In “What To Read This Week,” CHALK editor Taylor Worden suggests novels, poetry, articles and other forms of writing, often centering around a timely topic or theme. This week, Worden suggests works to get into the spooky season.
Halloween might be weeks away, but as October begins, there is no better time to start getting into the scary spirit. While horror movies are a must for many this time of year, a bone-chilling book read late at night by a pumpkin candle can bring those Halloween feelings unlike anything else.
Following is a list of books, each frightening in their own way, to ease into the spooky spirit.
“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz
A recognizable Halloween favorite, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is a collection of horror stories primarily intended for a younger audience.
If you read these stories when you were a kid, you know that the frightening tales and illustrations stay with you past childhood. The collection was also turned into a film in 2019, but it’s difficult to beat the scares brought on by the original work’s haunting drawings and short but goosebump-inducing stories.
Whether it’s “The Bride” or “The Red Spot,” this collection is the perfect place to go to load up your campfire story ammunition.
“The Stand” by Stephen King
A horror icon, Stephen King has no limit of frightening stories in his portfolio. “The Stand” is a post-apocalyptic novel that centers on a plot as old as time: good vs. evil.
In this work, a new strain of a virus kills most of the population (hits a bit too close to home doesn’t it?). The remaining individuals must decide which of two opposing and powerful growing forces to join, subsequently deciding the fate of the new world.
“The Stand” is a hallmark of King’s work, mixing fantasy, horror and thrills in this beast of a novel that is bound to make the hairs on your neck stand up, especially in the current climate.
“Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
Maurier’s classic gothic tale from 1938 still delivers the same unsettling feelings it did in the days when it was published.
“Rebecca” follows a young woman as she falls in love with and marries an older and wealthier widower, only to discover that he and his home are haunted by his late wife. “Rebecca” explores how memory can be as powerful a ghost as any other, and how the presences of people can permeate places long after they pass on.
This English gothic story fully delivers on grand estates, mysterious old ladies and foreboding scenery, and is ideally consumed next to a lit candle late at night.
“Let the Right One In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist
If you’re a fan of modern vampire stories and need to put down “Twilight” for a bit, “Let the Right One In” is a unique and dark vampire tale that is vastly underrated.
Lindqvist’s Swedish novel explores the complicated relationship between a young boy, Oskar, and a vampire child, Eli, as they grow to care for and rely on each other deeply.
Also adapted into a visually incredible film, “Let the Right One in” is an extremely dark novel that touches on many terrifying concepts, including how humans can sometimes be monsters worse than any supernatural vampire.