A Halloween Thing A Day: Essential Halloween Reads


We’ve already done Halloween movies and Halloween television, and you might be listed to death at this point, but I couldn’t in good conscience do this column on a publisher’s website without including a solid list (or three) of Halloween reading recommendations.

I culled through a mountain of lists before settling on these, leaving an entire mountain range of Halloween reading recommendations out there for you to peruse if you so desire. If you find any particularly good ones, please share them in the comments. Now, on to my selections:

I chose this one from The Telegraph because, while it contains no real surprises, it’s a solid accounting of the kind of spooky, atmospheric horror novels and collections that I find perfect for this time of year. These are books—The Haunting of Hill House, Ghost Story, Pet Sematary—that whisper their dark secrets rather than hit you over the head with them. Fine tales for reading beside crackling fires, each and every one of them.

I’m including this list of lists from Goodreads because, honestly, it has something for everyone. In fact, if you were to consolidate all of them, it’s quite possible that you would have a list of every horror novel ever published—which would, of course, defeat the purpose of making a list of recommendations. However, the thing I like about this list of lists is the many specific categories included: there’s a list of Civil War ghost stories, and one of Halloween picture books for the younger set, and romantic Halloween books, and manga…there are even lists devoted to books that feature pumpkins and cornstalks! So, whatever your particular preference is for Halloween reading, you’re likely to find it therein.

Finally, I’ve included the Essential October Reads series on a blog called October Country. October Country, as three or four of you may know, is my blog, the place I hung my hat before the good folks at Cemetery Dance came calling. I’m including it because, well, I’m really proud of that series—especially the 2012 edition, when authors like John Skipp and Joe Lansdale and Brian Keene wrote about their own favorite Halloween reads.

That was a good October.

Blu Gilliand is the managing editor of Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online. If he doesn’t read Dark Harvest by Norm Partridge in October, it’s like Halloween didn’t happen.

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