The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
If you’re searching for a classic Halloween tale, The Monkey’s Paw won’t let you down. First published in 1902, the short story has been a horror/suspense standard over 100 years.
The story of the Monkey’s Paw has been adapted by the Simpsons, Are You Afraid of the Dark, the X-Files, Tales from the Crypt and more. Stephen King seems fond of the tale as the theme of Pet Semetary centers on the unintended consequences of bringing back the dead. Another King story, The Dead Zone, features a reference to the classic tale when protagonist John describes his psychic powers as being similar to the Monkey’s Paw.
The basic lesson learned in The Monkey’s Paw is “be careful what you wish for.” That to desire more than you have is one thing, but to cheat, to skip steps and cut corners to get there, will rarely if ever end well for you. It’s a warning to the reckless. It’s also one of the best short stories ever penned.
This short story can be read online free of charge at: https://www.owleyes.org/text/monkeys-paw