9 of the Most Disturbing Short Stories You'll Ever Have to Read for School

Unsplash/Sapan Patel


"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

“The Monkey’s Paw” is about a magical, mummified monkey’s paw, and the unfortunate White family that comes to possess it. The monkey’s paw will grant three wishes, but apparently the fakir who enchanted it (yikes, I know) comes from the “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR” school of wish-granting, because everything comes with a price.

For instance, Mr. White wishes for 200 pounds to make his final mortgage payment. He gets the money—but only after his son, Herbert, dies in a factory accident and the company pays them off. Mrs. White begs her husband to use the monkey’s paw to bring Herbert back to life. 

“That’s a terrible idea,” says no one, so Mr. White does it but immediately regrets the decision. It’s been ten days and Herbert has already been buried, so when they hear an ominous knock at the door, he knows the thing he brought back is no longer his son. Before his wife can let it in, Mr. White makes one final wish, and they open the door to an empty porch.

Are you thoroughly creeped out now? Me too. Enjoy living the rest of your life with these weird, haunting little stories in the back of your mind. (I HOPE YOU NEVER AGAIN HAVE A MOMENT OF PEACE, BECAUSE I KNOW I CERTAINLY WON'T.)

Topics: Books
Tags: high school, books we love, classic literature, short stories, short stories we love, warning: very spooky

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