Top Five Spooks and Thrills for Halloween Reading

To celebrate the return of ghosts and spirits this Halloween, we have made a list of our top-five tried and tested spine-chilling stories. Drop us a line to let us know what some of your favourite stories of the “ghost and ghoul” variety are!

1) Salem’s Lot – Stephen King (1975)

Move aside “True Blood”, as Salem’s Lot – Stephen King’s novel about a town of vampires about to unleash themselves on an unsuspecting man returning to his childhood village – is still one of the most terrifying vampire stories ever created. Stocking up on garlic and crucifixes highly recommended for the reading of this novel.

2) The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty (1971)

How can you go past a book that depicts the transformation of Regan Mac Neill from an innocent 12 year old girl into a head-spinning, foul mouthed, priest-killing banshee within the space of a few weeks? The Exorcist has become an iconic classic of its kind for a reason – there is just no forgetting it once you have read it. If you’re short on time, the 1973 movie adaption does an excellent job at re-creating the absolute horror.

3) The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe (1839)

American novelist Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first truly eccentric writers creating truly creepy and disturbing stories – out of his repertoire of stories The Fall of the House of Usher is one that has always stuck with me: The spooky, creaky, crumbling house! The madness! The sister buried alive in the vault!

4) The Amityville Horror: A True Story – Jay Anson (1977)

So I’m a sucker for any horror story that claims to be “a true story” – yes I know there were some slight doubts about the authenticity of this record of the Lutz family, who moved into an old house in Long Island, only to be driven out after only 28 days by some paranormal ueber-spook – but, really, how can 12 film re-makes of this sort of material be wrong?

5) I Remember You – Yrsa Sigurdardottir (2013)

Another, more contemporary take on the “based on a true story” horror novel – this time by Icelandic writer with a long and unpronounceable name. This doesn’t detract from the story, which is authentically eerie, otherworldly and reminds us that there is nothing quite as satisfactory as being completely and utterly scared.

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Tanya is a freelance writer, reviewer and blogger with a background in comparative literature. When she is not reading fabulous new books or writing about them, you can find her horse riding or walking her dogs in the beautiful Waitakere ranges. Visit Tanya at livingwritingreading.com.

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