#5: Edgar Allan Poe Collection
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
When you talk about great horror fiction, there are always a handful of reoccurring authors that are brought up and one of them is Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 and passed away on October 7, 1849. Poe had only ever written one novel in his lifetime, but it was his poems and short stories that made his name famous within the horror genre. Tales like, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and The Pendulum,” “Masque of The Red Death,” and “The Raven” just to name a few. This book can be found at most major book retailers, and for the amount of content it provides, it is very cheap. My copy had cost me about seven dollars and, if you pick it up around Halloween, I think it gets even cheaper. The only real negative thing about the collection that I could think of is that it is written in Old English style. I, for one, really like reading that style of literature, but I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I would hope that you give this collection a try. The stories within are great reads with morbid tones and dark subject matter, some of which just might make you afraid to go to sleep at night.
#4: The Haunting of Hill House
Author: Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House was written by Shirley Jackson and was published by Viking/ Penguin books in 1959. The book centers around four individuals that task themselves with spending the entire summer in an eighty year-old haunted manor. Dr. John Montague is an occult scientist trying to prove the existence of the paranormal; the doctor’s assistant, Theodora; a young recluse woman and our narrator, Eleanor; and finally Luke, the sole heir to the Hill House. Originally, the good doctor sent out invitations to several people to attend his season-long experiment, but only Theodora and Eleanor accepted. As you would expect, strange happenings begin to occur and one of the main characters is thought to be possessed by one of the ghosts of the house. As I said prior, Eleanor is the story’s narrator; what makes that so interesting is she has an incomplete perspective of the house, so it leaves the reader with a sense of unknowing and a vulnerability to the hauntings. This book was met with great praise and held by several critics to be the finest example of horror in its time. There was even a reward named after the author to acknowledge literature of the suspense and horror genre. Also, there were two movie adaptations: the faithful 1963 version titled “The Haunting” and the critically panned movie in 1993 of the same name. This book is great and, at times, left me pretty creeped out. The narrative of the book is a little hard to follow at first, but once you get yourself into its flow you will find yourself having a hard time putting it down. I recommend this for anyone looking to be get a good scare and enjoys a good ghost story. Now, on to our third spot.
Author: Bram Stoker
Ah yes, the classic novel Dracula. This book is written in an odder format than the rest I have listed in the countdown. Dracula is comprised of things like letters, ship logs and diary entries that are narrated by the characters writing them. To fill in the gaps of events that could not be directly witnessed, the novel supplements them with newspaper clippings. The book starts with the journey of Jonathan Harker, who is on his way to the castle of Count Dracula, to provide legal support for a real estate transaction between Dracula and Harker’s employer. Through some events, Harker discovers Dracula’s true nature and fights for his life to escape the castle. Later, we are given ship logs written by the ships captain detailing the gradual disappearance of his crew. The log later continues to detail the ships cargo as a strange dirt, thought to be soil, from Transylvania. The novel then goes to Dracula pursuing Wilhelmina Murray, Harker’s fiancee, and her friend Lucy Westenra. Lucy gets three marriage proposals and chooses one of them to wed, Arthur Holmwood. Dracula discovers a man that he can communicate with telepathically: Reinfeld. With Reinfeld’s help, Dracula tracks down Lucy and slowly begins to take control of her. This is when Seward contacts his old teacher for help: Abraham Van Helsing. This is the point when the book really takes off into the classic lore of the narrative. I have read this book more than once and probably will read it again in the future. The book was not an immediate success; however, over time, found its praise and most scholars put Bram Stoker’s work higher than that of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. The characters would later be portrayed in countless movie adaptations and Dracula would make his way into other novels and literature. This book is a true classic. Pick it up for a timeless tale of horror.
#2: H.P. Lovecraft Collection
Author: H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890 and passed away on March 15, 1937. He resided for most of his life in Providence, Rhode Island, where he died at the age of 46.How do you not mention H.P. Lovecraft when referring to a top 10 horror novel list? This man is one of the best authors in horror history. His stories are the weirdest of weird and still live up to today’s standards of what is considered frightening. This collection has all of his classic and not-so-classic tales, even though the stories that aren’t as popular are also very intriguing reads. One of his most famous stories is of course: “The Call of Cthulhu.” I love this tale and it was a direct inspiration for my first novella. Other classics include “At The Mountains of Madness,” ” The Dunwich Horror,” “Dagon,” and “The Colour out of Space.” This collection comes in a nice leather-bound hardcover, with a silk bookmark and gold-lined pages. Before each story, there is a short insight about the story and what prompted Lovecraft to write it. The passages also display information about the hardships Lovecraft endured trying to get his stories published in the magazine “Weird Tales,” of which he gave repeated submissions. Initially, Lovecraft did not make much money off of his writing due to the fact that he lacked the drive to promote himself. Nowadays he is considered one of the most influential writers in the horror genre of the 20th century. I would have to agree with that statement. So, if you are looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, you need look no further than this collection. Now, last but certainly not least.
Author: Stephen King
It was written by Stephen King and published by Viking in September of 1986. It is a story about a shape-shifting demon horrifying the children and citizens of Derry, Maine. It takes the form of whatever phobia its victim suffers from. Despite this, It is normally in the form of a clown named Pennywise; Pennywise takes the form of a clown to attract his preferred victims: young children. The infamous beginning of the book features a boy named George floating a paper boat along a sidewalk gutter. The boat makes its way to a storm drain where it vanishes from George’s sight. Upon inspecting the drain closer, George comes face-to-face with Pennywise the clown. Through some negotiation and saying a popular phrase, “We all float down here,” George begins to consider going into the sewer to retrieve his precious paper boat. It conjures the facade of a circus in the sewer and little George goes for the bait, sealing his demise. The story focuses on a group of friends that form a club known as the “Loser’s Club.” As young kids, they have a run-in with It and successfully defeat him. They all swear an oath that the Losers would come together once again if It was ever to come back. Years pass and the kids have grown up and forged lives of their own. Eventually, the word gets to them about suspicious behavior reminiscent to that of It. Despite one of the friends dying when hearing the news, the others all manage to make it back to Derry. They then work to try and defeat It once and for all. I read this book at a young age, and it scared the bejesus of out me. Even though it was a very long book, and it scared me every time I opened those pages, I was captivated by it. This book single-handedly is the main reason I read horror novels and write them. Put yourself into the mind of a child, open this book and get ready for a brilliant story and a bone-chilling tale.
Well, that’s it folks; this ends my Top 10 novels for Halloween. I hope you found this to be informative and I hope you decide to pick up one of my suggestions. Please leave me any thoughts you have over in the comments. Now, this time I am going to ask you to do two favors for me. I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe to my blog and also, while you are doing that, click the link to www.smashwords.com. There, you can search for my first novella, The Demon in The Glass. It only costs $2.99 and I would love to hear your comments and, of course, all purchases are much appreciated. Thank you for joining me for this top 10 and thank you in advance for purchasing my book!
As always, thank you for reading, and please join us next time!
All images and information was collected from www.wikipedia.org
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems is copyright of Castle Books 2002, 2001, 1985.
Shirley Jackson. The Haunting of Hill House. Viking/Penguin books. 1959.
Bram Stoker. Dracula. Archibald Constable and Company. 1897.
H.P. Lovecraft. H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction. Barnes and Noble 2008.
Stephen King. IT. Viking. September 1986.