31st of October marks Halloween, an old Celtic tradition where fires were lit and people dressed in costumes to ward away ghosts and supernatural creatures. The boundary between life and death was blurred.
Now, it’s an annual holiday with trick-or-treating, pumpkins carved into jack o’lanterns and much more adventurous outfits. But whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or not, there are things out there that will scare you.
So to keep you in the spooky mood of Halloween, here are the top 5 books that will make your skin crawl:
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
Like father, like son. In this collaborative novel, Sleeping Beauties asks one question: what would the world be like if the women disappeared? Set in a small town, the women fall asleep and become encased in a cocoon. If the gauze around their bodies is disturbed, the women wake up, feral and violent; if undisturbed, they sleep and go to another place. The men become primal, and among all this is a woman named Evie who has not fallen asleep yet. What is most horrifying about this book is it could potentially happen – the future is filled with possibilities.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This classic Gothic novel defined the sci-fi genre, and Shelley utilises horror conventions like a master. A cautionary tale about playing God and the power of science, Victor Frankenstein assembles a creature with stolen human body parts and animates it. The hideous creature, rejected by his creator, sets about exacting revenge. Asking questions about the nature of humanity, bio-terrorism and responsibility, this novel will thrill you.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This is a children’s tale, but don’t let it fool you, it is downright scary. The protagonist, Coraline, moves into a new home with thirteen doors and twenty-one windows. However, there is a fourteenth door, and it is locked. On the other side is a brick wall. But when Coraline unlocks the door, she finds a passage to an apartment just like hers, but things are different. In fact, they’re better. But everything has a price, and Coraline realises the cost of living in the new apartment comes with changing herself completely. The film is also amazing, so check it out if you can.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
This apocalyptic story features a desolate world overrun by vampire-like creatures enhanced by a virus, one that was created and unleashed by a secret U.S military department. With a handful of survivors left, it’s a constant struggle between predator and prey. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is haunted by his past, and encounters a six-year-old orphan named Amy Harper Bellafonte, a refugee from the military project that started the end of the world. Fighting to keep her safe, and unaware of Amy’s role in the new world, this novel will take you on a suspensful and chilling journey that documents the endurance of humanity in the face of extinction.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
This supernatural thriller is a part of the works that defined the horror genre. Truly terrifying, the story follows four people who arrive at Hill House looking to encounter a scary phenomena: Eleanor, a woman who is well informed about poltergeists; Dr. Montague, an occult scholar searching for evidence of a haunting; Theodora, his assistant; and Luke, the heir to Hill House. But the house has its own agenda, and looks like one of the four will have to stay in Hill House.