With Halloween right around the corner, there’s no better time to pick up a perfectly terrifying story. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite scary stories and we guarantee that they’ll give you the creeps (so I wouldn’t recommend reading any of these books in the dark if you plan on getting much sleep afterwards!)
So get out that bowl of Halloween candy (kids can’t have all the fun) and pick up one of these books… if you dare!
1. Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Although Lauren Oliver has been a long-time favourite over on HCC Frenzy with her popular Young Adult fiction, Rooms is her first adult novel. We chose Rooms as one of our Top 10 Fall Fiction Must Reads and it certainly deserves a spot on that list! When the wealthy Richard Walker dies, his alienated family comes to collect their inheritance from his decaying and dusty country house. Little do they know, they’re not alone. There are ghosts in this house, communicating through hissing radiators and flashing light bulbs. The line between the living and the dead blurs, and the painful truths behind this family’s drama are brought to life. This dark gothic ghost story will have you jumping every time you hear a floorboard creak.
2. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Something is out there… and whatever it is will drive a person to deadly violence with a single glance. Five years after this mysterious disaster, Malorie and her two young children are some of the only survivors. Malorie knows that she needs to take her family to a place where they can be safe, but it involves a terrifying blindfolded river journey. Josh Malerman’s Bird Box is a world of darkness and madness, where no one knows the truth and even friends can’t always be trusted. I am not a big fan of the dark, and I can’t imagine a much more terrifying world. DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES.
3. The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin.
It’s 1919 in New Orleans, and a serial killer known only as the Axeman stalks the city. Everyone has their own ideas about the killer’s identity, but will anyone be able to unmask him? The story builds until the Axeman issues a bizarre ultimatum to the city: play jazz music or risk becoming his next victim. The scariest part about this novel is that it’s based on true events. There really was a serial killer known as the Axeman of New Orleans and he did write a famous letter to the local newspapers saying that he would only spare those who played jazz music in their homes. The premise itself is terrifying, but Ray Celestin’s suspenseful writing is really what brings the Axeman to life.
4. The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan.
Along with Rooms, this contemporary Western also made our list of Top 10 Fall Fiction Must Reads. Kim Zupan writes with such suspense, your heart will be racing at the description of a tumbleweed blowing across an empty frozen landscape. And the cover is just so creepy – propped up on a shelf, those searing blue eyes will follow you around the room. There are no ghosts or monsters in The Ploughmen, unless you count mass murderer Jim Gload. At the age of seventy-one, he has finally been caught. Valentine Millimaki is the young officer unlucky enough to be put on night duty at the Copper County Sheriff’s office while Gload is awaiting trial. While Millimaki does his best to draw a confession out of the old man, a startling intimacy begins to develop between the two men. Will you be able to handle the truth?
5. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson.
Did you love Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl? Then this is the book for you. The New York Times is right, Before I Go to Sleep is a “pure page-turner”. Every morning, Christine wakes up with no idea who she is – and this has been going on for more than two decades. She puts her life back together every day through a carefully collected selection of photos left out by her husband. But when she finds her secret diary – she’s suddenly not so sure who to believe. And if you want to see this drama on the big screen, you can go see the movie on October 31st!
6. Horns by Joe Hill.
Now, this book has it all. Horns by bestselling author Joe Hill is a twisted psychological thriller and terrifying supernatural fiction all in one. After his beloved girlfriend is brutally murdered in the most impossible of circumstances, Ignatius Perrish is left the only suspect. On the first anniversary of her murder, Ig drowns his anger in alcohol… and wakes up with a frightening new power and a conspicuous set of horns sprouting from his head. Determined to find the person responsible for his beloved’s murder, he sets out looking for revenge. And if you want to see Daniel Radcliffe sprout horns, you can see him play Ig in the movie version!
Enjoy, Savvy Readers! You’ve been warned…
Follow me on Twitter @sazames