It’s the month of October, so in two weeks from now most of you will celebrate Halloween. To get you in the mood of searching for the perfect costume, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating we want to give you five book suggestions for you to read.
1. Stephen King’s books
If you want to go with a contemporary author that is considered one of the best of the genre then Stephen Kings is the one for you. He started his career in 1967 with a short story “The Glass Floor”, but published his first novel “Carrie” in 1973. From then, till now, he published 58 novels, seven of them under the pen name of Richard Bachman, and sold over 350 million copies. He has a book for every kind of scary or horror enthusiastic reader. Some of his most appreciated novels are:
- “IT” – published in 1986. It is about a group of children and then adults that fight an evil clown named Pennywise who lives in the town’s sewers. The book had 2 movie adaptations and is the main reason that some people are afraid of clowns.
- “The Shining” – published in 1977. This novel has as main character an aspiring writer by the name of Jack Torrance, who moves with his wife and kid to be the off-season caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. Soon after their arrival, Danny, the son starts seeing ghosts and have visions. The haunted hotel starts possessing Jack and uses the ghost of the former caretaker Grady to make him kill his family. This book also got a movie adaptation in which Jack Nicholson made an amazing role.
2. The Hannibal Lector series by Thomas Harris
This series is not necessary in the horror category, but it has blood, sociopaths and great tension, so this is why I decided to add it in the Halloween book list. All the series centers the very well educated and smart sociopath killer, Hannibal Lector, who kills and eats his victims. It contains 4 books of which I don’t want to talk more than give their names because I don’t want to spoil anything:
- Red Dragon
- Silence of the Lambs
- Hannibal Rising
The first part of the series was written in 1981, but the novels became really famous after the movie adaptation of the “Silance of the Lambs” that brought both Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster an Oscar for their leading roles.
3. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, published “Something Wicked This Way Comes” in 1962. The novel follows a group of 13-year-old friends that have a very traumatizing experience when a traveling carnival comes to their town. This mysterious carnival advertises to grant secret desires to the people, but in truth, the leader, Mr. Dark enslaves the persons who visit the carnival and lives off the life force of them.
Ray Bradbury is a great writer and manages to make “Something Wicked This Way Comes” a perfect choice for a Halloween read.
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This book is a classic. It was first published anonymously in 1818. The novel starts with the letters between Captain Robert Walton and his sister. Walton goes in an adventure to the North Pole. During this voyage, his crew saves a nearly frozen man, by the name of Victor Frankenstein. The later soon tells his story of how he managed to give life to non-living matter and created an enormous creature.
Mary Shelley was born in 1797 and died in 1851. She was encouraged by her father to learn to write by composing letters. During her life, she was considered a serious writer. Unfortunately, after her death, she was remembered as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of “Frankenstein”. This ended when in the ’70s the feminist criticism started to rise and her works began to captivate the attention of the scholars.
5. Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories
Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer who lived from 1809 to 1849. He is known for his macabre and mysterious poems and stories. Poe had a very complicated and dark life, which probably was the reason for his writings.
He was born in Boston and soon after, his father abandoned the family and his mother died. In his youth, he enrolled in the army because he wasn’t able to support himself. After his military service, at the age of 27, he returned home and married his first cousin who was 13. In 1842, his wife got sick with tuberculosis, which made Poe start drinking excessively. In 1849 was found wondering delirious in the street and was taken to a hospital where he died because of “congestion of the brain”, which at the time meant death by shameful reasons as alcoholism. Some of his most popular works are:
- The Raven – published in 1845. It is Poe’s most known work. It is a narrative poem and it is about a raven which talks to a tormented lover, making him lose his minds.
- The Fall of the House of Usher – published in 1839. It is about two twins, Roderick and Madeline who are the last members of the Usher family. They both suffer from great illnesses and soon after Madeline dies. From here, Poe creates a macabre atmosphere and a mysterious ending.
- The Tell-tale Heart – published in 1843. It narrated by an unknown person who tries to explain how he committed a murder and at the same time to convince the readers of his sanity.
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue – published 1841. It is considered the first modern detective story. It has as the main character Mr. C. Auguste Dupin who solves the mystery double murder of a mother and daughter in Paris.
It doesn’t matter if you are celebrating Halloween or not. All the above books and authors are amazing and should be read at least one time in every reader’s life. My personal favorite was the Hannibal Lector series, but I can wait to hear your personal opinions on what is spooking you out:)