Terrifying Tales

With Halloween upon us, it is time to embrace all that is ghoulish and gothic. Here are the perfect books to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This literary classic follows a vampire hunt as Jonathan Harker and his companions chase Count Dracula as he threatens the future of humanity. It plays up to Victorian fears of sexuality and disease, as well as the supernatural. It’s the perfect classic to read on Halloween. I personally love this book: you won’t find a more original or authentic vampire story than Dracula. Key in the development of the gothic genre, it is the touchstone from where the cultural image of the vampure originated. An interesting read as a historical document, as well as a good pastime.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel observes an innocuous couple repeatedly on her daily commute, but suddenly events take a turn for the worse. She finds herself in the middle of a crime investigation which becomes more personal than she originally thought. Rachel, an alcoholic, lacks a reliable ability to recollect  events, making believing her story more difficult, which ultimately puts her in a more troublesome situation. Those who surround Rachel are revealed to be concealing huge secrets about their lives, and as they all collapse, Rachel is left in the debris of their lies, and in the centre of a murder mystery.

IT by Stephen King

IT torments the local kids. IT plays up to their biggest fears. IT kills.

The novel is split into two time periods, and as the children move on and grow up believing their tormented childhood to be a thing of the past, IT strikes again. If you watched the film, you will find the book even more compelling and tense. This is perfect to read around Halloween and maybe even couple it with a movie night!

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

Written by a literary legend, The Picture of Dorian Grey centres around Grey, who begins to believe that life is about self-indulgence and vanity after meeting Lord Henry Wooton. He wishes that the painted version of himself would age and not himself. From here, he explores his newfound freedom, which tragically backfires when the painting changes. He accepts that his view of self-indulgence will form the rest of his life and locks away the painting, not realising the horrific damage he is causing.

Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie’s home life is disastrous, with her strictly Christian mother controlling and frequently abusing her. Her school life is just as bad, with her classmates bullying her and teasing her. This is where Carrie’s life changes and she discovers her telekinetic powers. An incident at prom causes Carrie to tip over the edge, and she soon leaves a path of destruction behind her.

The book is far superior to the film, and is definitely worth a read if you’re compelled by the more gory side of literature.


Sasha Williams

Image: Barnes & Noble