If you’re looking for something to scare you this Halloween, here’s a list of some horror novels that you will be too scared to put down.
The Shining – Stephen King
Published in 1977, this horror novel by Stephen King focuses on Jack Torrance who is an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic. He moves himself and his family to the Overlook Hotel to be an off-season caretaker, whilst the hotel is empty.
Danny, Jack’s son, possesses ‘the shining’ and can see the horrific details of the hotel’s past such as ghosts of old guests.
Throughout the novel, Danny’s visions get more intense and Jack’s recovery with alcohol gets more and more difficult, playing on his sanity to extreme and terrifying levels.
The Walking Dead – Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
The horrifying opening to season 7 of The Walking Dead TV series aired this week in the UK, so now is as good a time as any to pick up the graphic novel which started it all.
The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes, who wakes up from a coma into a zombie apocalypse. He must find his family whilst learning how to survive. Rick finds other survivors who both help and hinder the progress of the group.
The black and white graphic novel now has 27 volumes. It deals with loss, childhood and survival, with gruesome and hard hitting moments.
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Published in 1818, the novel is about Victor Frankenstein who creates a creature through a science experiment. The creature was supposed to be beautiful but is instead gruesome and over-sized, almost bursting out of its own skin.
The novel has elements of science fiction, Gothic literature and romance. This novel is a must read Gothic classic for anyone looking for something terrifying this Halloween.
The Woman in Black – Susan Hill
The Woman in Black was made into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe in 2012, which is eerie and terrifying. The novel is written in the typical Gothic style. Arthur Kipps is a solicitor who has to go work in a coastal England town, which is haunted by a ghost called the Woman in Black, who has a mysterious and intriguing past.
The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
This collection of short stories by Angela Carter was published in 1979 and is perfect if you are scared easily. Some stories are only a few pages long, but can still be terribly chilling. The tales are based on classic fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Puss in Boots but with a powerful, feminist angle.
The tales are gruesome and often sad. But it doesn’t have to be read in one sitting.
The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
The book, like the film adaption, is about the demonic possession of a twelve-year-old girl as she becomes aggressive and violent. Two priests attempt to exorcise the demon, which tests them spiritually. The film adaptation is considered one of the most haunting horror films so the book will be equally, if not more terrifying.
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Dracula is a classic Gothic horror from 1897. It tells the story of Dracula as he moves from Transylvania to England in an attempt to spread the undead curse.
This novel has many different film, theatre and television adaptions as well as the Dracula character himself featuring in other films and books of the genre.
Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Although technically a children’s novel it is a dark fantasy, about a girl called Coraline and her family. The family move into a house which has been turned into apartments and occupied by strange and interesting tenants. The story gets eerie when Coraline discovers a secret passageway leading to another apartment, identical to her own where she finds Other Mother and Other Father. The Other Parents are sickly sweet characters, giving Coraline presents and making her nice food. But in place of their eyes are big shiny buttons.
The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson
This novel is a typical tale of a haunted house, allegedly based on true events. In 1974 Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family in his home, he was then convicted of murder in November 1975. In December 1975 George and Kathy Lutz and their three children move into the house because it is so cheap. After they move in paranormal events start taking place.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
A lawyer investigates the strange occurrences between his friend Dr Jekyll and the evil Mr Hyde. Dr Jekyll is kind, healthy and regularly entertains his friends but Mr Hyde is described as ‘having evil oozing out of him’ taking part in illegal activity. The two are connected in an interesting way that is explained in a great twist at the end of the novel.
What will you be reading this Halloween?