University of Colorado Boulder professor of English and novelist Stephen Graham Jones.

(Courtesy Stephen Graham Jones)

When he writes horror scenes, novelist Stephen Graham Jones says he often freaks himself out, prompting him to lock his doors or sleep with the lights on.

Jones says that ability to scare yourself is important skill to have as a writer of horror fiction. That is one of many things he teaches in a new course at University of Colorado Boulder this month. It's called "Advanced Horror Fiction Writing at the Stanley Hotel." And, as the latter part of the title alludes, one week of the class is spent in residency at Estes Park's Stanley Hotel -- the site is the inspiration for Stephen King's famous novel "The Shining." 

Jones, who is a professor of English at the university, spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

10 stories Jones says are great gateway reads into the horror fiction genre:

  • "The Black Cat" by Edgar Alan Poe
  • "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs
  • "The Dunwich Horror" by H. P. Lovecraft
  • "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury
  • "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
  • "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
  • "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates
  • "Bloodchild" by Octavia Butler
  •  "The Jaunt" by Stephen King
  • "The Night They Missed the Horror Show" by Joe R. Lansdale

Related: Read An Excerpt From 'Mongrel.' It's Not Your Average Werewolf Tale