The setting is what sells this story. It takes place in a small run-down cinema that shows nothing but silent films. As the story is set in 1947, the protagonist is always alone in the absolute quiet, and it’s an effective atmosphere conjured up in a short space of time. When another man comes into the cinema and sits behind him, and starts talking almost to himself, the result is terrifying.
All But Empty by Graham Greene
Availability: Print only
Word count: 1,300
First published: Strand magazine, March 1947
Where to find it: The Lucifer Society: Macabre Tales by Great Modern Writers, edited by Peter Haining, 1972, W.H. Allen
Strange Tales from the Strand, edited by Jack Adrian, 1991, Oxford University Press