Saturday, October 30, 2021

If you liked “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson...


If you're looking for a haunted house story, "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson has the top spot. But if you've already read that one, here are three recommendations for others you might enjoy.

"Mexican Gothic" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

It’s the 1950s and glamorous debutante Noemi Taboada just received a panicked letter from her newly-wed cousin, begging to be saved from a mysterious doom. The strong-willed heroine goes off immediately to rescue her cousin and quickly becomes entangled in the eerie house and its inhabitants. As Noemi digs into the secrets of the estate and its residents, she finds it hard to trust even the one person she has found as an ally. She faces dreams of blood and finds stories of violence and madness just under the surface of the estate threatening to keep her within its walls.

"Home Before Dark" by Riley Sager

This book is more thriller than horror, but the creepiness factors abound! After her father’s death, Maggie Holt is moving back to her childhood home — the one she and her family fled from after learning it was haunted. But she doesn’t believe in ghosts anymore and is set on renovating it before putting it on the market. The story alternates chapter’s between Maggie’s experiences in the house and her father’s memoir that came out after the haunting. It has the reader wondering what’s really hiding within the house’s walls.

"House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski

This isn't your average straightforward book, it's a whole experience. It's difficult to read and has its fair share of readers who loved or hated the book, without much in between. Formatted like a textbook chronicling the enigmatic "Navidson Record," on a subtly creepy house that is larger on the inside than it appears on the outside, the fictional author begins to descend into insanity of his own. As the text goes on, annotations go off on mad tangents telling stories of their own and pages turn sideways, some with only a few sentences printed on them. This is one book that's not for the easily deterred.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Books to get you in the spooky spirit


Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Something is out there but just the sight of them will make you go crazy and kill everyone you love, including yourself. Five years after the invasion of the creatures, Malorie and her two young children are among the only known survivors, living in an abandoned house. But with supplies dwindling and the children old enough to make it, they set out blindfolded to find a new place to survive. The narrative is split between Malorie’s past and present, showing the way the world has devolved. If you’ve already seen the Sandra Bullock adaptation on Netflix, this book will still hold new twists and surprises. There’s even a sequel that came out last year, “Malorie.”

Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

If you’re looking for a truly scary experience, consider picking up the book that made Stephen King tweet: “Scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare.” The book follows the Barrets, a normal New England family, as they are torn apart by the signs of acute schizophrenia in their 14-year-old daughter, Marjorie. With doctors unable to help, a local Catholic priest suggests an exorcism and the whole thing becomes a reality show spectacle. Fifteen years later, Marjorie’s younger sister is interviewed by a bestselling writer, and her memories and buried secrets shoot to the surface and clash with what the broadcast showed.

Of course a horror list wouldn’t be complete without a novel by the King of horror. Many of his novels are guaranteed to put you in the spooky Halloween spirit, but this is one of his best-known titles. If you’ve seen the movie starring Jack Nicholson, you haven’t even scratched the surface of this book. With King and director Stanley Kubrick disliking each other’s works, they ended up as two separate pieces of fiction. Jack and WendyTorrance see hope of different kinds in a season as caretaker for the secluded Overlook Hotel resort, while their young son, Danny, only sees despair and evil with his precognitive visions. The bones of the book and the movie are the same, but the book leans heavier into the horror.

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