Since I am so passionate about stories, a big part of Halloween for me is reading and watching some nice spooky stories. Over the next few posts I’ll be offering up some of my favorites, starting with books to read.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
There’s something to be said for the classics, and few monsters have the same combination of attraction and fear as vampires, particularly Dracula. First we have a young man, seemingly trapped in an isolated castle, and then the monster escapes to prowl the city. For much of the story the villain is a wraith, only known by the evidence of his actions, and the stories that surround him.
I don’t generally favor ghosts, but this story uses them most effectively. A nice atmosphere of dread pervades the story, with infrequent but gradually escalating instances of actual paranormal activity. Like Dracula, there’s a sense of the ever-prowling hunter, waiting for the right moment to strike, and the slow but steady corruption of the victims. (Full Review)
Like Poe, Lovecraft is a name synonymous with horror. Granted, his writing can feel a little clinical, and pacing often struggles to accelerate, but Lovecraft’s stories have an undeniable talent for describing something utterly alien in a way that leaves audiences with a vivid image that still seems vague and undefined.
Particular favorites include:
Rats in the Wall-where a young man dismisses the rumors surrounding his new home.
The Call of Cthulhu, the ultimate name in Lovecraft.
Shadow over Innsmouth, my personal favorite, where the idea that knowledge is a burden and a threat is most epitomized.
Batman Arkham Asylum
While not a typical horror, this graphic novel is one of the most stylized representations of Batman that I have seen. We see Batman delving into emotional pain, potentially losing his mind, reacting out of blind fear, rather than the stoic calm that usually dominates his presence. The story truly explores that darker side of the Wonderland esk “is it the world that’s crazy, or is it just me?”