I have always loved a good, scary book. I read The Exorcist when I was just 12, already bored with what the children's section of my local library offered. I began looking at what was on my Mother's shelves and in the adult sections. It was there I discovered writers like Thomas Tryon, Stephen King and Mary Shelly. Now when October rolls around, I am often on the hunt for this genre to feed my warped soul. Here are my picks, a mix of classics and some new discoveries and all are available in both book & kindle format.
Warning: Read at Your Own Risk
At this point is there anyone who has not read at least one Stephen King novel? I have read many, most recently Doctor Sleep, a belated follow up to The Shinning. However my pick is the less recent Full Dark, No Stars, a selection of chilling stories that are a little more old school King. Two have recently been adapted to the big & little screen. A Good Marriage and for Lifetime, the surprisingly well done Big Driver.
My own spooky inspired choice currently occupying my kindle is this two for one offer by Susan Hill. I did not read her best seller, The Woman in Black but enjoyed the movie. However it was this creepy but charming cover that drew me to download a sample and only a few pages in I was sold. I am 20% in and loving the slow burn, very well written and with no ideal of where I'm headed yet!
Still my favorite vampire tale to emerge during the big fang craze of the last decade, Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist is a haunting & at times beautiful little tale. Two very good faithful films adaptions have been made from it; an American one called "Let Me In" and the slightly superior original Swedish version. Still it is the book I enjoyed most. Lindgvist's first novel he has since released 3 more in the horror genre and has been dubbed the Swedish Stephen King! His most recent, Little Star is on my to read list.
I can't remember when I read The Collector or even if it was before or after I saw the excellent movie based on it. I only know I've never forgotten this unique and chilling book. A titillating character study of obsession taken to the extreme. Not your typical horror story, the shivers are in the telling.
On a scale of 1-10 in creepiness, Rosemary's Baby is a solid 9.9. Even if you have seen the movie, a fairly faithful adaptation, the book will still surprise you. After reading you will want to watch the movie again. I know I did.
I discovered Elizabeth Hand's Generation Loss, which searching out women horror writers. When I discovered the main character was a photographer it really peeked my interest. I found it to be an unrelenting, coarse journey that is part thriller, part character study and part horror story. I liked it a lot.
Also discovered during that hunt, Sara Gran, another strong female writer not afraid of the dark. I read this book, Come Closer in three sittings. Beautifully written, this tale about a women possessed by a female demon creeps up on you slowly, like a chill up the spine. So good.
This book was a big deal back in the seventies and personally gave me many nightmares, which might be why I remember it so fondly. A so-so film version was made directed by the great Robert Mulligan back in 1972. I would love to see it attempted again, with the right treatment I am sure it could be brilliant.
Probably more haunting than horror, I first picked up this book in my teens (with this same great cover above, who could resist it?) but I never finished it. I gave it another go earlier this year and was blown away. Now one of my all time favorite books and at the top of my required reading list. It propelled me into reading every one of Jackson's novels (many of which could be on this list) and even her biography.
If ghost and complicated plots are up your alley then look no further. Waters is most well known for her lesbian/victorian fiction, which is so well written two were made into acclaimed mini series. The Little Stranger is quite different in both period and plot. Though a touch slow at first, it is well worth the effort. I can also recommend her most recent effort, The Paying Guests. A detailed psychological thriller I could hardly put down.
In other related news, I had fun shooting this pretty witch for Lesley Evers and want you to enjoy this special holiday treat! Good on entire site including sale items and standard shipping is always free! Have a Kawaii Halloween!
top montage & content © Lara Rossignol