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Happy Tuesday before Halloween everyone! I was feeling in the holiday spirit and redid some of my banners. Super simple and super cheesy but I love decorating for the holidays and the little witch’s hat was simply too cute to resist when I saw it in my photo editor. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, this week’s Top Ten topic is a freebie Halloween theme. Since I’m not a huge fan of horror, the most traditional Halloween topic, I’m just doing a grab bag list which will include horror, monster stories, and stories that have creepy Gothic settings. The witching hour is upon us so let’s get started!
Top Ten Halloween Reads
10. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
I have a love/hate relationship with ghost stories. They’re incredibly fascinating but they tend to give me such crippling fear and anxiety that I have trouble falling asleep for weeks and have mini heart attacks every time I hear the floorboards creak. I have what one might call an overactive imagination. Surprisingly enough, my favorite show for the longest time was Supernatural, a series completely devoted to retelling some of the world’s scariest supernatural tales. Anna Dressed in Blood reminded me so much of Supernatural that I instantly fell in love with it. It has a main character who hunts the supernatural (whose name is Cas, just like a certain trench coat-wearing angel I know), a good, old fashioned murder mystery, and the aforementioned Anna, dressed forever in her bloody white dress. Creepy and well written, this book is definitely a good Halloween tale.
9. Dracula by Bram Stoker
What Halloween list would be complete without Bram Stoker’s Dracula? While ghost stories are a touchy topic for me, monster stories are totally game. If its about vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc, I will read it/watch it with no hesitation. Since Twilight, vampires aren’t quite as scary as they used to be but the original Dracula was definitely a creepy dude in the stalkerish kind of way. While reading this book for my Victorian literature class, I remember feeling incredibly uncomfortable by the way that Dracula would stare at Jonathon Harker during Harker’s visit to Transylvania and it reminded me of why vampires used to be scary: they are the ultimate predators.
8. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Who was the monster, Victor Frankenstein or his creation? When I was little, I didn’t realize that Frankenstein wasn’t the monster. Then I read the book and realized that he kind of actually was. In some ways, this book is more tragic than creepy because Victor Frankenstein created his own worst nightmare. Because he can’t love his creation and abandons it, the monster destroys everything that Frankenstein holds dear. It’s horrifying, tragic and one of the quintessential monster books.
7. The Diviners by Libba Bray
This book was so creepy, but also one of the best books I’d read in a long time. Libba Bray has a way of weaving horror and supernatural elements into her stories that I enjoy and The Diviners is probably her best example. At the heart of the story is the ghost of a century old serial killer who lives in the most haunted of haunted houses. I don’t usually go for these kinds of stories, but Bray did such a good job that, despite the crippling fear of ghosts, I keep coming back for more.
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre isn’t anywhere near a Halloween story, but it does have a very strong Gothic tone and a madwoman locked in the attic. Jane’s romance with Mr. Rochester is the glue that holds the story together, but it is the dark, solemn atmosphere surrounding Thornfield Hall that gives the story its tone.
I’m afraid that’s it for my Ultimate Halloween Reading List. Like I said, horror isn’t one of my go-to genres but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. I hope your Halloween is fun. I’m going to go watch Hocus Pocus a couple more times before the season officially ends!