Why not usher in October with a few stories designed to raise the hair on the back of your neck and a few goosebumps? We’ve selected a few of our favorite books and authors from the horror genre for your consideration. A few are new and some of our choices are classics to be read every Halloween.
Books by Ray Bradbury:
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show comes to Green Town, Illinois, ushering in Halloween and nightmares for all who believe the promises of dreams come true and eternal youth. Can two boys sort through the carnival of illusions or will they become trapped in nightmares masquerading as dreams?
The Halloween Tree – On Halloween night, eight boys in costume go to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town. Instead of their friend, scary Mr. Moundshroud is waiting. Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time to a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame in search of their friend and the meaning of Halloween. What will the boys be willing to give up to save their friend when they finally find him in the catacombs of Mexico?
The October Country: Stories – Nineteen short stories to get your heart pounding and make you sleep with one eye open.
Books by Stephen King:
It - Seven friends return to their hometown, Derry, Maine to confront the nightmare they survived as teenagers 28 years ago...an evil without a name: It. The creature they battled that preyed on the city's children has returned and children are being murdered. Can they face their repressed memories of that terrifying summer to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry's sewers?
The Institute – Luke Ellis’ parents are murdered and he’s kidnapped and taken to a place called “The Institute.” Luke encounters other children who have also been kidnapped. Each is being held because of special gifts they possess, telekinesis and telepathy. The Institute is comprised of a front half where Luke is confined and a back half where they simply “disappear.” Can Luke and the other children find a way to escape and get help or will evil prevail?
The Outsider – Evidence in the brutal murder of a young boy leads to a pillar of the community with an ironclad alibi. Terry Maitland is a Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. The investigating officer, Detective Ralph Anderson, is the father of a boy Maitland once coached. He pushes for a quick and very public arrest. As the investigation proceeds, horrifying facts come to light. Is Maitland an innocent victim or an unspeakable monster?
Books by Clive Barker:
Books of Blood, Volumes 1-3 – Short stories so terrifying they earned Barker a place on the scary list with authors Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe.
The Damnation Game – Compulsive gambler and recent parolee, Marty Strauss, lands a job as a bodyguard for one of the wealthiest men, Joseph Whitehead, in the world only to find himself protecting Whitehead from forces of evil connected to a Faustian bargain made years earlier. Can Strauss save his employer’s family from being used to exact the punishment Whitehead deserves?
The Hellbound Heart - Frank Cotton enjoys the dark pleasures of pain and craves his next thrill. This leads him to the puzzle of Lemarchand's box, and the unspeakable death his brother's love-crazed wife, Julia, has vowed to rescue him from. But, will his rescue unleash horrors worse than death?
Books by Shirley Jackson:
We Have Always Lived in the Castle – The three remaining members of the Blackwood family live in virtual isolation six years after the deaths of four family members from arsenic poisoning. Agoraphobic Constance and her wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian share their home with 18-year-old Merricat who has developed a system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. When Cousin Charles arrives, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune, Merricat fails at her first attempts to scare him away. She resorts to more desperate methods with devastating results and the revelation of a terrible secret.
The Haunting of hill House – Four people decide to test the legend of Hill House. Luke, the future heir to Hill House joins Dr. Montague, a scholar of the occult, and his assistant Theodora who are looking for evidence of a real ghost and Eleanor, a young loner who claims to be well acquainted with poltergeists. Can the legend be disproved or will the house claim its next victims?
The Lottery and Other Stories – Twenty-five stories ranging from ridiculous to terrifying which cement Jackson’s reputation as a master storyteller
Other Works and Authors you might enjoy:
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor - Miranda Day is “Mama Day" the elderly matriarch of a small sea island off the southeast coast of the United States. Mama must battle the dark forces that threaten the body and soul of her beloved great-niece, Cocoa. Cocoa has gone "main side" and married a Northerner from the city. Will Mama be able to use her ancient knowledge of herbal medicine and her magical powers to save Cocoa?
Aberration: A Horror Anthology by Melissa Koons, James Hunter, Thomas A. Fowler and Emily Godhand
Ten tales of horror from four authors who taunt and tease our imaginations with monsters we can see and the invisible monsters lurking inside us waiting to escape.
No Rest for the Wicked by Pamela Morris – What happens to the tortured souls who die without being punished for the sins they have committed? Can the souls of murder victims find peace or are they doomed to walk the Earth seeking justice? What happens to evil that can’t be stopped by death?