Five spooky books to terrify you this Halloween

spooky book

When I tell people that I enjoy reading a good horror story, they take a step backwards. Perhaps they consider me a calculated killer who spends time researching the best ways to bury a cleaver into their skull. I can assure you, this is not the case - though I’m sure the following books could teach you a trick or two. I leave the horror on the pages, where it belongs. In fact, I’m convinced it’s the writers that keep you up at night frantically turning pages with such intrigue, who should be given a medal for their devilish efforts. 

Here at Distance Learning Centre we encourage all our students to keep reading over the holidays and nothing keeps the mind ticking over quite like a horror story. So peel your hands back from across your eyes, face your greatest dread, and take a look at our line-up up of the spookiest stories guaranteed to terrify you this Halloween.

Before I Go to Sleep – SJ Watson 

It’s not the ‘most’ terrifying book you’re ever going to read, but one you should read none the less. This psychological thriller strips back the conventional horror genre to reveal a brilliant, nasty noir. Imagine drifting off every night knowing that memories of that day will be lost. That’s the fate of Christine Lucas who spends her days piecing together the cracks of her disjointed life in this gripping literary thriller. I love a book that leaves you in a state of abandon as you turn pages hoping for a clue to lead you closer to the truth. The problem being you just can’t put this down. Having read the book multiple times you are compelled to continue reading, enjoying the pleasure of noting clues and getting to know her back story. If you can stand the chill of this addictive read, then ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ makes for a delicious treat this Halloween. 

The Woman in Black – Susan Hill 

I’d been in the mood to read something spooky for ages, so when I discovered ‘The Woman in Black’ staring Daniel Radcliffe was in fact a book (written before I was born) I couldn’t resist. This ghost story centres on the disturbances caused by a menacing spectre haunting a small town. London Solicitor, Arthur Kipps, is sent to attend the funeral of a late collegue in a far-away town in the windswept salt marshes when he falls victim to a ghost’s haunting. This chilling tale has all the elements of a classic ghost story complete with mysterious sounds, unexplainable bumps and jumps, a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the piercing scream in the fog and, the worst of all, a ghostly woman dressed in all black.

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie 

Who hasn’t heard of Agatha Christie? If not, then prepare to open your mind to her most gripping tale ‘And Then There Were None.’ I love reading books with a puzzling plot and that’s exactly what this story offers, intrigue, as you delve into the minds of 10 individuals who were all invited to a private dinner party and accused of the same heinous crime. One of the guests must be a killer, but who? It’s a simple plot, but one that is executed with such meticulous precision, you can’t help but continue reading. The story itself is not all that gruesome, so don’t worry about that. I made several guesses to who the killer was – I was wrong. That’s the beauty of a classic Agatha Christie; you never quite get the answer you were looking for, but what you do get is much better.  

The Long Walk – Stephen King

This brings a whole new meaning to the saying… it’s like a walk in the park. The question presents itself, how far can you walk without stopping? That sounds like a walk in the park I hear you say with a smile. First released by the illusive Stephen King, ‘The Long Walk’ may force you to change your answer. In Kings surreal early novel, the rules are simple: just keep walking, maintain a speed of 4 miles per hour; don’t deviate from your set course and most importantly don’t stop. If a walkers pace slows, a warning is issued and this is followed up with a punishment until the walker is executed. As the book opens up, you get to know the characters, feel their pain and the threat of death becomes a reality.  

The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

If you’ve watched the film then switching to the book is a must. It sets the bar high for emerging horror novels today, with a disturbing storyline that stays with you long after reading. You’ll be confined to your bedside as you pull the covers over your head and try to shake off thoughts of a demon possessed girl. That’s what all the best novels do, and is something Blatty does incredibly well. 

Are there any horror stories we missed? If so, share your favourite books via our Facebook and let us know of any spooky stories you are reading this Halloween.

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