Well, it's that time of year to try and find/make the most terrifying outfit to wear on October 31st. For two years now, I have felt robbed. You see, my favourite get-up for any Halloween do was to squeeze into my tattered, two sizes too small 'onesie' and scare the hell out of people on approach. The instant registered look of horror (disgust? disbelief? awe?) on people's faces was reassurance that my plan was super-tight and I was on the winning track. But then what happens? This bloody item of clothing, by some miracle, lands itself on the list of 'no longer horrific items to wear in public' and makes my life miserable. There went my 'foul-proof' costume out the window dropping to zero impact because compared to people wearing it now, I actually don't look too bad if you get my drift. So, here I am again this year, only a few days away and still with NOTHING planned to wear to a party on the night.
Oh well, I can always find solace in the fact that at least my reading list for this week is foul-proof. Every year, a week before Halloween to be exact, I re-visit a few of my favourite titles and discover new ones for that year that I feel are relevant to themes of horror, anxiety, and general disturbance to the psyche.
Here are a few of my favourite titles:
1. 'Christine' by Stephen King
I read this when I was about 14 years old and to this day I always, always, treat my cars nicely because you just never know!!! 'Christine' is a novel about a love triangle involving 17-year-old misfit Arnie Cunningham, his new girlfriend and a haunted 1958 Plymouth Fury. Dubbed Christine by her previous owner, Arnie's first car is jealous, possessive and deadly.
2. 'The Little Stranger' by Sarah Waters
Published in 2009, this I found to be a seriously chilling read. I couldn't put it down once I got stuck into it. The story is that of Dr. Faraday, a working class physician, and his friendship with the residents of Thousand Hall manor. Set in post war Britain, this is a well-knit story that is not only spooky but also reflects the atmosphere of the period brilliantly as regards to the British and the class system.
3. 'Before I Go To Sleep' by SJ Watson
Published in 2011, this novel was a sensation when it hit. It centres around a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia, which means that when she wakes up every morning she will have forgotten everything of her past and has to re-learn about herself and those around her each and every day by use of a journal she has been keeping. As she returns to her journal each day, a terrifying truth emerges that sets her on an impossible quest.
3. 'Little Hands Clapping' by Dan Rhodes
Published in 2010, the story revolves around a very macabre museum in Germany dedicated to suicide. This is a sombre story with characters that have 'interesting' life stories and many secrets. I probably should not have this in my list as there are quite a few brilliantly uplifting and funny moments in the book but it is also a sad story about some very sad people.
And for younger readers (11+ years), here are my recommendations:
1. 'The Long Weekend' by Savita Kalhan
The novel is about two 11-year old boys who think they are about to have the best time of their lives. Read a full review HERE.
2. 'Demon Dentist' by David Walliams
Recently released this is a book that carries a warning by its author that this is a horror story and for any child who hates going to the dentist, this will not make it any easier. My solace is that my 11-year old thought that his ordeal with his dentist was bad until he read this story about Alfie Griffith. Brilliant book with 'quite a lot of made up words'.