Summer reading gets a lot of attention, but I think fall is really the best season for books. There's nothing like enjoying those chilly autumn temperatures while diving into a spooky read. Here's some scary books to read this Halloween season that will get you in the haunted holiday mood. As someone who enjoys scary books more than just about anything, I am thrilled to present this collection of freaky reads.
And really, there's something here to suit every taste. The classic masters of all things creepy are represented, including of course Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. But there are also more modern stories on the list, many of which feature persons of color and queer people as characters (alongside the usual zombies and witches and such). For stories about ancient and dead things, sometimes the horror genre can be pretty attuned to current social issues. Really, horror fiction is such a great way to examine anything that causes fear, including mental illness issues or a fear of aging.
Whether you purchase a hardcover copy, library loaner, ebook, or audiobook, invite these reads into your life this autumn season. They just might help you face some fears of your own.
1'Something Wicked This Way Comes' by Ray Bradbury
In this 1962 novel by Ray Bradbury, 13-year-old friends Jim Nightshade and William Halloway encounter a dark, mysterious traveling carnival one October. Mirror mazes and carousels here are much more sinister than their usual incarnations.
2'Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone' by Stefan Kiesbye
In a village on the Devil's Moor, four characters recount their experiences growing up as children in the ominous town. There's something wrong about their town, but whether it's a natural or supernatural issue will keep you guessing. Also, the cover image alone is enough to give you nightmares. What is up with that kid's eyes?
3'Night Shift' by Stephen King
With the recent popularity of the 'Castle Rock' TV show and the 'IT' movie reboot, King's influence is as strong as ever. If you want to dive deeper into his work, the short story collections are phenomenal. Even if you haven't read 'Night Shift' yet, you might recognize its stories such as "Children of the Corn," "Sometimes They Come Back," and "Jerusalem's Lot." It's a fantastic, fast, and frightening read.
4'Her Body and Other Parties' by Carmen Maria Machado
Boldly feminist and fantastical, the short stories in this collection are wild and unsettling and somehow deeply real. Machado's works blend old folklore tropes with modern, often queer, characters, resulting in an unforgettable collection. I read it a few months ago and it still haunts me, especially those girls with bells for eyes.
5'Let’s Play White' by Chesya Burke
6'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' by Neil Gaiman
7'The Raven and Other Tales: A Graphic Horror Novel' by Edgar Allen Poe
8'Rosemary’s Baby' by Ira Levin
9'Parable Of The Sower' by Octavia Butler
10H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
11'Interview with the Vampire' by Anne Rice
12'Broken Monsters' by Lauren Beukes
13'A Head Full Of Ghosts' by Paul Tremblay
If psychological thrillers are more your style, then this is the read for you. 'A Head Full Of Ghosts' by Paul Tremblay involves a fourteen-year-old girl who shows signs of schizophrenia, exorcism, and even reality shows (the scariest thing of all). It's a modern look at old and frightening secrets.