3 Spooky Books You MUST Read This Halloween!

Halloween is here! If you're not yet in the mood for ghosts and ghouls, or if you'd rather stay in than go howl at the moon, feel free to curl up with a nice cup of tea and one of these hauntingly good reads. These aren't just your run-of-the-mill spooky stories, by the way: these works of horror have been hand-picked by yours truly to make your skin crawl.

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Would it even be Halloween without vampires? If you've never heard of Carmilla, you're in for a real treat. This isn't just another trashy vampire novel. In fact, it's neither trashy nor a novel. Carmilla was the first written vampire story, predating even Bram Stoker's famous Dracula. Laura, our protagonist, is overcome by a curious condition after the mysterious Carmilla  arrives at her doorstep for an extended visit. There are mysterious figures, ancient curses, and serial murders that will leave you completely engrossed in the story. Also, it's a novella, so it's a quick and easy read.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
You can't even think about horror novels without including Stephen King. If you're unfamiliar with him, fear not! This is a good, accessible introduction to his works. Pet Sematary, at its core, is about a man who would do anything for his family. Commendable, right? Unfortunately, this goes horribly, horribly wrong. There's tragedy, graveyards, creepy neighbors, and the undead scattered throughout this book. Oh, and there's quite a bit of blood at the end. This is great not because of the level of gore, but it focuses on the deterioration of the mind and questioning of values.

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris 
This reads more like a crime thriller than a horror novel, which makes it pretty accessible. Clarice Starling, a star student in training at the FBI Academy, has been selected to interrogate the incarcerated Dr. Hannibal Lecter, whose riddles and innate understanding of the human mind allow Starling to solve a string of murders by maniacal serial killer Buffalo Bill. Because this novel has a plot that is horrifyingly feasible, it becomes scary on a whole new level. You'll think twice about leaving the house afterward. If you like psychology, you'll love this.

Do you have any scary reads to recommend? What is your favorite way to get excited about this spooky holiday?

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Original photo credit. Other photos are from book covers and are courtesy of their respective pubishers.

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