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What to Read this Week: Spooky stories for spooky season

What to read this week

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. 

CHALK Talk graphic

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester.

Guy: Maybe she's dead.

Girl: Or studying abroad.

Girl: They're like oil and water.

Guy: Wow, you're so good with analogies.