I won’t say “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman fits in the category of typical horror stories, which fascinates or shocks the readers by introducing them to supernatural powers, bloodshed, or scary scenes. But this story shares some properties with the horror collections. There are incidents in the story where author has created weird and scary situations in a fascinating manner.
The story is about the author herself who suffers from physiological disorder and her struggle during the phase with her own imaginary scary activities. When the author starts narrating the story, it feels like as if she is going to narrate a horror story. In the second paragraph of the story she start saying “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house,” The author leads the story with the description of the house which she and her husband have rented for summer. Describing the house as old and haunted she is conveying message to the readers that the house carries some unusual environment. Again to support her statement that there is something wrong with the house she adds “Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?” In this way Gilman creates a horror story type scenario and presents a dark scary image in front of the readers. As the story moves on, the author gets disturb by the wallpaper in a room and she starts seeing unusual activities “There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stares at you upside down.” Here using the words like broken neck and bulbous eyes, author is presenting a disturbed image to the readers like in horror stories. Like the unusual activities intensifies in the horror stories, Gilman’s fear intensifies and she starts seeing a character, a woman creeping on the wall and haunting her “It creeps all over the house. I find it hovering in the dining-room, skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the stairs.” No one except Gilman witness the woman and the activities. Only she is being haunted by the woman figure. Till the end of the story the imaginary woman character keeps haunting the author for the freedom. And finally she gets rid of the fear by peeling off the wall paper. Looking at these points I would definitely say that “The Yellow Wall Paper” has the taste of a horror story.