Books of Fright

Halloween has arrived, and what better way to get into the spooky spirit by reading scary books! Here are some stories that are sure to send shivers up your spine, and have you looking over your shoulder everywhere you go. Happy reading!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow-Washington Irving

Ichabod is a teacher and choirmaster at the little town of Sleepy Hollow. When Ichabod woos a rich man’s daughter, he must lay low because Brom, who is also in love with the rich man’s daughter, is after him. When Ichabod is invited to a party, he comes across the Headless Horseman, and must flee, terrified for his life.

House of Leaves– Mark Z. Danielewski

In this maze of a book made up of unconventional format, such as unusual page layouts with some pages only containing a few words, House of Leaves tells the story of three family members: a blind old man, a young apprentice at a tattoo shop, and a crazy woman. The family faces unexplainable changes in their home, and eventually come face to face with the darkness at its core.

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary– M.R. James

This collection of eight short stories captures the suspense and horror which defines good ghost stories. The wit and erudition of these eight classics keeps the reader on their toes, and teaches them be wary of every creak in the night. After all, you can never be sure about what lurks behind you.

Dracula– Bram Stoker

Jonathan Harker, a London lawyer, travels to Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase an estate in England. Initially impressed by Dracula’s politeness, Harker is soon wary of Dracula’s ability to communicate to wolves in his huge castle. He quickly realizes he is a prisoner in Dracula’s castle, and must find a way to survive this demonic creature of the night.

The Shining– Stephen King

Jack Torrance is hired as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, eager for a fresh start, and ready to reconnect with his family and work on his writing. As winter begins to set in, the Overlook Hotel grows more sinister. Danny Torrance, Jack’s five-year-old son, is the only one to notice as the hotel’s horrific past begins to consume them all.

The Tell-Tale Heart– Edgar Allen Poe

This story is told through a nameless, mysterious narrator, who does not sound half as sane as he claims. As we hear about the murder he had committed, there is a beating that grows louder and louder, echoing in the mind. It’s the still-beating heart of the victim under the floorboards, where our nameless narrator buried the dismembered body.

Coraline– Neil Gaiman

When her family moved into their new home, Coraline Jones knew things were weird. But weird doesn’t describe a mysterious door with a brick wall behind it. Weird definitely doesn’t describe the mysterious tunnel that takes its place. When Coraline goes through, she finds herself in another house, one just like her own. But this perfect world is hiding something dark and sinister, and Coraline might be too late to stop it.

A Stranger in the House– Shari Lapena

Newlyweds Karen and Tom Krupp happily live in upstate New York, but one day, Karen gets into an accident and loses her memory. When they return home, Karen notices things in the house have been moved. Nothing is quite right, and she realizes someone’s been in the house. This psychological thriller makes you doubt everything you know about your own life.

The Night Circus– Erin Morgenstern

This circus appears with no warning; no announcements or advertisements to display it, and it disappears as quickly as it comes. Only open at night, the circus tents hold amazing sights within, but the Night Circus holds a dark secret., and the performers must pay the price.

Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep– Jack Prelutshy

Instead of bedtime stories, read a dozen horrific poems to keep you up at night. Ranging vampires to ghouls, these poems cover a variety of creepy stories that will scare even the bravest individual.

The 5 Books You Need for Fall

It might be hard to believe, but Fall is in the air—despite the 90 degree Georgia heat! Students are returning to classes, the days are growing shorter, and more than a few stores have Halloween decorations up. If you’re tired of the sun, if you’re ready to bundle up with a blanket and watch the leaves change, then you should take these 5 books with you on your Autumn journey.

1. The Graveyard Book — Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens is as far from normal as his name implies. Given the Freedom of the Graveyard as a toddler, he was raised by the ghosts and spirits and other supernatural creatures that lived there. Gaiman’s tale weaves a world of supernatural magic, capturing readers and refusing to let them go. This dark but endearing tale is the perfect lead-in to Fall.

2. Persuasion — Jane Austen

Any Austin novel is an excellent choice, no matter the season, but Persuasion is particularly perfect. Autumn is such a tender symbol within it. Anne Elliot’s everlasting love for Captain Wentworth, and his ultimate commitment to her, renews one’s faith and joy in love. It is what twilit Autumn nights dream of.

3. The Diviners — Libba Bray

Do you love H. P. Lovecraft? Die whenever you read “The Fall of the House of Usher?” Shiver if a raven crosses your path? Then read The Diviners. Set in the bright and shiny 1920s, Libba Bray creates a world that any horror-fan will love. The rise of occultism under the peeling facade of glamor in New York City causes an unstoppable supernatural horror to be released, and there’s no guarantee to stopping it.

4. Maid Marian — Elsa Watson

The tale of Robin Hood has long lived in any reader’s heart, but it is Maid Marian who deserves a grand adventure this season. Watson’s retelling brings forth a vivd image: Marian is imaginative and clever and determined to live her own life. Under Queen Eleanor’s threat, Marian will marry her departed husband’s brother, but she knows she’ll likely disappear once she does. Marian seeks Robin Hood’s aid, yes, but she proves to everyone she is so much more than a girl needing help.

5. Dreamcatcher — Stephen King

Everyone knows King in some form. His works are legendary, and he is a true master of horror and suspense. If you haven’t read Dreamcatcher, do so immediately. But fair warning: you probably shouldn’t read it at night. Or at a cabin in the woods. Or during a blizzard. You never know what sinister creature might innocently ask for your help in the middle of the dark and lonely night.