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Blog 10.21.2022


“Nothin’s real scary except in books.” –Harper Lee

One of the best things about fall is when the days get shorter and we can curl up in the evenings with a good, scary book. With Halloween right around the corner, we’re inundated with festive décor of the season—carved pumpkins, gourds, papier-mâché goblins, witches on broomsticks, haunted houses, and potted mums on every front porch—filled up on pumpkin spice lattes and ready to get cozy. Here are some of our favorite horror stories that you can either read by candlelight or will have you sleeping with the lights on!

Dust off the classics 

Whether you’re rereading or visiting these beloved works for the first time, you’re guaranteed to be entertained and just a bit spooked! 

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” –Mary Shelley

  • Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” (1818) is the quintessential horror novel about a mad scientist and his creation, the “Monster.” Made from various discarded body parts sewn together, the Monster has become one of the most infamous Halloween characters of all time!
  • Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (1897) is, of course, the ultimate vampire novel that really started it all. 
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry (such as “The Raven”) and short fiction (“The Black Cat,” etc.) are must-reads this fall season. Poe invented the short story genre; it should be something that one can read comfortably in one setting (so as not to break the tension of the narrative). 

About witches 

“Which witch is which?” –John Updike

When we think of Halloween, we invariably think of witches, sorcerers, and enchantresses. Whether it’s the Salem Witch trials, fun, quirky witches who cast spells to torment their enemies, or witches who practice magic in secret behind locked doors in Satanic cults, there’s nothing more fitting this Hallows Eve! 

Some of our mystical favorites include:

  • “The Witches” (1983) by Roald Dahl is a children’s classic!
  • “The Witches of Eastwick” by John Updike (1984)
  • “Conjure Wife” by Fritz Leiber (1953)
  • “Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman (1985) 
  • “The Witching Hour” by Anne Rice (1990)
  • “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller (1953)

Spooky Short Stories

These short stories are indeed strange and unique; this is what makes them so wonderfully creepy!

“It is the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw—not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things.” 

–Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) is a masterwork that explores psychological torment.
  • “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1836)
  • “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (1948)

Mad Scientists and the Apocalypse 

Stories of horrifying experiments gone awry and apocalyptic landscapes are truly frightening. For a science fiction treat, try reading these this Halloween: 

“I must confess that I lost faith in the sanity of the world.” –H.G. Wells

  • Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” is about a world where they literally burn books and is essential reading for anyone who cares about censorship.
  • “The Island of Dr. Moreau” by H.G. Wells is, in his own words, “an exercise in youthful blasphemy.” It tells the tale of a crazy scientist who creates human/animal hybrid creatures.
  •  “The Road” by Cormac MacCarthy is a hauntingly stark short novel about a father and son and what happens at the end of the world as we know it.

Children’s Favorites

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a spooky picture book! This Halloween, take the opportunity to dig up some old favorites and share them with the children in your life.

  • The Berenstain Bears were always going on adventures (and these books are nothing short of adorable); check out some of the Halloween titles, such as “The Berenstain Bears and the Ghost of the Forest,” “…the Spooky Old Tree,” “…the Haunted House,” and “Trick or Treat.” 
  • Nancy Drew mysteries are always great fun for kids (such as “The Secret of the Old Clock,” 1930, “The Invisible Intruder,” and “The Hidden Staircase”). There are literally hundreds of books about the teenage detective to choose from (all were written by various authors and published under the name Carolyn Keene).
  •  “The Little Old Lady who was not Afraid of Anything” is a delightful children’s book about, well, a little old lady with no fear! 

For more book recommendations, check out Full Cycle Publications on the web and read what’s on the blog

#traveltheworld #teachyourkids #kidslit #fullcyclepublications #books #bookshelves #OnTheBlog #fabulousfallreads #whattoreadthishalloween #scarystories #horrornovels #frighteningfiction #nancydrew #dracula #frankenstein #thewitchesofeastwick #theyellowwallpaper #theislandofdrmoreau #thecrucible #practicalmagic #edgarallanpoe #theblackcat #theraven

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