Edgar Allan Poe was an American author who was known for his unique way of telling mysterious and macabre stories. Building dark and eerie imagery with fascinating plots and a way with words, some may say that Poe himself is responsible for what we consider gothic suspense today.
One of the creepiest stories from Poe is the short story The Fall of the House of Usher, a story about an unnamed narrator approaching the house of Usher during a dark and cloudy day. To say this isn’t the perfect setup for a gothic suspense story would simply be lying. Fans of Poe’s work can get excited to see some familiar faces when horror drama mastermind Mike Flanagan brings this short story to stream on Netflix. Flanagan, responsible for The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and the more recent The Midnight Club, is set to bring this one to Netflix this year and be prepared to see some familiar faces in the cast, including Kate Siegel and Henry Thomas. If you want to get in the mood for some terrifying tales of gothic suspense before the release of The Fall of the House of Usher, check out some of these stories that will fully prepare you to be creeped out.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Hal is a tarot card reader barely making ends meet when she receives a mysterious letter about a large inheritance. Hal knows that the letter was sent to the wrong person but believes that she could use her skills to get her hands on the inheritance anyway. As Hal arrives at the funeral, she begins to realize that something about this situation is completely wrong.
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
Deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania sits the Catherine House – a school of higher learning that has students who have become prize-winning authors, presidents, and Supreme Court justices. With tuition, room, and board free, the only downside to Catherine House is that students are required to give the school three full years of their lives with no communication to the outside world. Ines finds this to be no problem at all as a new student until tragedy strikes and she begins to wonder if something dangerous is happening in the school.
Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier
To the naked eye, Wonderland is an amusement park in the Pacific Northwest full of exciting rides, an old Ferris wheel, and fair food. Beneath the surface, something dark lingers in the park and now, Vanessa Castro is sent to deal with it on her first day as the deputy chief of police. A homeless man has been found dead and a teenage employee is missing. While Vanessa thought she was escaping a past of her own, she is beginning to be haunted by memories when she realizes the missing persons case could be connected to others from decades ago.
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
In the 1950s in rural Vermont, Idlewild Hall was the home for young, troubled girls that was rumored to be haunted. During that time, four friends began to bond until one if them mysteriously disappeared. In 2014, journalist Fiona Sheridan receives the news that someone plans on restoring Idlewild Hall and begins writing a story about it, including her own personal connection. Twenty years ago, Fiona’s sister was found murdered on the property and Fiona could never get past the holes in the case, including the conviction of her sister’s boyfriend.
The Hacienda by Isabel Canas
Beatriz father lost her father and her home after the overthrow of the Mexican government. After the charming Don Rodolfo Solorzano proposes, Beatriz is reluctant at first because of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Don’s first wife in hopes of finding a sanctuary at the Hacienda San Isidro. Once inside the estate and with Rodolfo gone to work at the capital, Beatriz begins to experience visions in her sleep, finds that Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, refuses to enter the house at night, and the cook is burning incense and marking the doorway with strange symbols. Now, Beatriz wonders more than ever what really happened to Rodolfo’s first wife.
The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller
Ronan Szepessy is returning to his small hometown of Hudson in hopes of recharging and to see his ill father. Upon his arrival, he quickly reunites with his first love, Dom, and Dom’s wife, Attalah. The three reminisce about how the town used to be compared to what it is now and Ronan and Attalah come up with a plan to expose the true motives behind the gentrification of the area. With this plan comes consequences as they quickly find that they have also disturbed not only the real-estate developers, but some dangerous spirits as well.
In the Vines by Shannon Kirk
Mary Olivia Pentecost AKA Mop is going back to the New England seaside estate to see her Aunty Liv for the first time since Mop’s mother disappeared two years ago. Soon after she arrives, Mop begins to realize that the history of her family is covered in a puzzling dark history shrouded in secrets. The more revelations that Mop uncovers, the more she realizes that one of her favorite people in the world – Aunty Liv – is hiding more than she ever could’ve expected.
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
Daisy Darker was literally born with a broken heart. Now, she has to reunite with her family that she hasn’t spoken with in years for Nana’s 80th birthday on the gothic house on a small island. Once the family members arrive, Daisy begins to realize each one of them has some secrets they are holding on to. Then, as midnight approaches, Nana is found dead right as a storm begins. An hour later, another family member is found dead, and the entire Darker family is stuck on the island with nowhere to go for help.
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