Whether you’re a lover of Halloween or not, you can’t deny that sometimes a truly scary, gripping read is exactly what you’re in the mood for. And seeing as October is the month of all things supernatural, we thought it was only fitting to compile a list of our top five books in the horror genre. These five are all pretty classic. Keep reading at your own risk…
A classic that you’ve all probably heard of after the 2012 film adaptation staring Danielle Radcliffe… the original novel is not to be overlooked. A fairly short book but one that packs a seriously creepy punch – the story is set in the early 20th century and is focused around the young solicitor, Arthur Kipps. Kipps tells us a tragic tale from his youth involving The Woman in Black, a terrifying spirit who heralds the death of children. Spine-chilling and harrowing, read this novel at your own peril… and definitely not alone at night!
This late Victorian classic has become truly iconic, with Dracula being an archetypal figure in the supernatural world. Opening with Jonathan Harker (coincidentally, another young solicitor) going to visit the mysterious Count Dracula at his Transylvanian castle, the novel goes onto reveal Dracula’s dark plan to get to England and spread his undead curse. Gory, terrifying and pioneering, Dracula is the book to sink your teeth into this Halloween.
Another iconic classic (one that’s now over two hundred years old!), Frankenstein is a story most of us know the bare bones of, but the full novel is definitely worth adding to your list. Many wrongly call the “monster” Frankenstein, but it is actually the name of the young scientist (Victor Frankenstein) who sorta-kinda-accidentally creates a hideous beast in a radical science experiment. To find out what horrific acts this creature carries out… well you’ll have to read the book.
You’ve probably seen, or at least heard of the 1940 film adaptation of du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, but perhaps you haven’t read the book… Full of mystery and unsettling moments, the plot is carried by an unnamed narrator (the young wife of wealthy Maxim de Winter) who is haunted by the memory and eerie presence of her husband’s first wife, Rebecca. Proof that gore and guts are definitely not needed in order to create eerie narratives, read Rebecca for a creepy fix this autumn.
The most recent novel on this list, Shutter Island is a brilliant example of a psychological thriller that will keep you up at night for weeks, mulling over the plot again and again. The narrative is centred around Marshal Edward Daniels, who with his new partner goes to Ashecliffe Hospital for the “criminally insane” to investigate the supposed disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando. With a sometimes disorientating, but totally calculated and ultimately incredible storyline, Shutter Island will blow your mind.
Pick the classic horror you “like” the sound of most (or pick all five!) and let us know how you get on. Just so you know, we won’t take any responsibility for frights had by brave readers… Have a spooky and safe Halloween!
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