Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays of all time. It’s the only holiday where we express ourselves by pretending to be someone else. It’s also a holiday where we celebrate the stories that inspire us everyday. We dress up as characters from movies, shows, comics, and most importantly, books! Many people dress up every year as The Creature from Frankenstein, Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series, Ponyboy from The Outsiders, Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby, and much much more.
These are books that you should read while you wait in line for you Halloween costume, while you are at the doctor’s office in case you faint from horror, you’ll be saved immediately, while at a pumpkin patch, and most importantly while you are putting your children asleep. Without much Delay, here are 15 books, in no particular order, that will make you feel right in home just in time for the halloween season.
1. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Publication Date: October 1898
Genres: Horror fiction, Gothic fiction, and Ghost fiction
Price: Kindle: Free (since it’s public domain) Paperback:Low as $6.50 a piece
The tale is told mostly through the journal of a governess and depicts her struggle to save her two young charges from the demonic influence of the eerie apparitions of two former servants in the household. James himself, in his preface to volume XII of The Novels and Tales of Henry James, called the tale a “fable” and said that he did not specify details of the ghosts’ evil deeds because he wanted readers to supply their own vision of terror.
2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Publication date: 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror
Page Count: 320
Price: $8.99 for Kindle & Paperback
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.
3. Frankenstein:The 1818 Text
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Science fiction
Page Count: 335
Price: EBook FREE, Paperback as low as $4.99
Forget what you’ve seen the movies, the novel takes a realistic take on the scientist and humanizes the characters. Marry Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. Can you imagine that??? Your favorite author could never. But at once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
OH and make sure you read the 1818 edition. The 1821 is drastically different and it’s allegedly edited by Shelley’s husband.
4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Publication date: 1959
Genres: Horror, Gothic, Mystery
Page count: 208
Price: Paperback $8.09 Kindle: $12.99
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
5. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Publication date: 1972
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Page count: 145
Price: Kindle $10.99 Paperback $5.99
A fast-moving, eerie…tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin’s. Enhanced by appropriately haunting black-and-white drawings.
6. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Publication date: 2005
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires
Page count: 312
Price: Kindle 8.99 Paperback 9.99
This is one of my all time favorite vampire books. What’s so different about this world of vampires is that it’s described as a parasite that attacks the body. Last year as college freshman, narrator Cal was infected by exotic goth Morgan with a parasite that caused following girlfriends to become vampire-like ghouls he calls parasite-positives “Peeps”. A carrier without symptoms, he hunts his progeny for the centuries old bureaucratic Night Watch. But victims are showing more sanity, pretty human Lacey is pushing his buttons, and her apartment building basement houses fierce hordes of ravening rats, red-eyed cats, and monstrous worms that threaten all. Morgan has the secret to a centuries-old conspiracy and upcoming battle to save the human race.
7. The Fifth House of The Heart
Publication date: 2015
Genres: Horror, Vampires, Fantasy
Page count: 400
Kindle 10.99 Paperback 16.00
Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang, a vainglorious and well-established antiques dealer, has made a fortune over many years by globetrotting for the finest lost objects in the world. Only Sax knows the true secret to his success: at certain points of his life, he’s killed vampires for their priceless hoards of treasure.
But now Sax’s past actions are quite literally coming back to haunt him, and the lives of those he holds most dear are in mortal danger. To counter this unnatural threat, and with the blessing of the Holy Roman Church, a cowardly but cunning Sax must travel across Europe in pursuit of incalculable evil—and immeasurable wealth—with a ragtag team of mercenaries and vampire killers to hunt a terrifying, ageless monster…one who is hunting Sax in turn.
8. In a dark, dark wood
Publication date: 2015
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Page count: 308
Kindle: 9.99 Paperback 9.93
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.
Ware’s book is a great pick for those (like me) who don’t deal well with scary, but love a good psychological thriller.
9. The Wind’s Twelve Quarters
Publication date: 1975
Genres: Fantasy, Science fiction
Price: Kindle 7.99 Paperback 14.69
This collection of short stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, a master writer of dystopian literature, includes the story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” which won the Hugo Award in 1974. The tale describes a delightful day in Omelas, a place where people lead impeccable lives, and want for nothing. The city’s state of splendor and bliss however, requires one child be kept in a basement, in eternal filth and agony. This story begs haunting questions of moral sacrifice and utilitarianism, and will leave you with its ghosts for days.
10. The Penguin Book of Witches
Publication date: 2014
Genres: History, Witches,
Price: Kindle $13.99 Paperback $13.40
From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft