Hello and welcome back to my 31 Scary Story Nights series celebrating the Halloween month and the scary campfire stories we know and love!  Tonight’s story The Furry Collar has a colorful history all its own.

It began as a story within a story in a popular novella called The Gentleman from America by Michael Arlen.  Arlen’s novella captured the imagination of everyone who read it, including Alfred Hitchcock who had it adapted for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents…” in 1956.  The Furry Collar developed a life of its own outside the novella, however, and became a popular story to tell on dark and stormy nights changing and evolving with names changed along with the time period in which the story takes place.

Without further ado, let’s light the campfire and settle in to read…The Furry Collar.

***Writer’s Note:  We here at iHorror are big proponents of responsible parenting.  Some of the stories in this series may be too much for your little ones.  Please read ahead and decide if your kids can handle this story!  If not, find another story for tonight or simply come back to see us tomorrow.  In other words, don’t blame me for your kids nightmares!***

The Furry Collar as retold by Waylon Jordan

Julia and Bessie were the best of friends, though the two couldn’t be more different.  Julia was brave and outgoing while Bessie was quiet, shy, and always seemed to be afraid.

On Halloween night, Bessie’s family had to be away and she was afraid to stay alone so she asked Julia to stay the night with her.  Julia, of course, agreed to stay to protect her friend from her fears.  Bessie’s family home was off the beaten path, you see, and a bit gloomy so even Julia understood that one might be nervous staying alone on Halloween night.

Julia arrived in late afternoon and the girls spent their time talking about the things that 15 year old girls do.  They made themselves food and were really having a marvelous time as the sun slowly set.

Before long, it was time to go to bed.

“I can’t wait for you to see my new nightgown,” Julia exclaimed, and she took her candle and ran from the room to change.

Bessie changed into her usual white cotton nightgown, all the while wondering what her friend might have to show her.

Julia returned to the room bathed in the soft glow of her candle.  Bessie was awestruck at the sight of the gorgeous red silk gown that her friend wore and even more at the beautiful rich black fur that lined the collar.

The girls climbed into Bessie’s large canopy bed and lay there chatting for the longest time.  It was well beyond midnight when they suddenly heard a sound from downstairs.

scratch, scratch, scratch…

The girls turned to look at each other, Bessie’s fear shining in her eyes.

“What was that?”

scratch, scratch, scratch…

Julia sat up in bed.

“It’s probably a cat…” she replied.

scratch, scratch, scratch…

“I’m going to go down to see,” Julia said.

“NO!” Bessie cried.  “You can’t leave me here alone.”

“Don’t be a baby,” Julia said more harshly than she intended.  “It will only take a second.  I’m sure it’s nothing.”

“No, please, Julia!”

“I know!  I’ll lock the door behind me so no one can get inside.  How about that?”

Knowing she couldn’t talk her friend into staying, Bessie quietly agreed.

Julia climbed out of bed, lit a candle, grabbed the key for the door and stepped out into the hall.  Bessie sat in the quiet holding her breath as she heard the click of the key in the lock.  She heard her friend retreat down the stairs followed by the sound again…

scratch, scratch, scratch…

Bessie fell back onto the bed and pulled the covers over herself listening as intently as she could.  After a few minutes, she heard the sound again followed by footsteps moving up the stairs.

Scratch, Scratch, Scratch…

Bessie shivered as both sounds stopped right outside her bedroom.  She heard the key turn in the lock and the creak of the hinges as the door slowly opened.  She pulled the covers from over her head only just then realizing how very dark it was in the room and that Julia had taken their only candle.

“Julia?  Julia, is that you?”

She heard the soft rustle of fabric move to the side of the bed…

“Julia, if that’s you, light the candle!” Bessie cried.

When no one answered, Bessie slowly reached out until her fingers brushed the silky fabric of Julia’s gown.


Bessie ran her hand up higher along the gown until she felt something wet.  Her fingers trembled as she pushed her hand higher over the soft fur collar and then, suddenly, there was nothing.  Nothing but a bloody stump where her dearest friend’s head should have been.

Julia’s body fell to the floor as Bessie’s screams shattered the night.

When her parents returned in the morning, they found Julia’s body on the floor of the bedroom and Bessie curled into a corner of her room.  Her hair had turned solid white.  Julia’s head was never found…


Thank you for joining us for our story night!  We do hope you’ll join us again for tomorrow’s story, and in the meantime, happy haunting’s readers!

(If you missed yesterday’s story, click here!)