I can think of few more truly disturbing stories than Edogawa Rampo's "The Chair." A psychologically fable describing in minute detail how a master furniture maker, obsessed with an unachievable woman, creates a chair with himself hidden inside. This chair is given to the woman, and each time she sits in it she nestles unknowingly in his lap, puts her weight onto him, lays her head against his face. The furniture maker silently feels her every night, without her ever knowing. The atmosphere, the detail of the language, and the sheer nature of the story combine for one of the classics of this genre.
"The Chair" is of course included in "Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination," a compilation by the father of Japanese mystery writing. Much is made of his adopting the Japanese pronunciation of Edgar Allan Poe as his pen name, but Rampo's style is his own. He favors psychological horror, and there are few elements of the supernatural to be found. Sociopaths and obsessives seem to be his stock in trade, with detailed exercises on how to commit the perfect, untraceable murder. Many of the stories end with some unexpected revelation, although I would not call it a "twist ending." The obsessive nature of the stories renders them all the more disturbing, as almost every story is something that could conceivably happen.
In addition to the excellent "The Chair," you will find "The Caterpillar" featuring a cruel wife's abuse of her de-limbed husband, "The Cliff," a back-and-forth story that will leave you wondering who is manipulating who, "The Hell of Mirrors," a man obsessed with optics and reflecting surfaces descent into insanity, "The Red Chamber," revealing the true nature of those who are attracted to stories of others deaths, "The Two Crippled Men," a story of a murderous sleepwalker who commits crimes without ever knowing it and "The Traveler with the Pasted Rag Picture," the only story with a supernatural twinge, showing brotherly devotion and love of the unreal.
Each story in "Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination" is well-selected, and James B. Harris does a fine job with the translation, maintaining the tension and original intention. The only real shame is that this is the only collection of Rampo's works that has been translated into English. After reading this you will long for more.