I usually read a lot of gothic/horror fiction, so I’m no rookie here, but I don’t have any must-read scary stuff on tap. I taught a course last Spring in American Gothic literature, which took care of a lot of the usual suspects. Here’s my idea: I will modify the challenge a bit and read five short stories (I am borrowing the idea from Bloglily) and trace a family tree of American short horror fiction. I will read a Poe story, a Hawthorne story, a Lovecraft story, a Bradbury story, and a King story. This leaves some large chronological gaps, but I think it will work just the same. Now I just need to pick the stories.