Ambrose Bierce wrote some really fun scary stories. He loved to shock his readers with a twist at the end of the story.
Bierce had his own philosophy about life. One of his famous quotations really exemplifies his attitude toward people.
There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy. Ambrose Bierce
I believe that Bierce is under appreciated as a writer. I like his stories. Here are three that work well at Halloween.
"The Boarded Window" is a fun story to read at Halloween. To summarize this brief story, a man named Murlock lives alone in the wilderness in a house with a boarded window. The narrator explains that the window was boarded up sometime after Murlock’s unnamed wife died. The narrator goes on to describe the strange events that happened the night after Murlock prepared his wife’s body for the grave. While Murlock watches over the dead body, a panther enters the cabin. Murlock attempts to shoot the unknown creature in the dark, after which he falls unconscious. Upon awakening the next morning, he discovers a piece of the panther’s ear between the clenched teeth of his dead wife. Although incredibly short, the story raises numerous questions for readers and it calls for discussion.
Another Bierce story that is spooky is "The Man and the Snake." It involves a man's phobia about snakes and also involves a little psychological repartee to add to the thrill of the story.
Although there many more scary stories by Bierce, the last one that I recommend is "The Damned Thing." A dead body is found sitting at a table. Here is a brief part of the plot:
The coroner rose from his seat and stood beside the dead man. Lifting an edge of the sheet he pulled it away, exposing the entire body, altogether naked and showing in the candle-light a claylike yellow. It had, however, broad maculations of bluish black, obviously caused by extravasated blood from contusions. The chest and sides looked as if they had been beaten with a bludgeon. There were dreadful lacerations; the skin was torn in strips and shreds.
Pretty gruesome for a story from the 19th century. It sounds like something from CSI.