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Halloween is all about scary stories and spooky tales. Our top 10 Halloween books for adults provide a pleasant goosebumps when browsing alone or read aloud in a cozy round! 🙂
It’s pitch black night, heavy, large raindrops patter down on you like thick ink and the wind whistles howling through the treetops, their mighty trunks groaning menacingly. Your camping trip into the forest has literally fallen through. Damn it! Who came up with the stupid idea of planning such a thing on Halloween of all days? You had to break down the tents, but to make matters worse, you are now hopelessly lost in the forest. Tired, freezing and soaked you drag yourselves through the pitch dark forest.
Suddenly your heart almost stops. A glistening bright flash turns night into day for a split second and in that brief moment you catch sight of the wooden hut, just a little way along the muddy, soggy path. A refuge from the wet and cold! You are a bit surprised when you notice that the door is open. A very quiet feeling of fear creeps over you. What if the hut is not as deserted as it seemed at first glance?
In the twinkling light of a flickering bulb, you see that a thick, heavy-looking book is lying on a rotten desk in the corner. Although the cover is already badly damaged and the probably once golden, squiggly letters on it are almost yellowed, you can decipher them immediately, because this title you have never forgotten, you will never forget, no matter how much you wish it. Dizziness and horror take hold of you and you feel as if you would fall into a deep bottomless hole when you realize what book lies before you: That gateway to madness, that nightmare cast in words, the vile Necronomicon!
Halloween is the night when the gates to the realm of the dead open and witches, ghosts and demons have a rendezvous. And in addition to scary costumes, hollowed pumpkins and lots of candy, scary stories simply belong to Halloween like the head to the headless horseman.
From Edgar Allan Poe to H. P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, the great horror storytellers always manage to captivate us and force us to turn the pages, because even though the best scary stories make the hairs on the back of our necks stand up in horror, we can’t help but keep reading.
Whether for reading aloud around the campfire, by a crackling fireplace, or as a seasonally appropriate Halloween gift for horror-savvy bookworms, the following 10 Halloween books have it all and are ideal companion reading for the spooky season surrounding October 31.
A friend of a friend who was attacked by a crocodile from the sewers, an acquaintance of an acquaintance who mysteriously ends up in a harem, a brother-in-law’s grandma who tried to dry her poodle in the microwave….
Just about everyone has heard such “absolutely really true” stories. Rolf Wilhelm Brednich has collected these modern legends, called Urban Legends in English, in this volume and put them into words. Precisely because of their modernity and apparent plausibility, these stories can send a few shivers down your spine.
The headless horseman who terrifies the small town of Sleepy Hollow has been an integral part of the stockpile of classic creepy characters that wreak havoc in people’s imaginations on Halloween at least since Tim Burton’s film adaptation.
This story collection includes other spooky stories by Washington Irving such as Rip van Winkle and The Ghostly Bridegroom. Old-fashioned horror in the very best sense!
Probably one of the most original Halloween books has written the fantasy and science fiction author Ray Bradbury: in this novel, the reader travels together with 8 boys through time and space on the trail of the origin of Halloween. We meet cavemen, Egyptian priests and druids in ancient Britain, experience the witch hunt in the Middle Ages and a costume party in the present and learn quite a bit about how mankind deals with its dead.
Exciting, sometimes creepy and above all full of fantastic ideas!
The Middle Ages is considered to us a dark era and has always inspired our most gruesome fantasies. It is in this time of superstition and fear of magic that all the horror stories in this book are set. A treasure trove for horror as well as medieval fans and highly varied due to the variety of authors and writing styles.
Lovecraft is rightly acknowledged by many as the father of “modern” horror, and in my opinion, quite rightly so. His stories about ancient god-like and at the same time monstrous entities such as Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth or Shub-Niggurath fascinate to this day in their evocation of a truly cosmic horror, which comes with him from outer space, the depths of the sea or other dimensions. Legendary is also the book Lovecraft invented “Necronomicon”, a demonic book of spells whose mere reading reliably drives its readers into madness. The effect of the stories of this grand master of goose bumps is not quite so fatal (fortunately), but instead they captivate their readers to this day and draw them into a world of grandiose creepy horror. Cthulhu fthagn!
What Lovecraft is to modern horror (aliens, beings from alien dimensions, etc.), Poe represents for classical horror. For me, no listing of good horror stories, and thus none of the best Halloween books, can do without the old master of literary horror. Whether Poe writes of the Fall of the House of Usher, of the Mask of the Red Death or the horrific torture devices in The Pit and the Pendulum – as a reader one always hangs on his lips or book pages better said.
The stories in this anthology are all set during the Halloween season. Author Brigit Otten takes us into a dim autumnal in-between world, where everything seems possible: will-o’-the-wisps, pumpkins, a raven with a mission and an old lady with a most strange garden bring old myths to life.
Besides Poe and Lovecraft, Stephen King is the third old master of horror, around which there is no getting around when it comes to the literary unraveling of horror. This volume contains some of his best and most terrifying stories.
Five Connecticut teenagers are out driving on Halloween. Of course, they drive way too fast and don’t even think about stopping when a policeman asks them to. It comes as it must: a terrible accident that only two of the five survive, one completely disfigured and one outwardly unharmed but “dead” inside.
But a year later, the souls of the 3 deceased return from the realm of the dead and haunt the bereaved. A spooky novel with a serious background!
The name Mike Myers has become almost as closely associated with Halloween as hollowed-out pumpkins. Ever since the original 1978 horror film classic Halloween by John Carpenter, the insane serial killer has populated the collective subconscious and terrified us. Curtis Richards’ literary version of the milestone is as nightmarish as the film, perfectly recreating its atmosphere and embellishing the plot with more background details.
We wish pleasant goosebumps while reading these Halloween books!
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