Why not opt for a chilling read in lieu of a horror movie this Halloween? We’ve got some creepy suggestions for you!
Instead of engaging in the typical Netflix horror movie binge each October, why not spice things up this year and opt for a chilling book instead? Here are some spooky reading material recommendations from our staff members that are sure to give you goosebumps!
Ashley Fish-Robertson, Arts Editor
If you’re like me and you find yourself falling prey to every jumpscare in a horror movie, a spooky book can be a better alternative. For those seeking a short read that packs a punch, In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami won’t disappoint. This gruesome, fast-paced story takes place in Tokyo and follows Kenji, a young Japanese tourist guide, who suspects that one of his customers may be behind a string of violent murders. Cue the eerie music.
If you’re not looking to commit to a novel because the midterm season has deprived you of the joy that comes from reading, I’d recommend turning to Junji Ito’s manga, specifically Gyo. Between Ito’s masterful albeit nightmarish illustrations and the book’s palpable suspense, you may find yourself devouring Gyo within a day or two.
Mélina Lévesque, Features Editor
Full. Body. Chills. That is exactly what I felt when diving into Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient. This psychological thriller will keep you up all night, enticing you to endlessly rip through each and every page to find out what happens next. After shooting her husband five times, Alicia Berenson is placed in a secure psychiatric unit, and never speaks another word. Freaky, right? We follow criminal psychotherapist, Theo Faber, on his mission to unpack Alicia Berenson’s story.
Michaelides’ storytelling will seriously make you feel like you’re silently tiptoeing behind each character, desperately trying to stay hidden and out of danger as you watch disturbing events unfold. He really takes you right to the scene. Don’t even get me started on the ending. *SPOILER ALERT* You won’t see it coming. Trust me.
Lucy Farcnik, Copy Editor
For those not super into gore, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia provides a suitably unsettling combination of psychological horror and historical fiction. It follows socialite Noemí Taboada, who goes to visit her cousin Catalina and her new English husband after receiving a disturbing letter from her. She finds a burnt-out mining town, a new love, a terrifying family, and a house that is more than what it seems. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but this just adds to the creep factor. The author also curated a playlist to go along with the book, which really sets the tone!
Victor Vigas, Music Editor
This isn’t a Halloween book, but it certainly spooked me. Misery by Stephen King is the only book to really creep up my spine and freak me out. The story follows novelist Paul Sheldon after being kidnapped by a superfan, Annie Wilkes. The novel’s textured prose invites readers to get lost into what quickly becomes a haunting and gruesome tale. When the prose meanders into tangents of introspection, it gives readers space to digest every horror that’s been laid out prior. If it is any indication of how crazy this book can get, King said in an interview that out of any character he’s written, the character of Annie would be the worst lockdown partner during COVID-19. That’s big talk coming from the same guy who wrote a book about a clown that feasts on children. In any case, Stephen King threads the needle masterfully in this book, and will easily spook readers at any time of the year.
James Fay, Graphics Editor
For something as playful as it is dark, I would recommend Edward Gorey’s Amphigorey, a collection of comics that includes The Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Doubtful Guest. The stories appear as though they are meant to be read to children, but the content and art style brings you to a much darker place. The Gashlycrumb Tinies list children alphabetically, as if to teach readers the alphabet, but each child is meeting their untimely demise in one way or another. For example: “J is for James who took Lye by Mistake.” The art is a particular selling point for me, giving off a sketchy gothic look for all of the Victorian characters and settings.
Hadassah Alencar, Editor-in-Chief
Remember the joy of reading a scary novel as a child? It’s that feeling of losing yourself in a book until late, but knowing deep down the suspense will make you keep your light on for the night. Even now that we’re older, there’s a special nostalgia in reading your favourite classics and re-discovering the story. For me, it’s been The Witches by Roald Dahl; a fantasy story featuring a boy and his grandmother in a world where a community of secretive, child-hating witches exist around the world. While I have not forgotten the main story plot, I find there’s so much I haven’t held on to all these years. The experience feels like I’m riding a roller coaster: I can foretell when the suspense will build and climax, but even so I love the ride.
Visuals courtesy of James Fay