Hello everyone. With Halloween a week away, I wanted to reach out with some recommended reading to tingle the spine.
Myself, I have found myself reading a lot of H.P. Lovecraft this month. Not just because I find his stories to be some of the most original for the time, but also how pervasive his influence has been. Granted Lovecraft’s horror is very different from a lot of the modern-day sensibilities. It wasn’t all blood and gore so much as ooze and strange things from beyond the walls of man’s comprehension. If you want specific stories of his, I would recommend Call of C’Thulhu, Shadow Over Innsmouth, Dreams in the Witch-House, and The Colour Out of Time. Click the cover below to pick up a complete collection of his works.
Do you like vampires? There are a lot of great books out there to choose from. Believe, I know, I have a shelf or two full of vampire fiction novels. However, if you’ve never read it, I’m going to recommend Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. It has been touted as “Dracula meets Peyton Place,” which isn’t a terrible analogy. King took a very simple premise of what if Dracula came to a (then) modern, little New England town. I reread this book at least once every 18 months, and it is definitely my favorite King novel. Click the cover below to pick it up.
Are vampires not your thing? Do you prefer another form of undead? The flesh-eating variety? Zombies! Well then, I do have just the book for you. Brian Keene’s The Rising was released prior to The Walking Dead comics and follows a man on a quest to find his son after receiving a phone call from him. I read this book in a single evening, unable to put it down. The zombies featured within are not your typical mindless, flesh-eating fiends. They also aren’t just limited to humans. You heard me right, zombie dogs, deer, lions, and other assorted varieties of undead forest dweller. I would warn you that this book is graphic, but it’s zombies eating people how can it not be? Click the cover to sink your teeth into this one.
Like monsters, but not the undead variety. I might have just the thing.: Crota by Owl Goingback. A small town plagued by a monster that co-existed with the dinosaurs. After the destruction of the dinosaurs and the rise of man, the beast plagued the native American tribes in the area. Until one tribe sacrificed itself to seal the monster underground. It has been freed and is once again leaving carnage in its wake. This was another book that just held me enthralled until it was finished. For anyone who likes a little history, Indian mysticism, and one great monster; click the cover.
Okay, so you haven’t been impressed yet. You feel that horror comes more from a gathered sense of dread than monsters or eldritch terrors from beyond space and time. I can appreciate that, I also enjoy a good atmospheric horror story. What is better than setting a mood than a haunted house? Nothing, that’s what. So, for your entertainment may I recommend Hell House by the great Richard Matheson. Twenty years ago, there was a failed research expedition into the Belasco House, commonly known as Hell House. Now, a new team will be entering into the old mansion to try and prove or disprove the existence of “surviving personalities.” A scientist and his wife, accompanied by two mediums (one the only survivor of the first expedition) are venturing in to confront the horrors of Hell House. A story that builds upon the characters own experiences within the haunted halls, this book will leave you feeling like maybe you aren’t alone after all. Click the cover and peer beyond the veil.
Let me guess, you aren’t a serious horror reader and prefer something that takes a more tongue in cheek approach. May I recommend, John Dies at the End? This book has been described as “H.P. Lovecraft as written by Kevin Smith.” Having read the book and it’s sequel, I can wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Following David and his friend John, the book takes a look at the strange adventures of a couple of guys who find that they can see things outside the normal realm of perception when taking a drug, known only as soy sauce. At times very trippy with a lot of fun dialogue, John Dies at the End is a fun romp through what might be considered a horrifying world. Click the cover and be prepared to laugh or get scared.
Haven’t seen anything so far? Prefer a classic? How about Dracula? The most adapted literary character of all time. I’m sure I don’t have to give you too much of a rundown on this one. Lonely vampire moves to the city meets nice girl, only problem is her fiancee and his buddies want to kill him – ever noticed that if phrased right, anything sounds like a rom-com? Seriously though, if you’ve never read it, you should. This book set the standard for the modern interpretation of the vampire. Click the cover, read and listen to the children of the night.
Hopefully, there is something on this list that you will find appealing. Do you have other recommendations for people to read at this time of year? If so, leave them in the comments below. On October 25th, I’ll pick one of the commentators to receive an autographed copy of Winston & Baum and the Secret of the Stone Circle.
Also, you can view my scary stories on my Amazon author’s page.