Spooky books for a spooky Halloween
Hey! It’s Mew and welcome to the first ever instalment of my book club series. ^_^ Each month I will be recommending some of my favourite stories and novels to you and giving them each a brief little review. As a result I hope that you’ll be able to find something you like or that sounds appealing or perhaps even you might encounter your new favourite book. Who knows?
I’m going to do my best to give each month a theme, and because it’s October and Halloween is just around the corner, I obviously had to begin the series by talking about one of everyone’s favourite things about October –horror. Let’s start.
Before reading the book, whenever I thought of Frankenstein, images of angry mobs and villagers with pitch forks and torches would come to mind. But this couldn’t be further away from what the story is actually about. Without giving too much away, the basic plot line revolves around a monster who begins his life as an innocent, gentle and loving humanlike creature, but then is driven to become a savage, berserk and vengeful being when the world starts to treat him cruelly, just for being different.
Frankenstein is a truly compelling read which will make you question the way in which societies look at people who are different and why those people might act out and rebel as a result. The story has so many levels to it and goes so much deeper than you would ever expect. Frankenstein is full of bone-chilling suspense and vivid moments of horror. It’s one of those books that has such powerfully dark images, they stay with you long after you read it. Perfect for Halloween!
Edgar Allan Poe Complete Works
Between his gothic poetry and gripping tales of suspense and terror, it doesn’t get much better than the works of Edgar Allan Poe to immerse yourself in the dark and eerie atmosphere of Halloween. I recommend reading Berenice -a creepy and shocking psychological short story about dying women, corpses and teeth, as well as The Tell Tale Heart because it’s a deeply disturbing, strange and unsettling tale of psychological and physical terror where the narrator is evidently completely and utterly insane.
Other spooky stories that you are sure to love by him are The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher as well as The Raven (which is a poem) because they each revolve around big, old haunted houses and spooky settings. Each of his stories are only a couple of pages long so they can easily be read in one sitting which definitely adds to the suspense, I think, because you’re exposed to all of the mysterious and frightful elements of the story at once. ^_^
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Out of every book of every genre that I have read in 2016, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle is hands down the absolute best book I have read so far. I just loved every aspect of it and the main character was someone I could really identify with because she was an eighteen year old girl.
Mary Katherine (Merricat) Blackwood and her older sister, Constance live alone in the spooky hereditary halls of their old family manor, completely isolated and terrorised by the ignorant villagers who hate, jeer and laugh at them.
The thought process of the main character captures quite perfectly what it is to feel different and like an outsider where you live. Her profound fear and disgust towards others along with her quickness to lock herself up within the dark, boarded up confines of the Blackwood manor symbolised to me what it’s like to feel shy and withdrawn from the world, which is what I really found appealing and relatable about the story.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a memorable horror on many levels. The internal monologue of Mary Katherine as she narrates the story is both terrifying and morbid and makes us fall absolutely love her, but also feel a little suspicious and scared of her at the same time.
That said, the real horrific element of the novel comes into play when we are exposed to the mystery of the Blackwood family. What happened to them? And why is there such an eerie atmosphere within the house? The mysterious charm of the story along with the gruesome thought process of Mary Katherine make for the most perfect tale of creepiness and terror.
It’s no secret that I have a guilty pleasure for YouTubers and I love checking out other blogs, so when I saw that cutiepiemarzia had released a novel, I just couldn’t wait to check it out for myself. This horror is a lot of fun to read if you’re looking for something light, entertaining and spooky at the same time.
When the main character, Amethyst goes to visit her dream house, her hosts suddenly go missing and vanish from their home. Following such an event, an eerie and uncanny atmosphere begins to shroud Amethyst’s life. The story becomes especially scary when a suspicious gardner begins to constantly lurk around the exterior of the house, almost terrorising the main character, and also when she is visited by her mysterious and secretive neighbour…
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray is probably one of the most interesting and imaginative takes on psychological horror that you could ever come across. It’s Oscar Wilde’s only novel and one definitely worth adding to your shelf.
The novel describes the life of the young Dorian Gray, a handsome and attractive man renowned for his strikingly good looks. But when vanity consumes him and Dorian wishes that his portrait would age instead of him, he is driven completely insane by how utterly revolting his portrait starts to become in the aftermath of every ugly event in his life.
What is so interesting about this story is the way in which it challenges our idea of beauty and what we usually perceive to be beautiful and attractive. And of course, there are a lot of gruesome and disturbing scenes in the story to look forward to!
So this was my selection of scary books to read this Halloween. It’s amazing how each of these stories can capture the spooky mood of October so perfectly. These books are just so thrilling and packed full of moments of harrowing tension and exciting surprises that I am sure you will simply adore them all.
I will see you very soon in my next post this week and again next month for more book club. Until then…
BE HAPPY ♥ BE HAPPY
~Love Mew xx