Writers can bring us face to face with our fears. But doesn’t that make reading horror books much more fun?
Literature can be a terrifyingly realistic experience. Skilled writers have the ability to make our imagination run wild. Your mind can come up with horrific images, that stay with you for longer than expected. If horror books are your thing, here are the top five books you have to read this Halloween.
IT by Stephen King
This book is about fear. Not just how or why we experience it. But how easily it can be turned against us. Yes, there’s an evil clown in IT (creepily named Pennywise), but he’s just the tip of the deeply disturbing iceberg. Pennywise can also be seen in the film adaptation that swept box offices across the country in 2017. If the film version scared you, imagine the goosebumps you’ll get reading the novel all alone. Far scarier.
Buy it here for £6.62.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Levin skilfully takes us on a journey with her characters, where we deeply empathise and relate to them. Primarily with Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband, Guy. They move into an old New York City apartment with only elderly residents. Neighbours soon come nosing around. Shortly after, Rosemary becomes pregnant. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to discover that life is not what it seems.
Buy it here for £7.99.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
This book is so close to real life, that you have to ask if its based on a true story. It isn’t (thankfully). Its central character, Eleanor, is a shy 32-year-old woman who’s spent the past 11 years nursing her invalid mother. She could be anyone you know. She moves to Hill House. Less a home than a panic attack. This foggy, and dreadful place disrupts Eleanor’s physiological state. As we keep reading, it’s hard to discern where Hill House’s darkness ends and Eleanor’s personal agitation begins. If you enjoy the book, catch the newly adapted Netflix series based on the book.
Buy it here for £6.99.
Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
The melancholy, brilliance, passionate lyricism, and torment of Edgar Allen Poe are all well represented in this collection. Here are his masterpieces of mystery, terror, and adventure, including stories such as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, to name just a few that defined American romanticism and secured Poe as one of the most enduring literary voices of the nineteenth century.
Buy it here for £8.36.
We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shrivez
Ok, it’s not ‘spooky’ the rest of the list is. But this hard-hitting book can be summarised as ‘every parents nightmare’. A gripping international bestseller that tells the story about motherhood gone awry. Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage.
Buy it here for £7.04.