Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Guest Post: Beth's Favorite Haunting Reads

Today we welcome back previous guest reviewer and my high school friend, Beth! Being a proud goth girl, she's up on all things creepy, so today she has agreed to share with us her favorite Halloweeny reads.

Hello ladies and gents of the Blue Bookcase! Elizabeth here once again to bring you the best delightfully frightful reads for Halloween! Everyone likes a good scare, and Halloween is the best time for it.

We'll start off the list with a series that actually got me hooked on two of my current loves, reading and horror.

Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collection.
In these three small books you'll find tales of betrayed love, frightful witches and even the tale of the Texan wolf-girl. In these jaggedly illustrated books you'll learn just how frightening a scarecrow can be and why some one should always guard an open casket... For a fun night of nightmares and shadows, these books are great to read aloud with friends and kids. There's even spine tingling games and rituals!

Next on the terror list I give you Bentley Little's The Collection.
Yet again a collection of horror frightening enough to keep you up at night. This is not a book for kids, though, and I don't recommend it if you already have a fear of pillows or homicidal macaroni. The guy obsessed with the dead llama behind his bookstore isn't some one I'd get too chummy with either. Beware the places that don't make sense; those are always the worst places to let yourselves be trapped.

If you prefer your ghosties of a sweeter variety then I give to you The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Little Nobody Owens (Bod for short) lost his family to a horrible murderer as an infant but was rescued from the same fate by a community of ghosts in the local graveyard. What more could a boy want? Living in tombs and playing with the spirits of children long dead. Given the freedom of the graveyard, Bod begins his journey to find out just who he is, and just who it is that made him that way. The author of Coraline and The Sandman books, Neil Gaiman paints a vivid and touching tale with this lovely novel of coming into your own in a graveyard.

I also give you Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Fanu. Narrated by a young Anglo-Austrian woman, we find that a mysterious and beautiful stranger is stranded at the castle in odd circumstances and becomes a guest, our narrator quickly forms a close bond with her, but is in for a terrifying surprise. Carmilla is a short and easy read, slightly erotic, as all good vampire tales are, and will give you goosebumps with its wonderful imagery of a dark castle and a frightening creature.

Lastly, but not leastly, I give you Tales of Terror and Mystery by Edgar Allan Poe. As a master of the macabre, Poe will have you shaking in your sheets with tales like The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher and the ever popular The Raven.

So my friends, I leave you with my top short reads for spooky fun. Remember gentle readers, sometimes thinking of things can bring them to life. When you close these books, and turn out the lights, try not to think of the ghoulies and ghosties and longe legged beasties lurking in the closet, under the bed and outside the window. After all, they're just stories, aren't they?