As many of you know, I am a big baby when it comes to scary novels but I didn’t want to get left out of the Halloween fun! I’m so excited to have Rory from Fourth Street Review guest post about her Top 5 Halloween reads. Be sure to head over to her site and poke around!
October is, without a doubt, my favorite month. The falling leaves, cooler weather, longer nights, riding boots, pumpkins, and Halloween – I love it all (except for the October snow we always get in Colorado). And furthermore, it’s perfect reading weather. You can finally curl up under a blanket with a good book. If you’re like me, you like to curl up with fictional books of the darker sort whenit gets close to All Hallows’ Eve. Although I read dark fiction all year long, I read it a bit more gleefully in the month of October. For some reason unknown even to myself, I find it gratifying to read gruesome stories when the world is looking particularly beautiful, as it often does in autumn. The following are five of my favorite books that scare me a little (or a lot, as the case may be).
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. A horror story, a love story, a satire, and unquestionably one of the most baffling novels I’ve ever read. While it’s thought-provoking and endlessly unique, it’ll also keep you up at night. Enjoy.
The Terror by Dan Simmons. This is a thoroughly well-researched historical fiction novel with a dash of horror thrown in. It’s debatable whether the natural or supernatural elements are more terrifying. Either way, you’ll never forget to pack vitamin C again.
The Stand by Stephen King. This is classic King at his best. And while it’s not precisely horror, it is horrifying. I can guarantee you’ll cringe every time someone sneezes on you for at least a month and you’ll think twice when you see a lone crow on a wire.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. For those of you who prefer your literature a bit more classic than Stephen King, Henry James crafted a wholly ambiguous novel that is equally brilliant and confusing (with a dash of Gothic foreboding thrown in).
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. This is another one that is not exactly horror, but is so truly disturbing that it might as well be. There are rumors that this will be made into a film soon, but I can’t imagine how it could be accomplished. Bloody and bleak, McCarthy’s masterpiece would make No Country for Old Men look like a Disney film.
I didn’t want to have another list consisting of the same old classic horror novels – The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Amityville Horror, anything by H. P. Lovecraft, and the like. It’s not that they aren’t appropriate for the holiday, they certainly are, but those are often what people think of first. My aim was to provide a list of alternatives. These novels are still good for a scare without being genre horror. Do you read seasonally? Do you save all of your scary books for the Halloween season? If you do, do you have a favorite that you recommend? I’m always looking for a good book!