Scary Book Recommendations for Halloween!

I’m just taking a quick break from all my travel posting to put out a few other posts…especially this post as, boys and girls, it’s that time of the year again – the time of all things scary! And that means it’s the time to curl up on the sofa with a big bowl of Halloween candy and some scream-inducing reads…

And on the top of my list of scary reads…

Halloween Books 2013 Collage

First up… Galen Beckett’s Mrs Quent and the Magicians might not seem like an ideal choice for a horror list as the book starts off more like a Jane Austen novel meets fantasy. However, delve a little closer and you’ll start to notice the horror references such as the mysterious strangers in black cloaks that haunt the Lockwell family and a mysterious masked man. The story also changes midway as the eldest daughter, Ivy, is forced to take a job as governess to the children of Mr Quent, a mysterious recluse at a secluded and perhaps haunted manor in the remote countryside…

Edgar Allan Poe is known as the master of gothic horror and the best part of it is you can also read his works for free here.

As much as I like Brad Pitt and zombie movies, I’m sad to say I was disappointed in the movie version of World War Z. At the risk of sounding like a book snob, the movie doesn’t even come close to capturing the essence of what makes World War Z a definite zombie must-read as it captures the fears, emotions and frustrations of various individuals from all over the world as they each fight to survive the outbreak of the zombie disease, otherwise known as ‘The Great Panic, ‘African Rabies’ and ‘World War Z.’ Truly a zombie book like no other.

Halloween Books 2013 Collage II

When I was brainstorming my Halloween scary reading list, one of the first titles to pop into my head was Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. (the hand…the hand!!!) However, I opted instead for Gaiman’s latest offering, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Just like Coraline, although the protagonist is a child, the book has a definite appeal for all ages. And while Coraline had to match wits against a false mother who wants to sew buttons onto her eyes, the unnamed protagonist in Ocean will have to contend with one very scary nanny.

Speaking of nannies and governesses (are we sensing a theme running through this list?), Henry James’s gothic horror novella, The Turn of The Screw, is probably the original horror story of a woman who goes to govern two children in a country house but is soon spooked by some seemingly supernatural occurrences on the grounds.

Finally, for something a little more modern, Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 tells the tale of a nightmarish kidnapper who drives around in a vintage Rolls Royce Wraith that has a life of its own and one woman’s battle to stop him from taking her child. Cue one hell of a freaky Gingerbread Man, a Christmasland full of ghoulish children you definitely don’t want to babysit for and some extremely yummy sounding sweet potato chips coated in sugar and cinnamon.

And if you can’t get enough scary reading for Halloween…


Robin McKinley’s Sunshine will make you hunger for hot cinnamon buns and everything else sweet and decadent while you cower in your apartment from the dark forces and scary vampires out there. To this day, this remains my favourite vampire novel above all other vampire novels. Even Anne Rice.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, while not a novel, is the reproduction of content from the Pan Labyrinth director’s journals detailing his notes, sketches and inspirations for his movies from Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy and Pacific Rim.

The Year’s Best Fiction in Dark Fantasy and Horror 2013 will keep you turning the pages with scary short stories from the best of the best in the business of creating spine chillers. My only gripe? That shit cover. It’s so crap, I’m not even bothering to put it in this post.

Happy screaming!!


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