5 Latin American horror stories that won’t let you sleep

There are few things as unique and chilling as Latin American horror stories. The familiarity of the stories, mixed with local folklore, fear and terror make the words of the following great writers shake you more than any horror movie from Hollywood or Japan, even more than the now famous Creepypastas, which if Although they are acclaimed throughout the world, they do not produce that feeling of anguish of the following stories.

“The slaughtered hen” – Horacio Quiroga

This story by Uruguayan Horacio Quiroga is one of the best known throughout the continent. It is about the children of a couple, all of them suffer from mental retardation caused by meningitis and the only thing they know how to do is imitate. When parents have a daughter who does not contract the disease or its terrible consequences, the children go into the background, then they begin to imitate other things that will make your hair stand on end by leaving you in a scenario as chilling as it is depressing.

you can read it here.

“The feather pillow” – Horacio Quiroga

From the same book as “La gallina degollada” this story delves into the life of a marriage that tries to get ahead despite the fact that they have nothing in common. Discovering her differences, the woman begins to fall victim to a strange disease that her husband cannot understand or fight. This story is one of those that leaves you anticipating the outcome until the final paragraph.

you can read it here.

“Pedro Paramo” – Juan Rulfo

A long story or short novel, as you want to see it. This book is considered among the best novels of the 20th century worldwide, because with the influence of English and American writers, Rulfo created a ghost story, but the terror is not caused by the appearance of these beings, but by the impossibility to distinguish fact from fiction.

you can read it here.

“Continuity of the parks” – Julio Cortázar

In his most famous novel, “Hopscotch”, Cortázar became a genius by playing with the narrative and structure of a novel. In this story he accomplishes something similar in a short reading of no more than 10 minutes. The further you go into the story, the more you become an accomplice in a crime and even a victimizer.

you can read it here.

“The secret life of insects” – Bernardo Esquinca

Esquinca is a writer who has struggled to distance himself from horror clichés in recent years. Unlike the aforementioned classics, this writer uses new formulas and in a few words manages to create a suffocating and emotional atmosphere from which it is difficult to escape.

It is enough to read the first lines of his story to know that it will be a hectic trip: “Two pieces of news: 1. Today I am going to talk to my wife, after two years of not doing so; 2. My wife is dead. She passed away two years ago, under mysterious circumstances.”

you can read it in full here.

Of course we can all read HP Lovecraft or Edgar Allan Poe, however the writings that come out of Latin America are much closer to our reality. Start with the classics and immerse yourself in the incredible world of Latin horror, from the subtle to the visceral.