Halloween is right around the corner and I find these Fall months the perfect time to settle in with scary, thrilling books. I am definitely a fan of the horror genre both in films and in literature. I recently re-read Heart-Shaped Boxfor the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon and I read Rebecca for Fraterfest 2018 . (reviews coming soon)
I thought I’d share a few of my favorite scary books, here they are in no particular order…
1. Pet Sematary by Stephen King
This whole list could be Stephen King novels couldn’t it though? It took me a while to finally be brave enough to read Pet Sematary . I’ve read it twice so far and it is my favorite King novel. The film is good too and I am looking forward to the remake. Not only is this one terrifying but it is very sad, like most King novels tend to be.
2. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
I only read Poe during the Fall. It is a little reading tradition I have. I will grab my copy of Complete Tales and Poems and I will read a few stories or poems. Poe had a flair for the dramatic and I enjoy his gloomy and beautiful writing….The Tell Tale Heart, The Raven and Annabel Lee are among my favorites. This book is a great for any Poe fan.
3.The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory by Rebecca Johns is both terrifying and fascinating. Serial killers creep me out so I don’t really watch or read too much about them. I won this book online many years back and it is historical fiction based on Hungarian Countess Erzsébet Báthory who was a female serial killer during the 1600’s. The story is told through her POV so the unreliable narration makes it even creepier.
4. Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke is a book that will mess with your head. I did not see the plot twist coming in this cold and chilling story about a mother and daughter who are stranded home alone during a blizzard on Christmas. I still thought about this book several days after I turned the last page.
5. The Ruins by Scott B. Smith is a scary story that takes place in the middle of the Mexican jungle and it slowly but surely will scare the heck out of you. The film is good too. This one is not for the faint of heart.
6. Misery by Stephen King is a classic. It has got everything a good scary story needs, an isolated location in the dead of snowy winter and a great villain. In this story, a psycho fan obsessed over her favorite author keeps him hostage and immobilized in her remote house in the middle of the woods. The film is also a favorite. King says Misery is his love letter to his fans. I bought my vintage hard cover copy in mint condition at a book sale years ago for like $1. That’s bookish Kismet.
7. If you can’t tell by now, I am a big Stephen King fan. I have read The Shining twice and it scared the heck out of me both times. Danny riding his little tricycle down the corridors of the haunted Overlook hotel = chills down your spine. King said he scared himself writing this novel because he rented a hotel room so he could have peace and quiet to write in. The film is wonderful also, although it differs from the book. I haven’t read Doctor Sleep yet.
8.Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice is amazing. Her vampires are beautiful and dramatic and terrifying and I fell in love with this intense and atmospheric novel when I read it. The film is great too and perfectly cast. 1990’s Brad Pitt = heart eyes emoji. Rice helped with the production so some of the dialogue is directly quoted from the novel. I read The Vampire Lestat after but Interview is just a true gem.
9. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson is a wonderfully creepy classic. Matheson was way ahead of his time and greatly influenced the horror/zombie genre. The last lines in this story are epic. The film version with Will Smith was good also.
10. I couldn’t leave Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill off my list, which I recently re-read and enjoyed very much the second time around. I am happy that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the King family. The main character collects creepy items and he buys a ghost online, it comes in the form of a dead man’s suit wrapped inside a heart-shaped box. I totally believe in haunted objects and the premise of this book drew me right on in.
So, those are some of my favorite scary reads. Have you read any of these? What are your favorite scary books? Please recommend! *note to self* I am going to have to be really brave and read Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist at some point. Happy haunting and happy reading! Thanks for all your comments and for stopping in!
disclaimer: This post was written by and for The Bookworm. The book picture is my own and not to be removed from here.