influenced by what you've read before.
For me, Ray Bradbury's scary stories are the scariest ones I've read.
In "The October Game", the story is absolutely terrifying, because you have a horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach that you can see where it is going ... Ray subtly prepares you for the story's devastating conclusion. It's interesting that Ray never included this story in any of his collections until 1976. It wasn't even in The October Country, where it seems to belong — I strongly suspect that the story was regarded as too extreme and too shocking for the tastes of 1950s readers. It violates an important taboo and goes where most authors wouldn't go, even today.
"The Jar" is another story that I found very scary because it is so creepily suggestive. I mean, no one knows what is in the jar, and yet ... again, Ray drops subtle hints that lead you to think the unthinkable.
"The Small Assassin" was for many years the scariest story I'd ever heard. It was adapted for South African radio by Michael McCabe, and it gave me the shivers for a long time afterwards. The idea of a little baby being scary seems silly at first, but again, it is where Ray leads your imagination that makes it so scary. There are faint, indistinct sounds in the dead of night ... and when you switch on the lights, everything seems in order, except that the baby is pink-faced and sweaty. If you don't find that story scary, there is just no conversation that we can have about scary stories. By the way, that was my first exposure to Ray Bradbury. It was years before I found out that the story was by him.
And then, of course, there is my absolute favorite, "Gotcha!", which is an all time tour de force, in my view. Just two people playing a scary game in the dark, until you gradually begin to feel that it isn't a game any more. Ray was justly proud of this story, and I have a feeling that the overwhelming majority of people who comment on these boards haven't read it. Everybody's favorites seem to come from his 1947 - 1959 story collections.
I've read Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls", and I struggled to finish it because of the bloated, over-complex, mid-Victorian style prose. I don't remember it very well, but it seems to me that this is what people would have found scary in the days of Poe and Dickens. It bored me — but that's only me. My taste doesn't apply to any other reader.
The only other short story that I've found scary on a Bradbury level is Shirley Jackson's "The Summer People". I haven't thought too hard about this, so if any others occur to me, I'll mention them.
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