Ghosts, ghouls and all manner of spooky things (not just everyone coming home from the Crisis AllFrighter) will be making an appearance very soon… As the most haunted night of the year approaches, Impact Arts decided to choose five frightfully fearful Halloween novels for you to devour!
1. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Not one for the faint-hearted, this truly is a terrifying read. Set in a house cut off from the mainland and surrounded by treacherous marshes, The Woman in Black follows solicitor, Arthur Kipps, who after the death of one of his mysterious clients, attempts to uncover the fateful tale behind the ghostly woman whose appearance foretells the death of a child. The tragic end of this novel will certainly leave you wary of any dark shadow, and looking over your shoulder for weeks afterwards. This novel was so successful that an award-winning stage play adaptation, two films and a sequel have been made, and is without a doubt a Halloween must-read.
2. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
A bit of a change from your traditional Dracula, as a vampire’s life story is recounted here to a journalist. And this is certainly no Twilight. Retelling the creation and deaths of his companions, his relationships with other immortals and the various immoral deeds he has done, Louis is a sympathetic yet dangerous protagonist, whose spell you can’t help but fall under…especially in the corresponding film version where he’s played by Brad Pitt.
3. Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard of Oz may be a childhood classic, but in this unique novel, the Land of Oz grows up, and the story of misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba is told. This novel is complex and compelling, provoking the reader to come to their own conclusion about the state of Oz, and its dictatorial leadership. From her childhood beginnings and the cause of her famous green skin, to her untimely death at the hands of Dorothy, this is a fascinating read in its own right – where else would you learn the true identities of the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man? If you’re feeling nostalgic this Halloween, this is definitely the book for you!
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The ultimate Halloween read has to be this gothic classic. After inventor Victor Frankenstein commits a crime against nature and alters life itself, the novel follows the consequences of his actions and the devastation caused by the corpse-composite Creature (the infamous Frankenstein’s monster). If you’ve always wanted to know the story behind the famous green, bolt-necked guy, you’ll be completely surprised – he’s nothing like what you expected. For gore, death and Halloween horror, this terrifying read will keep you awake all night.
5. The Shining by Stephen King
Before the cult film, there was the novel. After aspiring writer Jack Torrance accepts a job at a creepy hotel, taking his family with him, the events of this novel get weirder and weirder. Topiary animals come to life, Jack’s son begins to see strange visions and ghosts, which result in the violent and extreme possession of Jack himself – leading to incredibly gory consequences. This novel is definitely not one for the faint hearted as it is possibly the most violent of the books on our list, and definitely puts the horror into Halloween.
Image credited to Paul Albertella via Flickr