A list of 100 "core titles" for collectors to pursue in building a modestly-priced but nicely representative horror collection.
John Pelan's Horror Core List
All books were not just judged by monetary value (in 1st edition), but each was to be "a truly excellent collection". The books are listed in no particular order. The list, followed by Rbadac's comments:
1. Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary- M.R. James
2. Widdershins- Oliver Onions
3. Spook Stories- E.F. Benson
4. Ghosts- Edith Wharton
5. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque- E.A. Poe
6. They Return At Evening- H.R. Wakefield
7. In A Glass Darkly- J. S Le Fanu
8. Hauntings- Fantastic Stories- Vernon Lee
9. The Riddle and Other Stories- Walter De La Mare
10. The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories- Algernon Blackwood
And yes, ten books is too few. That's why Aickman, Hartley, Bowen, Collier, Sinclair, Burrage, Wilkins-Freeman, Mrs. Riddell, et al didn't make the cut, alas. I rather consider Harvey and Chambers more "horror" than ghostly overall, more in a Machen camp. I've never been particularly partial to Hearn, though I like him well enough to read him. Hawthorne is certainly a giant, but his stories are almost too equivocal to line up with the ghost story proper.
But if you had the above ten, NOBODY in a crowd of ghost story enthusiasts could out-snob you.
If you purchased a copy of the White Wolf edition of F. Marion Crawford's FOR THE BLOOD IS THE LIFE and wondered why the last story seemed to be lacking an ending, the ending is here.