20 darkest Serial killer Short Stories with PDF
In the darkest corners of the literature, there exists a small genre that delves into the unconventional and unsettling—the world of Serial Killers and the short stories about Serial Killers. The minds of serial killers are like no others as they are drawn to unreasonable reasons which they make seem perfectly sensible and logical. Serial killers are dangerous in that they cannot be reasoned with and will cause pain and death without hesitation. So the genre of serial killer Short Stories is definitely unsettling
This unique genre of “Serial Killer Short Stories” is a compelling avenue for authors (especially Manga and comics) to dive deep into and explore. They push the depths of human psychology, push the elements of fear, and question what we would do during the darkest aspects of our existence. In this article, I invite you to join me on a thought-provoking journey as we delve into the allure of these unsettling tales and the literary elements that make them so gripping.
Similarly if you want to read about the ten best short stories by Zara or short stories about storms, we have it all in this website.
List of 20 most famous Serial killer short stories
You would be surprised to know that the Genre of short stories involving Serial killers and murderers existed long before now. In fact there are so many stories which are written in the 1800s and which make this list!
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell is a thrilling short story that takes readers on a suspenseful journey into the twisted mind of a wealthy big-game hunter, General Zaroff. The protagonist, Rainsford, becomes the unwilling prey in a deadly game where Zaroff intends to kill him as he would a deer or any other prey.
As he navigates the perilous terrain, hunted by the cunning and sadistic Zaroff, Rainsford’s survival instincts are put to the ultimate test. The story explores the themes of morality, survival, and the thin line between hunter and hunted. With its intense pacing, surprising twists, and thought-provoking conclusion, “The Most Dangerous Game” continues to captivate readers with its timeless suspense and ethical dilemmas.
You can read the full story here.
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe is a renowned and macabre short story that delves into the depths of revenge and the twisted nature of a serial killer’s mind. Set during the Carnival season in Italy, the narrator, Montresor, seeks vengeance against Fortunato, a fellow wine enthusiast who has insulted him.
Under the guise of enticing Fortunato with a rare cask of wine, Montresor lures him into the catacombs beneath his palazzo, where he imprisons him alive. With its chilling atmosphere, intricate plotting, and psychological torment, Poe’s tale explores the themes of obsession, betrayal, and the lengths one will go for vengeance. “The Cask of Amontillado” remains a haunting masterpiece of gothic literature, showcasing Poe’s mastery in crafting dark and unsettling narratives.
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor is a captivating and unsettling short story that weaves together elements of suspense and psychological exploration, subtly alluding to the presence of a serial killer. The story follows a dysfunctional family on a road trip, led by the grandmother who clings to her outdated notions of morality and class. When their journey takes an unexpected turn and they encounter a criminal known as “The Misfit,” the true darkness lurking beneath the surface is revealed.
O’Connor skillfully explores themes of grace, redemption, and the capacity for evil in unexpected places. With its shocking climax and thought-provoking questions about human nature, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” continues to haunt readers long after the final page.
“The Visitor” by Roald Dahl
“The Visitor” by Roald Dahl is a captivating and suspenseful short story that explores the sinister nature of a serial killer. The narrative follows a traveler who seeks refuge with a seemingly hospitable couple during a stormy night. As the night unfolds, the visitor gradually uncovers disturbing clues that hint at the couple’s true intentions.
Dahl masterfully builds tension and suspense, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. With its unexpected twists and a chilling portrayal of deception and malevolence, “The Visitor” showcases Dahl’s mastery in creating a sense of unease and delivering a shocking conclusion. This dark and atmospheric tale will leave readers questioning the true nature of those they encounter.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is a haunting and psychologically gripping short story that delves into the unsettling encounter between a young girl and a mysterious stranger who may have the traits of a serial killer. The story follows Connie, a teenage girl who is seduced and terrorized by Arnold Friend, a charismatic yet menacing figure who arrives uninvited at her home.
Through Oates’ masterful storytelling, the reader is drawn into Connie’s vulnerability and sense of dread as she navigates the blurred lines between reality and fantasy. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” explores themes of innocence, manipulation, and the pervasive presence of evil. Oates’ evocative prose and the lingering sense of unease make this story a chilling exploration of the dark side of human nature.
“The Babysitter” by Robert Coover
“The Babysitter” by Robert Coover is a riveting and disturbing short story that unravels the chilling events surrounding a babysitter’s night of terror. Set in a suburban household, the narrative takes a sinister turn as the babysitter receives a series of unnerving phone calls that escalate into a nightmarish situation. Coover skillfully builds suspense and psychological tension, immersing readers in the babysitter’s growing fear and desperation.
Through its exploration of power dynamics, voyeurism, and the blurred boundaries between reality and fantasy, “The Babysitter” delves into the darker aspects of human nature. Coover’s mesmerizing prose and expertly crafted twists make this story an unsettling examination of innocence corrupted and the hidden horrors that can lurk beneath the surface of ordinary lives.
“The Girl with the Hungry Eyes” by Fritz Leiber
“The Girl with the Hungry Eyes” by Fritz Leiber is a mesmerizing and supernatural short story that revolves around a captivating woman with an insatiable appetite for something beyond the ordinary. The narrative follows the protagonist, a photographer, who becomes infatuated with the enigmatic and alluring woman known as the “Girl with the Hungry Eyes.”
As he delves deeper into her world, he uncovers a dark secret and a dangerous obsession that goes far beyond the realm of human desire. Leiber’s masterful storytelling weaves together elements of horror, seduction, and the supernatural, creating an atmospheric tale that explores themes of lust, addiction, and the price one is willing to pay for forbidden pleasures. “The Girl with the Hungry Eyes” leaves readers spellbound and haunted by its lingering imagery and unsettling conclusion.
“The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World” by Harlan Ellison
“The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World” by Harlan Ellison is a dystopian and thought-provoking short story that immerses readers in a future society where murder has been legalized. The narrative focuses on the chilling encounter between a serial killer and his intended victim. Set in a city teeming with violence and despair, the story explores the psychological complexities of both the predator and the prey as they navigate the boundaries of morality and survival.
Ellison’s evocative prose and vivid world-building create a haunting backdrop for an exploration of human nature, societal decay, and the unsettling consequences of a world without legal constraints. “The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World” offers a chilling glimpse into a dystopian future where the line between predator and prey becomes blurred, leaving readers with unsettling questions about the nature of justice and humanity.
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Oates Carol
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates is a haunting and psychologically gripping short story that delves into the unsettling encounter between a young girl and a mysterious stranger who may have the traits of a serial killer. The story follows Connie, a teenage girl who becomes the target of Arnold Friend, an enigmatic and manipulative figure who shows up uninvited at her home.
As the narrative unfolds, Connie’s vulnerability and innocence clash with Arnold Friend’s sinister intentions, creating an atmosphere of tension and fear. Oates masterfully explores themes of adolescence, identity, and the sinister forces that lurk in society. With its evocative prose and unsettling portrayal of manipulation and danger, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” leaves a lasting impact, raising thought-provoking questions about the blurred lines between desire and danger.
“Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris
“Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris is a gripping and intense psychological thriller that introduces the iconic character Hannibal Lecter. The story follows FBI profiler Will Graham as he embarks on a desperate hunt for a serial killer known as the “Tooth Fairy.” Graham enlists the help of Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer imprisoned for his heinous crimes.
As Graham delves deeper into the mind of the Tooth Fairy, he must confront his own inner demons while risking everything to bring the killer to justice. Harris’s masterful storytelling, complex characters, and chilling suspense make “Red Dragon” a riveting exploration of the darkness that resides within the human psyche. This gripping tale serves as a prequel to the acclaimed “Hannibal Lecter” series and sets the stage for the terrifying cat-and-mouse game that unfolds in subsequent novels.
“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe is a haunting and symbolic short story that delves into the themes of mortality and the inevitability of death. Set in the midst of a deadly plague known as the Red Death, the story follows Prince Prospero, who seeks refuge in his secluded abbey along with a thousand other nobles. Within the abbey, Prospero throws a lavish masquerade ball, where guests revel in opulence and decadence while the outside world suffers.
However, an unexpected guest arrives, donning a costume resembling the Red Death itself, ultimately leading to a terrifying climax. Through vivid imagery and allegorical elements, Poe explores the human desire to escape death and the futility of such attempts. “The Masque of the Red Death” serves as a chilling reminder of the inevitability of mortality and the fleeting nature of life’s pleasures.
“The Little Sisters of Eluria” by Stephen King
“The Little Sisters of Eluria” by Stephen King is a captivating and dark short story that takes readers into the unsettling world of the gunslinger Roland Deschain from King’s “Dark Tower” series. In this standalone tale, Roland finds himself in the town of Eluria, where he becomes entangled with a group of seemingly innocent and benevolent young girls known as the Little Sisters. However, Roland soon discovers their true nature as bloodthirsty vampires.
As he fights for survival, Roland’s journey becomes a harrowing battle against supernatural forces and his own vulnerability. King’s masterful storytelling immerses readers in a haunting and atmospheric narrative, blending elements of horror, fantasy, and suspense. “The Little Sisters of Eluria” offers a chilling glimpse into the perilous world of the gunslinger and serves as a compelling addition to the larger “Dark Tower” mythos.
“The Zodiac” by Robert Graysmith
“The Zodiac” by Robert Graysmith is a gripping and meticulously researched true crime story that delves into one of the most infamous unsolved cases in American history. The book explores the enigmatic crimes committed by the Zodiac Killer, who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Graysmith, a former cartoonist, provides a detailed account of the murders, the Zodiac’s cryptic messages, and the extensive investigations that followed.
With its compelling narrative and insightful analysis, “The Zodiac” offers readers an intriguing look into the mind of a serial killer and the enduring mystery that still captivates true crime enthusiasts today. Graysmith’s dedication to unraveling the truth behind the Zodiac Killer’s identity makes this book a chilling and unforgettable read.
“The Hitch-Hiker” by Lucille Fletcher
“The Hitch-Hiker” by Lucille Fletcher is a suspenseful and atmospheric short story that takes readers on a harrowing journey with a cross-country driver. The story follows Ronald Adams as he embarks on a solo road trip, only to find himself plagued by the unnerving presence of a hitchhiker. No matter how far or fast Adams drives, the mysterious hitchhiker continues to reappear, evoking a sense of unease and dread.
Fletcher skillfully builds tension and creates a pervasive atmosphere of paranoia, blurring the lines between reality and hallucination. Through its exploration of isolation, vulnerability, and the unknown, “The Hitch-Hiker” captivates readers with its psychological thrills and haunting sense of impending danger. Fletcher’s mastery of suspense makes this short story a timeless classic that keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the final twist.
“The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh
“The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh is a dark and provocative play that explores the power of storytelling and the blurred line between reality and fiction. Set in an unnamed totalitarian state, the story revolves around Katurian, a writer of twisted and macabre tales, who becomes the target of a brutal interrogation. Katurian’s stories, which bear resemblance to real-life child murders, spark a disturbing investigation led by two detectives.
As the play unfolds, the audience is taken on a journey into the depths of Katurian’s imagination, where themes of violence, innocence, and the nature of art converge. McDonagh’s skillful blend of dark humor and harrowing intensity creates a gripping narrative that challenges conventional notions of morality and the power of storytelling. “The Pillowman” remains a thought-provoking and unsettling exploration of the complexities of human nature and the transformative power of art.
“The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris
“The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris is a gripping and chilling psychological thriller that introduces readers to the unforgettable characters of FBI trainee Clarice Starling and the infamous cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The story follows Clarice as she is assigned to interview Lecter in hopes of gaining insight into the mind of another serial killer, Buffalo Bill, who is on the loose.
As Clarice delves deeper into her investigation, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with both Buffalo Bill and the manipulative and brilliant Lecter. Harris’s masterful storytelling weaves together elements of suspense, psychological intrigue, and moral ambiguity. “The Silence of the Lambs” is a captivating exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the final shocking revelations. This acclaimed novel has had a profound impact on the crime fiction genre and has become a classic in its own right.
“The Deathbird” by Harlan Ellison
“The Deathbird” by Harlan Ellison is a surreal and thought-provoking short story that delves into themes of mythology, religion, and the human condition. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the narrative follows a man named Birdman who embarks on a perilous quest to find the Deathbird, a mythical creature said to grant enlightenment and liberation from the oppressive gods that rule over humanity.
As Birdman encounters various symbolic challenges and faces the gods themselves, the story explores profound questions about the nature of belief, power, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world. Ellison’s vivid and imaginative storytelling, coupled with his skillful blending of science fiction and mythology, creates a unique and captivating reading experience in “The Deathbird.” The story’s deep philosophical undertones and its exploration of the human desire for freedom and transcendence make it a standout in Ellison’s body of work.
“The Chaser” by John Collier
“The Chaser” by John Collier is a darkly comedic and unsettling short story that delves into the consequences of desperate love and the dangers of seeking magical solutions. The narrative follows a young man named Alan Austen who is infatuated with a woman named Diana. In his desperation to win her love, Alan seeks out the help of an old and mysterious chemist who offers him a powerful love potion.
However, as the story unfolds, Alan realizes that the consequences of his actions may be more than he bargained for. Collier’s storytelling skillfully blends elements of romance, satire, and the macabre, leaving readers with a twisted and cautionary tale about the true price of love. “The Chaser” serves as a reflection on the nature of desire and the ethical implications of manipulating others’ emotions. With its dark humor and thought-provoking themes, the story continues to resonate with readers today.
What make Serial killer short stories so interesting to read?
There are many reasons as to why normal folk like to read serial killer short stories. Mainly the sheer suspense and character analysis would make anyone jump. Listed below are four major reasons why people like this genre of stories.
Anatomy of Suspense:
Serial killer short stories excel at building suspense, often utilizing intricate plot twists and psychological manipulation to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Through skillful pacing, authors weave intricate webs of mystery and tension, gradually revealing the intricate motives, methods, and the chilling psychology behind their characters’ actions. These stories engage our curiosity and challenge us to uncover the truth lurking beneath the surface.
Complex Character Portrayals:
One of the fascinating aspects of serial killer short stories lies in their exploration of complex characters. Authors craft intricate personas, delving into the motivations, traumas, and psychological makeup of both the killers and those pursuing them. Through multidimensional characterizations, these stories often provide insight into the human condition, inviting readers to question the fine line between good and evil and the darkness that may reside within us all.
Moral Dilemmas and Ethical Reflections:
Serial killer short stories frequently pose profound moral dilemmas and ethical questions. They prompt us to consider the boundaries of justice, the nature of evil, and the consequences of our actions. By immersing ourselves in these narratives, we are compelled to reflect on society’s role in the creation and containment of such monstrous individuals, and the potential for redemption or understanding in the face of unimaginable darkness.
A key aspect of serial killer short stories is their exploration of the human psyche. These tales often delve into the twisted thoughts, desires, and obsessions that drive individuals to commit heinous acts. Authors deftly navigate the intricacies of psychological trauma, personality disorders, and the interplay between nature and nurture, providing readers with a glimpse into the darkest recesses of the human mind.