With Halloween just around the corner, these creepy reads are perfect for spooky thrills. Whether you’re looking for something dark, surreal, or plain “throw-the-book-across-the-room-and-run-away-screaming,” these reads are some of my favourites for getting into the Halloween spirit.
I don’t think any Halloween list would be complete without at least one book by Stephen King. Carrie is a chilling classic about an unpopular, frequently bullied girl who has telekenetic abilities. Carrie struggles with her home life, her school life, and her own self confidence and identitiy. This, coupled with her difficult to control abilities, makes for a horrifying series of events that are both terrifying and macabre. It’s like a train-wreck, you just can’t turn away even though you feel you should. I was hooked by this book and read it in only one or two sittings. I could not put it down, I was so desperate to learn how it ended. I freely admit I made the mistake of finishing it at 2am in the morning and consequently could not sleep.
Clive Barker’s Abarat is a dark fantasy, borderline horror, that is more on the creepy side than scary. It has an amazing cast of characters, some of whom are purely terrifying. The story revolves around a 16 year old girl named Candy, who finds herself in the magical realm of Abarat where each island is a different hour of the day. She is pursued by the wicked Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, for reasons unknown, and Candy encounters many freaky people and monsters during her journey. If you can find a copy of it, I highly recommend the hardback illustrated edition. The illustrations are both vibrant and surreal and really add to the eerie atmosphere.
The Sandman: Prelude & Nocturnes is volume 1 (of 10) in Neil Gaiman’s famous graphic novel series. It follows Morpheus, the personification of Dreams, as he goes on a quest to recover his artifacts of power which were lost to him after he was imprisoned for 70 years, the consequences of which are still being felt by us mere mortals. This story weaves together folklore, fairytales and mythology into one dark, thrilling story, and the surreal illustrations perfectly capture the atmosphere. Sandman is perfect for both newcomers of graphic novels, and existing fans.