This year, I’ve embraced the Halloween season and read some horror in the run-up to the night on which I close the curtains and hope the neighbours’ kids can’t see that I’m actually at home. It’s England, okay? Trick or treating is not a thing here. As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and and The Bookish.
Wytches, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder
This graphic novel is genuinely terrifying and disproves the idea that it’s scarier if you can only imagine something rather than see it.
The Fireman by Joe Hill
This isn’t so much scary as massively entertaining; the world has been swept by dragonscale, a disease which causes sufferers to spontaneously combust. The scariest thing is how long the book is (700+ pages) but it is a fun read.
The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick
I read this last month as part of my Point Horror reread and, of the six I picked up, this was the only one which I actually found mildly scary.
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
I didn’t have high expectations for this, having been disappointed by other YA short story collections, but this delivered in every way. Some of the stories are genuinely terrifying, particularly the one about an Alice in Wonderland-inspired serial killer.
World War Z by Max Brooks
I am assuming zombies count as Halloween-y, and this is basically just a supremely brilliant book which everyone should read. NB if you haven’t read it, be warned that is is literally nothing like the film. Like, they used the title and that’s it.
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
I read this last year and it scared the absolute crap out of me. Moving to a remote house on the plains, a family is terrorised by a demon and I am haunted by vivid nightmares. I really recommend this if you like books that make you need therapy.
The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
Lukavics’ second novel isn’t as scary as Daughters Unto Devils but certainly builds a creepy atmosphere before exploding into The Yellow Wallpaper/The Craft towards the end. I shrieked at least 8 times.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Parts of it are undoubtedly cheesy and it’s obviously dominated (in my eyes, anyway) by the fact that Mina and Quincey belong together because they are awesome, but the bit with the ship arriving and the captain being tied to the wheel still gives me the shivers.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
I finally read this last week after buying it last Halloween; it’s not so much that it’s scary, but the backstory of poisoning a family and the creepy house the survivors live in definitely make it a suitable read for this season.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
I don’t want to get into it but basically I have a lifelong phobia of this book and have only recently been able to keep a copy of it in the house. I was terrified of it when I was 8 and I’m still terrified 25 years later.
I’d love some horror recommendations; please leave links to your Halloween TTTs in the comments.