Halloween is fast approaching with darker nights and brisk autumn mornings. I always read more during the autumn and winter months as there's something so comforting about curling up with a book on a dark evening with a cup of tea. Halloween is one of my favourite holidays but over the last few years I've found myself being a bit too busy to go all out. So to make the most of it I like to read some books that are a little spookier. Today I've rounding up some Halloween themed reads. I know not everyone is fond of a classic, gory horror so I've also included some thrillers and some Halloween read based at children. Lets face it, Halloween is never as good when you're not a child. Trick or treating over Halloween parties any day. And sometimes I think that a good thriller can actually be scarier than a horror!
The Silence of the Lams by Thomas Harris - Could you really talk about classic horror without mentioning Hannibal Lecter? This isn't the first book in the series but it's definitely the most famous and you can read it without reading the others. Hannibal Lecter is a very creepy character, I mean, he eats people. This book isn't very scary in a traditional sense but it is very unnerving. The movie is also very good so a great one to read and then watch. If you've seen the film then you definitely need to read the book as it adds a lot more strength and understanding to the story.
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix - This book would definitely win an award for the most unique idea. This is a horror story set in a furniture store. They obviously couldn't call it IKEA in the novel but it's very obvious that it's modelled off of IKEA. The book itself is physically set up to look like one of their catalogues. The staff keep noticing that things are moving in the store overnight and so some staff members are pain extra to do an overnight shift and try and get to the bottom of things. Lets just say that night was definitely not worth the overtime. This book is actually really scary at times so a very impressive one indeed.
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake - This book isn't particularly scary but it is very enjoyable. Its about a boy who hunts ghosts. He is tracking down a particularly nasty ghost called 'Anna Dressed in Blood' who is known for brutally murdering anyone who enters the house she haunts. But Anna makes no move to kill him and he finds himself trying to help her rather than kill her. She has something that she needs to do before she can 'pass on'. This is definitely the least scary out of the horrors I've included and is for those that don't want something too scary but still want a little bit of horror for Halloween.
The Blackhouse by Peter May - Peter May is one of my absolute favourite Scottish authors and his Lewis Trilogy makes my top 5 trilogy list for sure. This is the first book in the series and follows Detective MacLeod as he tries to solve a murder that's occurred on the Isle of Lewis. I couldn't guess the plot twists in this novel which I loved as it keeps me hooked right until the final age. This book also captures the feeling of the Scottish Islands so well which is something that I really love reading.
Panic by Lauren Oliver - This book is set in a small American town. The final year high school students all volunteer to participate in a game called Panic. A series of nerve-wracking - and downright dangerous - tasks must be completed to win. The winner gets a lot of money. This book follows some teens who are participating, all for different reasons. It's a very gripping book and is at times really quite scary. Not in a violent way, just suspense. I've read a few of Lauren Oliver's novels and this has definitely been my favourite.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins - You may remember me mentioning this in my September Reading Wrap Up recently as I absolutely loved it. A murder mystery with a twist. A woman watches people in the houses she passes on the train every day. When one woman goes missing she finds herself involved in the investigation. This book is full of really interesting characters and there's never a dull moment. This book made me fall back in love with reading and I would fully recommend it.
For The Kids
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - I know what you're thinking. Hayley you can't fit Harry Potter to every scenario. GUESS AGAIN. The descriptions of Hogwarts at Halloween are really rich and beautiful. The escapism that comes with reading Harry Potter is just something else. I'd love to eat pumpkin pie in the great hall with the trio. I think this is an awesome Halloween read for younger children as it isn't scary but is full of adventure. And Halloween night is the night of the infamous 'troll in the dungeon' scene.
The Halloweeds by Veronica Cossanteli* - Dan and his younger siblings are sent off to live with their great aunt who is a bit of an odd character after the disappearance of his parents. Her garden is a graveyard, the plants seem viscious and her servants are all missing a finger. This story reminds me a lot of a Roald Dahl novel and it's really fun and quirky. There are also some lovely illustrations.
The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange* - A childhood mystery: The Secret of Nightingale Wood follows the Abbot family. The main character Henry/Henrietta thinks that she sees things in the shadows of their big, new house. But not one will listen to her and she decides to take things into her own hands. Part mystery, part fairytale this is one that I wish I could have read when I was little as I know I would have loved it.
I hope you all have a very spooky Halloween!