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Halloween Reads

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  • Books on shelves with cobwebs

Jessica, Hespeler | October 1, 2019

A spooky time of year demands some equally spooky reads.  While there are many modern horror novels, nothing beats the classics.  If you’ve always wanted to read some classic horror novels, there’s no better month than October!

Here are a few recommendations:

Dracula by Bram Stoker: The vampire story that started it all.  I read this last October and the story still holds up.  A great cast of characters that feel modern and it’s still frightening even by today’s standards.  The book is told with journal entries, letters, and newspaper articles, all documenting the horror that is Count Dracula.  The story quickly pulls you into the lives of the other characters who are working to survive and defeat Dracula such as Jonathan, Mina, Dr. Seward and Van Helsing.  You’ll be rooting for them to defeat the evil vampire who has tormented them!  If you don’t feel like reading, you can watch one of the movie adaptations.  I recommend Dracula or Nosferatu.

Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley:  My goal is to read Frankenstein this October.  While everyone knows the basic story, a mad scientist and his creature made out of a patchwork of different corpses, it will be interesting to read it first-hand to see how scary it is.  The Mad Scientist trope in horror that continues to this day, started with Frankenstein.  I’m also interested in this one because of the story behind the story.  Author Mary Shelley was only 18 at the time she wrote it and it came about after a challenge set by Lord Byron to see who could write the scariest story during a rainy summer.  I think Shelley won!

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson:  At only 105 pages you’ll breeze through this horror classic.  Adapted and spoofed many times, I loved reading the original version and learning why Dr. Jekyll made Mr. Hyde.  The one criticism I have with this one is that some of the suspense and mystery is lost for modern readers since we all know who Mr. Hyde is and aren’t wondering like the characters in the book.  Still a great read and I discovered more in the story than I thought I would.  Word to the wise, don’t watch the TV show Jekyll; it is a mess!  There is a film adaptation, called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from 1920, but I haven’t seen it yet, so proceed with caution.

Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe:   This gothic poem is the perfect Halloween read.  Lyrical and haunting, the opening line, “Once upon a midnight dreary,” sets the mood right from the beginning.  The Raven tells the story of a distraught man who mourns the loss of his love Lenore and is visited by a raven who speaks only one word, “nevermore” and won’t leave him alone.  The raven itself is the image most synonymous with Poe and its symbolism is what makes this poem stand out.  If you don’t like reading you can always watch The Simpsons’ version.  They retold it in their very first Halloween special, Treehouse of Horror.

If you want more Raven themed Halloween fun, be sure to sign up for one of our two Murder Mystery Nights!  Taking place Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 after hours, the event will be a fun filled night where you will work to find clues and solve the mystery.  Sign up quick before all the spots are gone!