A few years ago, author Neil Gaiman started a tradition called All Hallow’s Read, which advocates gifting and reading a scary book during October, but especially on Halloween.
So what better day for the anthology Gothic Blue Book III: The Graveyard Edition, which contains my short story “The Keeper”, to be available for only $0.99 on Amazon! I would love to gift it to all my wonderful readers if I could, but sharing the link will have to suffice. It’s perfect reading for this lovely Halloween day (or any time of year, if you enjoy horror stories as much as I do).
Gothic Blue Book III should be available in the next couple of days as a paperback as well.
But this post is not just to make my publication announcement. I already shared one of my favorite sinister words last week, but now in honor of All Hallow’s Read I want to share some of my favorite horror stories (links go to Goodreads, except for The Other because there was a major spoiler in the book description on Goodreads):
- The Other by Thomas Tryon — The ultimate story of homegrown, small town evil revolving around twin boys. I was just reminiscing about this book with a friend of mine; it’s the sort of story that grabs you and doesn’t let go, even years later. And Tryon manages to pull off not one but two twists in this terrifying story.
- The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith — This is typically categorized as a mystery/suspense novel instead of horror, but I dare anyone to read this book and not be frightened by Tom Ripley. But what is more terrifying is the way Highsmith will have you questioning yourself as you occasionally root for Ripley to succeed. The movie(s) don’t hold a candle to the book.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley — Know going in that this book is nothing like any of the movie adaptations. Typically considered one of the first science fiction novels, Frankenstein is also unquestionably a novel about the horrors of humanity and how, sometimes, we create our own monsters.
- The Stand by Stephen King — I think just about everyone who writes or reads horror regularly has a favorite Stephen King book, and mine is The Stand. It’s an epic, terrifying tale that starts with the crumbling of society as we know it and ends with a literal confrontation between good and evil. But my favorite part is the characters and the everyday horrors they encounter—or become—onces the rules of society have disappeared.
- Duel: Terror Stories by Richard Matheson — My love of Richard Matheson is well documented, so of course I had to include something of his in my short list. Really, any book or collection you pick up from Matheson will be a terrifying treat, but I think Duel slightly edges out the rest for me. I tend to prefer Matheson’s short stories, and this collection has some of his most classic tales. If you want great psychological horror that will keep you up at night, Matheson is your man.
Happy Halloween, and happy reading.
What are some of your favorite horror stories? And what scares you?