Halloween is just around the corner! While you can get your spookiness on with jack-o-laterns, watching your favorite scary movies, or indulging in fun like the 13 Days of Halloween, but let’s not forget those spooky books that can add an extra dash of holiday cheer to your October. Sure, you can read the works of classic horror authors like H.P. Lovecraft or books like The Shining, Frankenstein, Dracula, or The Exorcist–and you definitely should read those. However, there are some pretty impressive new works of horror coming out that you can add to your reading list to really get you into the spirit of Halloween.
Slasher Girls is a collection of short stories, perfect for the horror fan who doesn’t have a ton of time to invest in an entire novel. What makes this book unique is that the stories are not simply scary. Each tale in the book has been inspired by some existing work, be it a movie, a classic novel, or even a Nirvana song (seriously, there’s a spooky story in this collection inspired by Nirvana). The author of each short story takes the piece that inspired their tale, and gives it a bit of a creative, creepy twist. Not only are the stories unsettling, it’s fun to try to figure out what story the author is alluding to.
This one is a great book to read for fans of solid psychological horror, tales of haunted pasts and mysterious “sicknesses”, and prairie settings that gives you a Little House on the Prairie feel (if Little House was a horror series). Though this one is a YA book, it’s definitely got the chops to reach readers who don’t normally gravitate towards YA. It’s a quick read and great if you are pressed for time. A lot of reviewers are calling Daughters Unto Devils a Little House on the Prairie meets The Exorcist. While I don’t know if I’d go as far to such a modern classic of a horror film, I would advise you to read this book during the daytime.
If haunted houses aren’t your thing, Gold’s novel, Bat out of Hell, is a great read to get you in the Halloween spirit without giving you nightmares. An eco-thriller about a devastating plague, this one will definitely creep you out. Plus, if you’re suffering from zombie fatigue: this one is all about a virus, not zombies. No undead, just an aggressive, 100% fatal disease spread by bats that medicine can do nothing to stop. Plus, the book has an added bit of moral dilemma, since society struggles with the decision to eradicate all bats to save humanity or protect bats from complete extinction. Definitely not a good read for a hypochondriac!
Edgar Allan Poe was an amazing author. He managed to write truly frightening and disturbing tales, all while weaving in beautiful and breathtaking language. It’s impossible to not think of Poe’s writing when you’re thinking of horror greats. The thing is, when you have such a powerhouse of a writer, often other amazing works find themselves overshadowed and ultimately, as years pass, forgotten completely. In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe is a compilation of short horror stories all by authors who found themselves overshadowed and forgotten because of Poe’s popularity. With names like Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle, this collection is a must have for fans of classic horror, and will be added to your regular rotation of Halloween books to re-read each year.
Alice is another great one for fans of classic horror. Taking a new twist on Lewis Carrol’s famous works, Henry manages to turn bits from Alice and Wonderland and turns it into a truly disturbing story. A woman wakes in a crumbling hospital in the Old City, unsure how she got there, with only flashes of horrible memories from a gruesome tea party. When she finally is able to escape, she realizes something terrible escaped with her, and she must journey to find help and answers about her past. This is another story that strays a bit from the classic horror tropes of haunted houses and ghosts, and really draws its scares from messing with your mind.
What are some books on your Halloween reading list? What are your favorites to read each year, and what are some new titles you’ll be reading? Let’s talk books in the comments!
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