IT by Stephen King
Directly confronting our deep-seated childhood fear of clowns, IT is the brilliant masterpiece by popular horror genius Stephen King. With a framework built on haunting and eerie clowns, IT capture not just the horror aspect but also the experience of being a kid in an adult’s world where there is an element of danger lurking almost everywhere. Follow along the seductive storytelling as a group of childhood friends find themselves spiralling into the terrifying realm of a vile clown and eventual face their fight for survival against the heinousness villain. Expect not just pure appalling darkness but also the unity of friendship with some occasional sprinkles of childhood innocence.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Possibly the most classic tale of fear for the unknown, Frankenstein is a literary masterpiece crafted by the then 19-year-old Mary Shelley which also begun the science-fiction genre. With countless of renditions and parodies produced across the years, the original Frankenstein remains the most popular and intriguing of all. Unlike your typical horror story, Frankenstein goes deeper into questioning human morals and values and eventually what makes us human. Offering readers insight from the monster’s point of view, the evils of humanity – self-obsession, greed, dishonesty and the disgusting desires of conquest and manipulation – are all exposed by Mary Shelley in the most hauntingly beautiful manner possible.
Could it be then, that the most horrifying creatures are humans themselves?
Halloween Night by R.L. Stine
A fun book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, Halloween Night is a campfire-storytelling kind of read that is sure to be nostalgic for some of us here. The story is set in the classic 90’s horror style of writing, centred around a group of teenage girls, with a smidge of boy drama that encompasses the insidious lurking of murderers around and amongst them. With an unforgettably descriptive language that persists through the book, readers are attached to the multiple characters and their distinct roles, making the iconic twist of story from R.L. Stine seem all the more exciting.
Feel the slight chill of Halloween nights and be wary of the things you wish for…
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
A book-to-movie adaptation that stirred the box office of Netflix, The Haunting of Hill House is exquisitely written and planned by the talented Shirley Jackson. Do not be fooled by the seemingly tranquil tone adapted, as the typical or – dare I say – mundane beginning will soon unravel into an endless series of horrifyingly bizarre incidents weaved through the pages of superb prose. On top of being a must-read for horror house fanatics, the book includes judgement and critique on the place of a female in 1950s society. Through this book, Jackson suggests a haunting that can be just as much about trauma and the repressed unconscious as much as it can be about the unnerving paranormal.
Be warned: this book might leave you checking the mirrors in the bathroom or wondering if you are truly as safe and alone as you seem.