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Daphne du Maurier

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Celebrate Halloween with some of Daphne du Maurierís Scariest Short Stories!

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If you want to be a little bit scared on All Hallowís Eve, better known as Halloween, on 31st October, go no further than some of Daphne du Maurierís short stories.

As soon as it gets dark, pull the curtains, turn down the lights, light some candles, pour yourself a drink, and pick up one of Daphne du Maurierís collections of short stories.  Daphne wrote some wonderful short fiction, sometimes ghostly, sometimes mysterious and confusing and sometimes just plain terrifying.  Think of her two most famous short stories, The Birds and Donít Look Now; regardless of how often you read them or watch the film versions, they still have an impact that frightens us every time.

There is so much to find in Daphneís short stories, often among her less well-known writing.  Those of you who follow what we write here regularly will know that The Happy Valley is my favourite of Daphneís short fiction and that it is an extraordinary ghost story set in the location that would later become Manderley.  Escort is another ghostly tale that will send you running to make sure all the curtains are pulled and all the doors are locked!

The Blue Lenses is a great story to read at Halloween.  Similarly, Split Second, Monte Verita and The Chamois will all play with your mind until you are not certain quite what is happening or what to believe.  Then, if you are still ready for more, try The Apple Tree, Kiss Me Again Stranger or The Alibi, all of which are pretty creepy.

We can definitely say that you donít need to go beyond Daphneís writing to have a thoroughly scary Halloween.  So enjoy reading some of these suggestions.  And if you have thoughts of your own about which are the scariest of Daphne du Maurierís short stories, let us know by emailimg us at

To check out which Daphne du Maurierís short story collections include the various stories we have mentioned today, look them up in our bibliography section here. 

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Happy Halloween, everyone!

Ann Willmore, October 2023.

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