What is the best thing to do during Halloween season other than go trick or treating? Read horror books! With people on vampire and witch costumes roaming around the neighborhood, it is indeed the best time to delve into the world of horror. For some people, ghost hunting is the perfect activity. Cemeteries and haunted houses will be filled with ghost hunters who usually carry Ouija boards with them. For other people, a marathon of horror movies is the way to go. However, if you are an imaginative person who would rather want to create images of monsters and ghosts inside your head, then reading a horror book is the most recommended thing to do.
There are millions of horror books in the world today. Some of them come in print, while others are eBooks. However, nothing still beats classic horrors that have terrified generations after generations. To help you handpick which book to read for the Halloween, this article provides you with the creepiest horror books that are surely timeless classics.
The Shining (1977)
If you are into psychological thrillers with a sinister atmosphere, then you should read The Shining, a novel written by Stephen King, one of the most prominent authors in the horror genre. It centers on the story of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer recovering from alcoholism.
Jack’s story began when he accepted a job as an off-season caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado Rockies. As a way to reconnect with his family after being alcoholic for a long time, Jack brought with him his wife and son. However, what was thought to be an ideal job for a family re-connection turned out to be a nightmare as things start to become sinister at the hotel. Eventually, some supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel began influencing Jack’s sanity, which left his wife and son terrified and incredibly endangered.
After its publication in 1977, The Shining became huge success, giving Stephen King his first hardback bestseller. In 1980, the novel was made into movie produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Although it had a slow beginning at the box office, the film eventually became a critically acclaimed masterpiece.
Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Haunting of Hill House, which Shirley Jackson wrote, is for those who are big fans of gothic horror. It is a story about a haunted mansion called Hill House, located in between hills. It mainly concerns four characters namely Dr. John Montague (a scholar looking for an evidence of a ghost haunting), Eleanor (a shy woman with experiences on poltergeist), Theodora (a flamboyant assistant), and Luke (the heir of the Hill House).
Their story began when Dr. Montague rented the Hill House for an entire summer to conduct an investigation on the supernatural. He invited several people with paranormal experiences to participate in his research. However, only Eleanor and Theodora accepted Dr. Montague’s invitation. As the investigation began, the two young woman lived in isolation with Dr. Montague and Luke. From here, they began experiencing strange occurrences including unseen noises and creepy wall writings. Soon, Eleanor became the main subject of supernatural phenomena inside the house, which put her life in grave danger.
Haunting of Hill House is considered one of the scariest and finest horror novels of all time. In 1959, shortly after its publication, it became a finalist for the National Book Award. Its story has been turned into several films and plays over the years. In 2018, Netflix created a well-received television series loosely based on Jackson’s classic horror masterpiece.
Of course, everyone knows about Frankenstein, the tall terrifying monster that has become a favorite Halloween costume for both kids and adults every spooky season. However, unbeknown to many, the character of Frankenstein is actually based on an 1818 science fiction novel written by Mary Shelley.
Mary Shelley’s historic novel essentially focuses on the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who created a sapient monster in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Using his knowledge on Chemistry and Alchemy, Victor created an 8-foot tall artificial man from pieces of corpses. Victor initially believed that his creation would lead to scientific advances. However, he would later find out that his creation was one worth regretting. The monster turned out to be a menacing creature that loathed in everyone it meets. Shunned and feared by the human society it tried to fit into, the monster soon became violent and turned upon its creator, Victor.
Frankenstein was not able to garner an award upon its publication. However, the scientist and the monster that Mary Shelley created in her novel became remarkable characters that have appeared in many other books and films all throughout the centuries.
Halloween is fast approaching. By now, you are most likely already thinking about what to do with your free time (Hello, holidays!). There are many things you can actually do to make your Halloween holidays worthwhile. However, what better way to celebrate the spooky season than to read a scary book! Doing so will not only keep your imagination running, but it will also make you feel the thrill. So what are you waiting for? Consider the recommendations above and grab your creepiest classical book to read for Halloween.