Top 10 Horror Novels to Read This Halloween Season
If you’re looking to expand your repertoire of Halloween activities this year and have seen every horror movie there is on Netflix, the next realm that you should begin to explore is the world of horror novels.
Often, these are the source material for our favorite horror films. For example, tons of movies have been made using Stephen King’s works alone, but there are lots of other amazing but less famous authors. Horror novels have all the terror of their film counterparts — the creeping suspicion, the unreliable or vulnerable characters — plus you often get the chance to see into the mind of the characters and explore their motivations.
The authors on this list are all adept at weaving stories that are as frightening as they are compelling and have been lauded for their ability frighten us while keeping us coming back for more. Here are some of the best horror novels to read this Halloween.
1. House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
Often considered the most frightening book of all time, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is a mystery novel with a deeply horrific story to tell. The central setting of the book is a house that’s somehow too big on the inside than is strictly possible, and the story is told by multiple narrators who the audiences come to realize later are not wholly reliable. The detailed story draws the audience in as they start to question their own perception of the truth and ends with the reader feeling as much a part of the story as the hapless protagonists Will and Karen.
RT carnegielibrary “In Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, a young family moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. https://t.co/cRj5LKXMts… pic.twitter.com/uEoRfDbwG7“[resp]
— Friends of BPL (@FOBPL) October 19, 2018
2. Ring – Koji Suzuki
Ring is the first book of Koji Suzuki’s six-part series that follows a journalist’s search for a telepathic woman that he believes is responsible for the deaths of four Tokyo teenagers. Written in 1991 in Japanese, the story was translated into English in 2003. The novel plays on tropes that are common in Japanese horror literature but brings them into a modern context. The novels were made into a manga series, then into a popular movie franchise.
If you’re a fan of the English films, you should definitely read the novel. It’s a lot more nuanced than the films, and the audience gets to learn more about Sadako, the mysterious source of the Ring Virus.
Ring by Koji Suzuki. This is the book series the movies were based off of. The description of how people physically die from the ring is terrifying. pic.twitter.com/pelj4Q7Y8Z
— Allison (@allisonsullis) October 28, 2018
3. The Shining – Stephen King
Even if you think you know the story of The Shining after watching the movie, the truth is there’s a lot more in the book to be afraid of
Stanley Kubrick’s film used a lot of intensely frightening imagery and music to create the mood of The Overlook Hotel, and to suggest Jack’s descent into madness. In the book, author Stephen King draws us into Jack’s disturbed mind slowly and suggests that it’s more the hotel itself that creates the central conflict of the story as the hotel wants Danny and will do anything it can to take advantage of his gifts. King infamously despises Kubrick’s adaptation, and it’s easy to see how he could resent him for failing to focus on the story itself.
Even if you prefer the movie, it’s worth reading the novel to see the amazing way that King portrays the Torrance family and their struggle against the hotel’s violent past.
— The Bookish Diva (@thebookishdiva) October 23, 2018