Halloween ISN’T just for traditional horror novels anymore. More and more, novels are blurring the lines between genres, making for some awesome reads. Here are my ten picks to help you get your creepy on, in no particular order:
THE GATES by John Connolly
At the surface, it’s a fun look at what would happen if some hapless neighbors opened the gates to Hell. It reminds me a lot of GOOD OMENS by the kings, themselves, and (cough, cough) SACRIFICIAL LAMB CAKE by yours, truly. There are some truly creepy moments (but not too creepy; I’m a wimp, after all) that’ll get you in the Halloween spirit PRONTO.
THE RADLEYS by Matt Haig
I love me a good vampire book, especially if it’s not trying too hard to be the next in the Vampire Chronicles. Haig balances creepy with heartfelt in this book.
THE WINTER PEOPLE by Jennifer McMahon
I once recommended this book to a friend of mine who loves female-driven thrillers as much (if not more) than I do. She came back halfway through with, “This is too scary for me.” Wuss.
BLOODSUCKING FIENDS (series) by CHRISTOPHER MOORE
MOAR VAMPIRES. Moore writes what many reviewers have dubbed horror/comedy in which the monsters are slightly ridiculous and (more often than not) a little sex-crazed. I’ve loved everything Moore has put out (with the exception of BITE ME, but we don’t talk about that), with BS FIENDS being near the top of the heap.
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
In my opinion, no list about books is complete without at least a terse mention of Neil Gaiman. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK’s best feature is probably that it’s suitable for almost all age groups. My nine year old daughter read it and loved every page as much as I did.
ALICE by Christina Henry
This book threw me for a fucking loop. Henry takes the original Alice tale and flips it on its head, making villains of the most innocuous of characters. There’s danger, excitement, and a Hatter Tim Burton (circa Nightmare Before Christmas) would love. The sequel, RED QUEEN, looks to be just as creeptastic.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Gaston Leroux
We’ve all seen the stage play adapted by Andrew Lloyd Weber (or at least the knock-off film starring Gerard Butler and doe-eyed darling, Emmi Rossum) but it’s hard to comprehend the horror behind the story without reading the novel it’s based on. Familiarity with the plot will guide you through the dry bits. Promise.
THE END OF THE SENTENCE by Maria Dahvana Headley & Kat Howard
I came across this book the first time on Twitter but didn’t finally pick it up until I saw it calling to me from a table at the library book sale. My advice? DON’T WAIT FOR SERENDIPITY. More a novella than a novel, it tears open old fairy tales I haven’t seen adapted before and lays them bare on a puddle of blood.
DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS by MP Johnson
When I think Halloween, I think costumes. And when I think costumes, the masters (mistresses, rather) belong to the drag community. In this book, a drag queen is sucked from the bitch-fight drama of her local bar to a world where a serpent king wants to make her his queen. They don’t call it bizarro for nothing, k?
MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM by Grady Hendrix
You might recognize this author as the same fella who put out HORRORSTOR. I wasn’t a fan of his first go around, but decided to give this book a go anyway. I WAS COMPLETELY REWARDED. Seamlessly blending comedy with horror, it’ll have you giggling while you keep a cautious eye over your shoulder.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my recommendations, or give me your own creepy reads!
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention ALL DARLING CHILDREN, my newest book, which is a dark (and yes, creepy) retelling of Peter Pan. Go on. You know you want it.