Get in the Halloween Spirit With 8 Bone-Chilling Stories From Gabo, Borges & More

Lead Photo: Photo by ferrantraite / E+
Photo by ferrantraite / E+
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Across Latin America, there are plenty of terrifying mythological monsters and horror legends to scare us for a lifetime. But if you haven’t had enough, here are eight bone-chilling tales written by Latin American authors to get you in the Halloween spirit:



'Espantos de Agosto' by Gabriel García Márquez


Espantos de Agosto is one of 12 stories from Gabriel García Márquez’s book, Doce Cuentos Peregrinos. Though the book dates back to 1992, Gabo wrote the stories in the 70s and 80s. Espantos de Agosto tells the story of a family of four visiting their friend – an author – in Tuscany at the beginning of August. When they stop to ask for directions to their friend’s house, the old lady that helps them warns that they shouldn’t stay overnight. But they dismiss her comments, and their children even hope to see a ghost in person. Big mistake.

Read the short story here.


‘Los Niños’ by Carolina Sanín


In Los Niños, protagonist Laura Romero comes across Fidel, a 6-year-old boy, under her balcony. She allows him to live with her, but she soon learns that he’s haunted by things she can’t see.

Read a preview here.


'Casa Tomada' by Julio Cortázar

la casa tomada_culture

Julio Cortázar’s 1951 book, Bestiario, includes a story about a brother and sister living a mundane life. Titled Casa Tomada, the story centers around the house they inherited and share. Once they begin to hear scary AF noises in their old house, they begin to retreat – giving up parts of their house to an unseen terror.

Read the story in English or Spanish.


'El Almohadón de Plumas' by Horacio Quiroga

In the bite-size El Almohadón de Plumas, a recently married couple move into a frightening house. Shortly after moving in, the wife’s health takes a hit – two events that definitely coincide. El Almohadón de Plumas is part of the 1917 book Cuentos de Amor de Locura y de Muerte. So once you finish the short story, you can dive into plenty more macabre stories.

Read the story in English here.


'Aura' by Carlos Fuentes


In Aura, young historian Felipe Montero continues to see a job posting in the newspaper, which leads him to working for Consuelo on a project that her late husband never completed. There, he meets Consuelo’s niece, Aura, a green-eyed woman that he can’t get out of his head. As they start hanging out, things get eerie real quick.

Read the story here.


'El Libro de los Seres Imaginarios' by Jorge Luis Borges


In collaboration with Margarita Guerrero, Jorge Luis Borges created an encyclopedia of mythical creatures in El Libro de los Seres Imaginarios. Turns out, there’s more than La Llorona to fear.

Read here.


'Demonia' by Bernardo Esquinca


From a man who intends to exterminate all bugs to a group of friends who confront what haunted them 20 years before, Bernardo Esquinca’s Demonia offers nine dark stories. Mexico City plays an important role in these stories.


'Pedro Páramo' by Juan Rulfo


Before his mother dies, Juan Preciado promises that he’ll go to his father’s town, Comala, to meet him. When he gets there, he realizes Comala’s not the vibrant town he expected. Instead, everyone he meets appears to be dead.