Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Books for Halloween

I thought it was only fair that I also list my favorite scary books or stories for the Halloween season, so here they are (only five, I promise):

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs. Probably my favorite of the Johnny Dixon books by John Bellairs, though I really love pretty much all of them. Admittedly I haven't read them since I was younger, but they're still awesome. I want to be Johnny Dixon.

The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt by John Bellairs. I remember reading this late at night and being afraid to stick out my arm to turn off the light when I was done because I was so freaked out. So good.

The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey. Not only did Edward Gorey illustrate (like he did the John Bellairs books), but he also wrote some stuff. When I read this in fifth grade, it frightened me to tears. It's not really that scary, but it's eerie, and makes you think.

Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie. One of the creepier mystery novels I've ever read, with lines that give me chills just thinking about them, like "Cover her face, mine eyes dazzle, she is dead," and something about monkey hands. My mom says she read it as a teenager when she was babysitting alone and was totally freaked out. I agree, it's pretty suspenseful at times. And of course, there's an old house involved.

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart. I love Mary Stewart, she's an amazing mystery writer. This is probably one of her creepier ones. It's set on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where a murderer is loose and secrets abound.

I'm also inclined to mention The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but I think the movie is a little scarier. I've also heard that Dracula by Bram Stoker is one of the scariest books ever written, but I've never read it, so I can't recommend it. Also, The Yellow Wallpaper is a creepy short story, but mostly it's weird, so that's sort of a half-recommendation. In addition to those, I feel like I should mention Sherlock Holmes, but those stories aren't particularly scary, just mysterious and captivating. But if I were to pick a couple that were close to scary, I'd say "The Speckled Band," "The Hound of the Baskervilles," and maybe "The Five Orange Pips." And I forgot about Edgar Allen Poe. I'd say of his, probably "The Tell-tale Heart" and "The Cask of Amontillado" are good ones.

What are your favorite scary/suspenseful books or stories good for getting freaked out?


LP said...

The ones you mention are good, but I would include The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. It's one of the few books I've read in recent years that actually gave me chills. It's a Dracula book, btw. And that reminds me, I have read Bram Stoker's Dracula, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it and consider it a 2nd level favorite (yay, Mina Harker!), I didn't think it was very scary. Maybe because I'd seen Dracula movies and so sort of knew what to expect.

LP said...

Well, not "include", because this is your list and you don't need to include it. I should have said "I would recommend The Historian". Ok.

Megan said...

Part of me wants to reread John Bellairs books, but I'm also partly afraid they just won't be as good now that I'm older. And I loved them!! I don't want to ruin it for myself! I remember The Speckled Band and The Hound of the Baskervilles freaked me out when I read them. I was a lot younger then, though. But those Poe stories just seem to grip my throat. Like The Six Sense or The Others did. But not in a ghostly way, in a creepy way. But seriously, The Doubtful Guest!! That cover illustration cracks me up. I wish I could remember it. I don't think I have it. But do you remember that other book about different people dying in different ways or something? It was at least illustrated by Gorey, if not written by him. I wish I could remember what it was.

Shannon said...

I think you're referring to the Gashlycrumb Tinies. An alphabet book of death.