Hair-raising reads for Halloween

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness by Edgar Allen Poe (Collection)
(Read it here!)

Possibly America’s most famous scary storyteller, he is the writer of famous stories such as “The Raven” and “The Telltale Heart.” Poe, who married his 13-year-old cousin, was obviously a twisted guy—he favored anything dark and saturated in mystery. For instance, in “The Masque of the Red Death,” Prince Proserpo and his wealthy friends hole up in a masquerade ball to avoid a plague that is ravaging the lower class. When a masked stranger arrives unexpectedly to the party all of the guests succumb to the disease. The bonus to reading Poe is that his work is mostly poems and short stories, perfect for a quick scare.

The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
(Read it here!)

Although written for a slightly younger demographic, this tense and suspenseful trilogy is not one to be overlooked. In a dystopian North America that is divided into districts, every year each district must send two teenagers to compete to the death in the annual Hunger Games. The story follows the poorest district’s Katniss Evergreen through her first bloody competition. It may sound simple, but Collins’ descriptions of the brutalities and the futuristic surprises she throws at the players and the readers are anything but childish. Rarely happy, often sad and suspenseful throughout, this dark series is not one to pass up.

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(Read it here!)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s nineteenth century story is less than 6,000 words long, but each syllable drips terror and eeriness. It is a story about a woman falling deeper into psychosis as she becomes increasingly more obsessed with the strange yellow wallpaper in the bedroom she is confined in. The reader is sucked into the bedroom and forced to wonder along with the character about the peculiarity of the paper. Before you realize it, the creepy yellow wallpaper had turned her completely mad, and then the story just ends. I promise you, you will never think of interior decorating the same.

Everything’s Eventual (Collection), by Stephen King
(Read it here!)

It would hardly be a list of scary stories without mentioning the Horror God that is Stephen King. Rather than suggesting a classic such as “Carrie” or “It,” his book of short stories has something for everyone. Some may make you scream, and others may just paralyze you—but each one is different and scarier than the last. What is great about this collection is that there is a story for any genre of horror you may be interested in. Additionally, if you have ever wondered how a well-adjusted man could write such horrifying tales, King gives a few details of how he thought of each story before they actually begin.

Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi
(Read it here!)

Sometimes a fictional story just is not enough and you need something factual to instill fear in your heart. The literary version of the Manson Family murders and trial will make your blood freeze. Charles Manson warped The Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter” and used the phrase to name the apocalyptic war he believed was coming. His insane theories resulted in the violent murders of six people—including the very pregnant movie star Sharon Tate. When fiction is not providing enough of a scare, pick up “Helter Skelter” and have fun trying to sleep after you finish it.