12 October 2016

A remote mansion house...

The Woman in Black

Susan Hill

For the perfect haunted house story, you can’t go wrong with The Woman in Black. Eel Marsh House can only be reached by causeway: set off too late and you might just fall victim to the quicksand or the rising waters. Arthur Kipps is a young solicitor who makes the treacherous journey to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the house’s sole inhabitant. As he works through her documents he discovers a devastating secret that will have an impact on his life in ways he is yet to comprehend. Are you ready to find out who the Woman in Black is?

A theatre with secrets...

The Phantom of the Opera

Gaston Leroux

The story of The Phantom of the Opera is renowned for its musical and film adaptations, but have you read the book? A beautiful and talented singer, Christine Daaé, is haunted by the ‘Opera ghost’ who teachers her to sing…yet the harmonious partnership comes to frightening conclusion as Christine falls for her childhood sweetheart, Raoul. Gaston Leroux splendidly creates the atmosphere of a Parisian opera house where the candelabras are lit and the audience is seated in finery, unaware of the shadows that lurk behind the scenes. So find yourself a comfy seat and prepare for the performance to begin…

A supernatural sighting...

The Haunted Hotel

Wilkie Collins

Fate, danger, murder and mystery all roll into one deliciously dark package in this book. It opens with a woman visiting her doctor, fearing that she is losing her mind. A tale of premonitions, disappearances, apparent madness and supernatural sightings build to a haunting climax, all linked by one spooky room in Venice. Pick up a copy, spend the night in Room 14, and get lost in the spooky secrets of The Haunted Hotel.

 

A couple of creepy children...

The Turn of the Screw

Henry James

A young governess arrives at a country house to take charge of Flora and Miles who appear to be angelic children. However, appearances aren’t what they seem, and when the unnamed governess starts to sense something unnerving in the house she begins to question how faultless the children really are. It is a haunting tale full of twists and turns, and the tension does not let up. Turn of the Screw has inspired the fascination with the darker side of childhood which dominates the horror genre in books and movies today.

 

A monstrous creature...

Frankenstein

Mary Shelly

A Halloween classic that has had so many Hollywood treatments that it’s difficult to remember the real story behind the monster. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the story of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who plunders graveyards for materials to create a new being… but events turn for the worse once his creature escapes. An adventure that takes you through the Swiss Alps to the Arctic Circle, the story explores the dangers of scientific exploration and what it truly means to be monstrous. 

Something that bites...

Dracula

Bram Stoker

Although Stoker didn’t invent the vampire, Dracula transformed a classic European folk tale into a story for the masses…whose appetite for blood-sucking predators has not diminished since. The beauty of this novel is how the story unfolds through diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings, which transport you from a crumbling castle in Transylvania to the picturesque coastal town of Whitby. A novel you can read again and again and still be spooked by the adventures that befall Jonathan Harker and friends.

A witch or two...

The Witches of Eastwick

John Updike

Three women, all recently divorced, pass the time in the small town of Eastwick by practising witchcraft. Alexandra can summon thunderstorms, Jane can float on air and Sukie can turn milk into cream. But their happy routine takes a darker, more menacing turn when a stranger comes to refurbish the local derelict mansion, and seduces them one by one. It’s a story about scandal, revenge and magic running wild – a wickedly entertaining read, especially at this time of year. 

A desperate detective...

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Edgar Allan Poe

You can’t have a Halloween library without a few murders and some nail-biting suspense thrown in, and Edgar Allan Poe’s enthralling stories about C. Auguste Dupin tick both of those boxes. These short, mysterious stories are absolute page-turners, and have inspired so much of the detective fiction we know today, including the stories of Sherlock Holmes. Strange, sinister and gruesome, and with an eccentric lead character, they’re a must-read for those who love a murder mystery.

For when you need to turn off the lights...

The Exorcist

William Peter Blatty

The film of The Exorcist is widely considered to be one of the most terrifying movies ever made, and this full-cast radio drama is just as frightening. Starring Robert Glenister and Ian McDiarmid, the audiobook is a chilling adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s original novel, and is wickedly entertaining for those who love horror. The story follows Father Karras, who meets a young girl controlled by an unseen force, and soon finds himself tormented by the demons inside her… Plug your headphones in, turn off the lights and get ready to have your bedsocks scared off. 

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