The biggest mystery about W. W. Jacobs is why he is best remembered for his horror short story "The Monkey's Paw" when the vast majority of his writings were humorous tales! William Wymark Jacobs was born in London, the son of a wharf manager. He worked as a civil servant while slowly launching his writing career -- after 20 years he was able to leave his job, marry, and focus solely on his writing. Most of his works, both novels and short stories, centered around the sea. An arrangement to publish many of his tales serially in The Strand Magazine provided him and his family with lifetime financial security. Although Jacobs wrote far fewer tales of the macabre, "The Monkey's Paw" is one of the best in the genre and a must-read for those with an interest in this sort of fiction.
You can read "The Monkey's Paw" here. An audio version is available here, and you can also watch a YouTube video production.
This is the perfect Halloween tale, so enjoy, and happy Halloween!