I don’t know how I actually came across this video, but considering I like to read, love browsing GoodReads, watch various booktubers and follow some bookish accounts on Twitter, it’s not surprising that I did. In this video, author Neil Gaiman wants to start a new tradition around Halloween called All Hallow’s Read. He wants people to give or lend scary books to people for Halloween, be it buying the books new, from 2nd hand shops, gifting on Kindles, lending books or having them being borrowed from libraries. The idea is to get people reading age appropriate scary books around Halloween and hopefully it’ll become a tradition.
Being a big time reader and lover of Halloween, OF COURSE I love this idea! I’m going to try and give some suggestions now, though not being a big horror or thriller reader, some of these are based on hearing what friends have said about books.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Decided I should start with a book by the man himself. Coraline is a book perfect for children around 10ish, however I still found it creepy when I read it earlier this year! And there are loads more Gaiman books that I’m sure also fit the bill, both children and adults.
Goosebumps series by R.L.Stine
I was never a massive fan of these growing up but my friends and siblings loved them and my teacher friend’s students read them now, so they are obviously still relevant! There’s also Point Horror too, the more teenage version of Goosebumps.
Stephen King novels
I’ve only ever read one, Dolores Claiborne, which I really liked but it definitely falls more under thriller than horror. For horror, classic King novels like Carrie, The Shining or IT should be perfect! And I really want to read Joyland by Stephen King, which according to GoodReads is a ‘whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park’. Sounds fantastic!
The Children of Men by J.D. James
Ok, I haven’t actually read this book but I’ve seen the film. And the film’s themes of a bleak, dystopian land creeped me out WAY more than a ‘typical’ horror or slasher film, so if the book has the same feeling of creepiness as the film, then this would probably give me the chills too!
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Another book I haven’t read but I’m adding this because my cousin studied it in school and found it so creepy that she was a bit scared to go see the film adaptation of it!
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
This follows the story of Jean-Baptise, born in 18th century French slums and his extraordinary scene of smell. This book creeped me out, Jean-Baptise gave me the heebee jeebees! Even thinking about it makes me shudder. I’ve seen one review call him a ‘smell vampire’, that he hunts down and must ‘own’ any scent he likes, regardless of the consequences, and this of course builds up to him having to have the scent of one young, beautiful virgin that drives him to distraction. A very unique book, I must read it again!
NOS412 by Joe Hill
This book only came on my radar because 2 other friends read it and loved it. I can’t even describe the synopsis as well as GoodReads can, so check it out here. I will say the line that pops out and creeps me out the most is ‘Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2’. Shudder!
Classic gothic novels
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Dracula by Bram Stoker. Edgar Allen Poe. Sherlock Holmes and the Hounds of the Baskerville. As well as many more, all available for free as well on sites like Project Gutenberg.
Of course, the All Hallow’s Read website has loads more recommendations, even some by Neil Gaiman himself. And seeing as I’m not that well versed on these genres, what would you recommend yourself? Leave a comment below and let me know!