Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Get Into the Halloween Spirit

Ohhhhh…this is a loaded question. This week’s meme from The Broke and the Bookish says:

I asked the contributors of our blog to give me the stories and books they have read that remind them the most of Halloween.

If you have read some of my past posts (such as Haunted Week is Coming! or Graveyards I Have Known) you will be quite aware as to how much I don’t like being scared – and this absolutely includes books. I have a very vivid imagination, so reading anything remotely scary, even during the sunniest of days, will cause me to have crazy, intense dreams that night, that is, if I sleep at all. Yes, it has gotten better since I am long past childhood, but I Just. Don’t. Go. There.

As such, it is kind of funny that I would attempt a top ten of books that would get one ready for Halloween. Be that as it may, here goes (in order as I thunked them up).

  1. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. When I think of scary books, I always think of this one first. I was spending the night with a friend in middle school (sounds like the makings of a horror film already) and she had this book. I thought I could handle it since she was there. Nope. Can’t tell you how far I made it, but it wasn’t far. Pig eyes? Flies? It REALLY happened? ‘Nuff said.
  2. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. I recently acquired this book, but I haven’t cracked the cover. I am planning on reading it during Haunted Week which starts tomorrow. Anywho, I have read Poe before, but what I remember best is when the local public radio station, KERA, aired some old radio shows for fun. One of them was Poe’s The Black Cat. One of his best, I think.
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker. Everyone knows Dracula, but how many of you have actually read it? We chose this one month in a book club I was in a few years ago. I was really surprised as to how much I liked it. I do remember the part where Dracula is described climbing out of his window and descending the castle like a lizard. Also, all of the spider catching and eating is somewhat unsettling.
  4. The Diviners by Libba Bray. This is a brand-spanking new book that I just read (review is coming). It’s the cat’s whiskers, I’ll tell you that. People have powers, there’s a spooky graveyard, ouija board, tarot cards, and a house that is waiting for the return of Naughty John. Creepers GALORE.
  5. The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I discovered it when I was a kid. For someone who was such a big wussy when it came to scary-ness, I sure loved books about witches. At my library, they would put all of the “Halloween” books out for the month of October and that’s it. Once I figured out where they were hidden, it was like my own treasure trove of awesome. This book is deliciously creepy and intense.
  6. Arise (Hereafter #2) by Tara Hudson. ANY book that takes place in New Orleans and involves ghosts, St. Louis Cemetery #1, a voodoo ceremony and demons gets placed automatically on this list.
  7. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This is one of my new favorites. It’s actually, for the most part, the sweet side of the graveyard; a toddler boy unknowingly escapes the brutal murder of his family by taking refuge in an old graveyard at the top of a hill. The ghosts become his family, teachers, guardians.
  8. I know I should include Stephen King on my list, but, to be honest, I haven’t read much. I did read Carrie in high school, and also a book of short stories (Night Shift, I think? Is that the one with the yard guy who eats whatever the mower spits out? And the baby in the crib?). Again, I just don’t go there.
  9. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg. Another witchy book that I loved when I was a kid. You can also check out The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder or The Little Leftover Witch by Florence Laughlin.
  10. Any book with photos of sharks in it. I realize this isn’t very Halloween-y, but they do scare me. I don’t even like touching a photo of a shark. (Heck, it gave me the heebie jeebies to point at the photo with my mouse!) I am sure Jaws had something to do with it (saw the movie, did not read the book), and my daughter thinks it’s HILARIOUS.

Whaddya think? Do you have a limit as to what or how many horror books you will read, or do you love it all?

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Get Into the Halloween Spirit”

  1. I’m planning on doing Night Shift this year. I’m very excited…though I like scary a bit more than you. I’d also say go for Raven Boys this season. It’s got the witch/psychic thing as well as some ghostly/paranormal stuff as well without being “scary”. I’m enjoying it 😉

    1. I just checked out your site…loved it! We saw Libba Bray at the Austin Teen Book Festival a few weekends ago. She was the keynote speaker and was awesome. I am hoping her speech is on YouTube ’cause it was so great. What else have you read by her? I have only read ‘The Diviners’ and ‘Beauty Queens.’ What should I read next?

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