10 Books to Haunt You on HalloweenOctober 31, 2014

You already read Bram Stoker's "Dracula", yet you plan to open your copy of the book on Halloween. Reading it one more time is a good suggestion, but there are many titles in Gothic fiction that can scare anyone. It may be time for a change.

Ray Bradbury penned "The Halloween Tree" (1972). It was about eight boys who met a mysterious character named Moundshroud. Next thing they knew, they were on a time travel. From ancient Egypt to Aztec Mexico, they learned how Halloween was celebrated in different parts of the world. This may be far from the polemic novels that made the author of "Fahrenheit 451" famous, but this would make you ponder about Halloween's significance.

Fans of the genre know Edgar Allan Poe's ghoulish tales. If you're not scared by "The House of Usher" (1839), then you might look at H.P. Lovecraft's works. The author has a legion of followers who know the Cthulhu Mythos and his other terrifying stories too well, all of which are set in New England. Here are other suggested titles:

"From Hell" (1999) by Alan Moore. Jack the Ripper's exploits turned him into a notorious figure. Moore, the author of "Watchmen" (1986), would deconstruct the myth surrounding him. How about a walk on the dark side?

“Ghost Story” (1979) by Peter Straub. Four old men like to talk about ghosts - and there's a reason behind it. They share the same past. They recall the pretty ladies they have met. When one of them died under mysterious circumstances, one woman is linked to the incident. They are frightened.

"The Haunting of Hill House" (1959) by Shirley Jackson. Four individuals are invited to stay in a haunted house. One finds it too real, but she has a history of mental breakdown. Is it reel or real?

"The Howling" (1977) by Gary Brandner. Karyn Beatty is attacked and raped in her home. Roy, her husband, let her stay in Drago, a secluded mountain village not far from Los Angeles. She's able to put behind the traumatic incident, but she can't helped but wonder about the inhabitants. They don't come out during daylight. It didn't take long for the couple to discover their secret.

"Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things" (1904) by Lafcadio Hearn. It may be hard to find some books by foreign authors, but this one is worth the search. It's about the tales of the supernatural from Japan, all linked to its Shintoist beliefs. The author is an Irishman who lived in this East Asian country for many years.

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820) by Washington Irving. The circumstances leading to Ichabod Crane's disappearance will prompt some to wonder if the headless horseman do exist. Maybe this story answers some questions.

"Let the Right One In" (2004) by John Ajvide Lindqvist. The Nordic winter can be depressing, which a boy learns too early. He meets a young girl one night. Pale. Bloodshot eyes. He senses danger, but he's looking for a friend.

"The Shining" (1977) by Stephen King. Overlook Hotel, located in the Colorado Rockies, has a spooky past. A long list of guests died unnaturally. The most sensational case involves Delbert Grady, the former winter caretaker, who succumbs to cabin fever. The latest guests will find this out sooner than they want.

“The Silence of the Lambs" (1988) by Thomas Harris. A series of gruesome murders construct a pattern, and the FBI believes Dr. Hannibal Lecter can provide valuable clues. But this former psychiatrist likes to play mind games. Clarisse Sterling, a novice agent, is tasked to talk to Dr. Lecter, knowing she puts herself in danger.

"The Turn of the Screw" (1898) by Henry James. A governess will witness a specter, which her two young wards know too well. It may have been a true story, if not narrated by someone who haven't meet her. You be the judge.

It's your turn to reveal your list.

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