Terrifying Tomes: Halloween Reads

With Halloween around the corner, it's time to crack open a book filled with ghosts, ghouls, and other ghastly gruesome things. Here's a list of thirteen choices to chill the bones and send shivers down your spine, with titles for every sort of taste in terrifying tomes.

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley is a classic of literature in general, but especially of the horror genre. The story of a monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies who develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator. A wonderfully psychological exploration of morality and other issues.


HP Lovecraft Goes to the Movies is a great collection of works by the American master of cosmic horror. Included in this compilation are all the stories that have been adapted into films, a great companion to any Lovecraft-themed movie marathon.


Night Shift by Stephen King is a collection of some of the most famous short stories by the architect of modern American literary horror. The Mangler, Sometimes They Come Back, Children of the Corn, and more await any reader with the fortitude and bravery to read.

heartshapedbox.jpg Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill is a great recent horror book, and winner of the Horror Writers Association's 2007 Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. A collector of obscure and macabre artifacts, unscrupulous metal band musician Judas Coyne is unable to resist purchasing a ghost over the Internet, which turns out to be the vengeful spirit of his late girlfriend's stepfather. A macabre masterpiece that proves the apple doesn't fall far from the tree; author Hill has been revealed to be the son of Stephen King.

creepers.jpg On a cold October night, five people gather in a rundown motel on the Jersey shore to make preparations to break into a nearby abandoned hotel built by a reclusive millionaire during Asbury Park's golden days. However the group of urban explorers, joined for the evening by a reporter, is unprepared for the danger, terror, and death awaiting inside the old hotel. David Morrell's Creepers is just the thing for a good scare, it even won the Bram Stoker Award for best novel in 2005.

BPRD: 1946 by Mike Mignola and Joshua Dysart is a great horror read for the more graphically inclined. In post-World War II Berlin, Trevor Bruttenholm and the fledgling Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense unravel the mystery behind one of the Nazi Occult Bureau's darkest initiatives: Project Vampir Sturm. Accompanied by stark and beautiful art by Paul Azaceta, this one will give you frights and delights.

Police officer Rick Grimes is shot on the job and wakes up a month later to find that the world that he knows is gone. Zombies have taken over and are killing and eating those who are still alive. He sets out toward Atlanta in the hope that his family is still alive and endures many horrors along the way. The Walking Dead: Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman is the first volume of the comic that inspired the hit TV show. Check it out today.

darkendeavor.jpg When his twin brother falls ill in the family's chateau in the independent republic of Geneva in the eighteenth century, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein embarks on a dangerous and uncertain quest to create the forbidden Elixir of Life described in an ancient text in the family's secret Biblioteka Obscura. This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel is the first in a series of gothic novels for young adults, a rich exploration of the younger days of Doctor Victor Frankenstein from Shelley's work.

For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father's work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before. Another great work of modern horror four young adults, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake is sure to please those looking for haunting tales.

A tale of vampires on the loose as aspiring young writer Tommy Flood meets beautiful Jody on her nocturnal visit to the supermarket and unwittingly begins an eternal relationship. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore is the book about vampire romance for readers absolutely sick of vampire romance, or any reader wanting a good and hearty laugh. Moore follows up the book with two sequels: You Suck and Bite Me.


Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor, travels to the north of England to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, but unexpectedly encounters a series of sinster events. So goes The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, a ghost story written in 1983 but recently adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe.

zombiesurvival.jpg For those looking for "Nonfiction", look no further than Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide. The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

An enormously entertaining account of the gifted and eccentric directors who gave us the golden age of modern horror in the 1970s, bringing a new brand of politics and gritty realism to the genre.
Shock Value by Jason Zinoman is a great read for those who love the intellectual and meaningful side of horror films.

Some of the annotations above were partially taken from the library catalog and entries on NoveList.

Tim @ Central

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This page contains a single entry by Tim published on October 28, 2012 8:29 AM.

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