I love October, mostly because I love all things spooky. Every year I try to be purposeful about the entertainment I’d like to consume, and this year my list was probably my most ambitious yet. I’ll start with my TBR list.
Growing Things by Paul Tremblay
My favorite kind of horror is the kind that gets into your head and under your skin and makes you think about the story long after you’ve left it. Paul Tremblay excels at this kind of horror. Head Full of Ghosts is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read, and I’ve been excited to dig into this collection of short stories. I’ve been savoring it slowly, mostly during my lunch hour, and while that isn’t the most idyllic setting for consuming scary stuff, I’m actually sort of glad I’m not reading at home because I already find myself squirming in my seat and looking around at the world around me suspiciously in broad daylight.
Pet Semetary by Stephen King
I’m a little embarrassed by how few Stephen King books I’ve read, but it makes October and the dull, gray winter fun, because that’s when I’m in the mood to catch up. I’ve never really been interested in reading Pet Semetery, mostly because the movie, while creepy, seemed like enough. But I recently read a Reddit thread on horror recommendations and quite a few people recommended it. Stephen King himself calls it his scariest book. So I figured I should probably check it out.
Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye
I think I heard about this book on BookTube, which can be an excellent source for obscure (at least to me) horror recommendations. Isn’t the cover incredibly creepy? It’s described as Children of the Corn meets Grimms Fairy Tales, and that was good enough for me.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
I have a rather sad confession to make: I have tried to read this book at least five times and every. single. time I have to stop because I get really creeped out. Actually, not just creeped out. I get a feeling of being completely unsettled and goosebumps and chills, and since I usually read while staying up later than anyone else in my house, and it’s a story about a haunted house that is bigger on the inside that it is on the outside, I just can’t handle it. I am determined to finish it this year though.
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
I have another confession: I’ve never read anything by Sarah Waters, and I have been told that that is a mistake. I’m a sucker for haunted house stories that I have a hard time reading when I’m home, so I figured this was right up my alley!
The Shining by Stephen King
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is hands down my favorite horror movie, and I like to rewatch it right around Halloween every year. I read the novel as a teenager, thanks to my dad going on and on about how scary he found it, but I haven’t read it since. I wasn’t even going to put it on my already probably unrealistic list this year, but a friend is reading it and made me want to too. I’m really excited to revisit The Overlook.