Did you guess any of our top 13 picks? From the top, they are: 1. Tales of Edgar Allen Poe; 2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly; 3. The Shining by Stephen King; 4. Dracula by Bram Stoker; 5. Tales of H. P. Lovecraft; 6. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson; 7. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James; 8. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood; 9. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier; 10. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty; 11. Tales of Algernon Blackwood; 12. Coraline by Neil Gaiman; and 13. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman.
Here's a Lovecraft quote that I like: "We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far." Some of us though, Lovecraft certainly included, have a nagging urge to sail out onto those black seas. Some of us want to be scared. Once we get a taste of darkness, we can't remain on the island. I credit horror, in both literature and film, as a driving force behind my love of fiction. Just as so many people start the freefall into full-blown book addiction with science fiction, fantasy or young adult lit, it was horror that got me going; R. L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Stephen King, then Clive Barker and Lovecraft and Blackwood... I was obsessed. And when I feel like nothing is scary enough anymore, I revisit some of the classics on this list, and also some of the wild cards. Pick up The Shining and The Handmaid's Tale; I think you'll be terrified by both for utterly different reasons.
Happy Reading, and Happy Halloween!!!
*Extra thanks and bonus street cred points go to the screamingly talented Brad, Jan and Michael, who made these truly chilling cards for my display. Thanks guys!