Spooky Reads

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
“She herself is a haunted house. She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the windows of her eyes and that is very frightening.” 

Part horror, part fantasy, part feminism. This collection of short stories is perfect for Halloween if you aren’t in the mood for tackling a huge novel. No two stories are alike so you can switch between them but love them all equally. Angela Carter twists and turns our much-loved fairytales and unveils the darkness within them such as Little Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard. Since its release, many horror stories have been inspired by this collection. 

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
“When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin’, but not to help.” 

Yes, this is technically the second book in the Hannibal Lecter series but it’s my favourite so I had to go for this one. I think every body and their brother knows the story of Hannibal, our friendly neighbourhood cannibal… kind of. This story, however, has one of my all time favourite female characters – Clarice Starling and she is taking zero shit from anyone, especially Hannibal. The two form an interesting alliance when a new murderer is unveiled so be prepared for a lot of blood but an amazing story.

The Shining by Stephen King
“Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters.”

No Halloween recommended list is complete without some Stephen King, the master of horror. I could recommend majority of his books, such as Carrie or IT but I settled on this purely because I recently watched the movie and it is an all-time classic. It tells the story of five-year old Danny as him and his family go to stay/work at a hotel. However, this hotel has a bloody past and it seems an evil force is at large.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
“Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour?”

The illustrated version of this novel just screams creepy even if the story itself doesn’t. The story follows a young boy called Conor who is trying to come to terms with his terminally ill mother and the constant bullying he endures in school. His only way of escape is his dreams, that is until things from his dreams start worming their way into his real life. One night, Conor is visited by a monster who comes after midnight and he tells him three stories in exchange for one thing: Conor’s truth. A sad and atmospheric novel but equally as creepy and perfect for Halloween.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” 

Do you honestly think I would put together this list and not include the very book that created sci-fi and horror. Nope. Even if it’s not Halloween, read this book. Read it at Christmas, read it whenever, at least once in your life. For those who don’t know, this is the story of Victor Frankenstein, a man who goes against all science and all religion and creates a human. However, frightened by his creation, Victor casts him out and the Creature, knowing no love or compassion, must learn his way in the world.

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
“Rotting in your skin
rotting in your mind
you are rotting in this house
in this house you’ll die.”

This book is… unusual. It tells the story of Silla and Nori, two sisters who trudge through a mysterious wood to their auntie’s hidden mansion. What unfolds there is part horror, part magic realism. Silla watches as her little sister talks to people who aren’t there and as their auntie goes mad and as the trees get gradually closer. Written like one long stream of consciousness, this book isn’t for everybody but it is definitely creepy and shouldn’t be read at night. 

What are you reading this Halloween?

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