TRICK OR T(READ)!!
IT'S ABOUT TO GET S(BOOK)Y IN HERE!
If you are anything like us, you LOVE Halloween. Freddy Krueger? Mike Myers? Yes please! And throw a little Hocus Pocus in there too.
THAT SAID, book lovers know better than anyone else that while the flashy Halloween stuff is good, there is absolutely nothing creepier than a well-written scary story. Scary fiction provides an exquisite terror that creeps up on you and doesn’t let you go for a long time.
Here are 15 creepy books to creep you out you this Halloween:
1. Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
Well well well if this master of fantasy and horror fiction didn’t just win the MacArthur Genius award??!! It confirms what I've suspected all along: Kelly Link is a GENIUS of horror and fantasy. She keeps you on that edge of total disorientation where the world has shifted all around you and damn you’re in awe but also terrified! This killer collection of scary short stories is not to be missed.
2. Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
Mark Frost, co-creator of Twin Peaks, has created a truly fascinating novel comprised of documents about our favorite creepy town, Twin Peaks. If you know anything about the woods in Twin Peaks you know you don’t want to be caught there after dark. You also know the town’s history has an evil underbelly that doesn't let you out unscathed. If you’ve ever felt exhilarated and freaked out by a Twin Peaks episode, you'll totally dig this book of eery Twin Peaks artifacts and factoids.
3. Audition by Ryu Murakami
The lesser-known Murakami, he's a master of the grotesque and horrifying. Audition begins as a guy-meets-girl rom-com, and spirals into your worst nightmare, painted with blood and betrayal and the bizarre. If you're looking for bit-sized scares, pick this up.
4. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
This one is a classic. A great mix of Ira Levin, Stephen King and Henry James, Peter Straub takes us deep, deep down into a psychological horror trip replete with real live ghosts. And not the cute kind either. A group of older men in a small town in upstate New York are haunted (in the most frightening sense) by ghosts related to a woman whose murder they were involved with in their youth.
5. The Witches by Stacy Shiff
If you've listened to the podcast, Lore, (and if you haven’t you totally should) Aaron Mahnke makes pretty clear that history is much more terrifying than anything you could ever hope to make up. Who were the Puritans? The Puritans were TERRIFYING. And god forbid you’re marked as a witch. Yikes. This books is your worst nightmare and it’s all true. Read at your own risk.
6. The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson
DISCLAIMER: the TV show is nothing like the book. In fact, I'm going to take the leap and say the book is a million times better. Shirley Jackson is the master of the slow burn, penning with eery realism the human descent into hysteria and horror. This book IS the ultimate haunted house story.
7. The Language of Thorns
by Leigh Bardugo
The Language of Thorns is a transcendent compilation of dark stories by NY times bestselling author and goddess, Leigh Bardugo. Bardugo breathes life into fairy tale and folklore like no-one else can and this incredible collection will have you howling at the moon and flashing back to past lives in the best way. (Also has killer illustrations).
8. The Outsider by Stephen King
King certainly hasn't lost his talent for horror and suspense. Reading The Outsider, it's pretty clear, this man still has a lot of game! The Outsider tells the gripping story of a murder in Flint City where Tarry Maitland, the regular joe about town is accused of murdering an 11 year old boy.
9. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Vegetarian is a subtle psychological horror that digs into your skin and sits heavy in your stomach. It tells the story of a young Korean woman plagued by nightmares who makes the simple decision to no longer eat meat...but pressured by her family and the culture-at-large, what should have been a simple choice drives her to madness.
10. The New Annotated Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Edited by Leslie S. Klinger
When it comes to horror, you would do well to consult Leslie. S. Klinger. Klinger is a renowned expert of the horror genre and a very reliable Frankenstein buff. This is a classic creepy story but what's even creepier is the world that produced it. This is a great making-of the monster narrative with gorgeous illustrations that will transport you straight into the rolling Scottish hills and Genevan lakes where the monster is just a few steps behind you...waiting to attack!
11. Shiver by Junji Ito
If we're talking about Japanese graphic horror it doesn't get bigger, better or more bizarre than Junji Ito. Shiver is a collection of Ito's classic terrifying short stories. If you have a weak stomach run far away, because these stories aren't just gruesome, they can be straight up gross. LIKE REALLY GROSS OKAY. A must for any manga fan.
12. Little Kitchen of Horrors by Ali Vega
This is the perfectly nauseating cookbook for 3 to 23 year olds. All the kids will love to hate these ghoulish recipes such as the the rice krispie treats resembling pounds of human flesh, the not so healthy snot smoothies and a good ole’ cup of eyeball soup. These dishes are freaktastic and no Halloween party would be complete without them.
13. The New York Times Book of the Dead
Edited by William McDonald
Do you love to socialize with ghosts? Are you looking to network with more? Expand your ghost circle by purchasing this mind-blowing collection of obituaries from 1851 to 2016. The art of the obituary is an over-looked but excellently fine-tuned literary craft and there’s no doubt that these are at the top of the genre.
14. Scream and Scream Again!
Edited by R. L. Stine
R.L. Stine is an important name for many of us who grew up in the 1990s. Many a nightmare have I dreamt as a result of the Goosebumps series. R. L. Stine takes his horror expertise to a new level with this collection of bestselling writers such as Chris Gabenstein, Wendy Corsi Staub, Heather Graham, and Peter Lerangis. Unusual images and plot twists from the shadow side of life.
15. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Get ready to be spooked! Emily Carroll's mastery of suspense and brilliant artwork will have these stories lingering on your mind long after you finished reading them. You'll be side-eying that crack in your curtains all night.