Stack Your Shelves With 9 of Our Favorite Scary Stories

We’re absolutely giddy with all the spooky preparations and festivities for Halloween in spite of the pandemic! 

What better time is there to indulge in the ghoulish and macabre? Really, who among us doesn’t love a good blood-curdling, bone-chilling, positively frightening story around this time of year?! 

Join us this week for the fright of your life as we share some of our favorite and festive scary Halloween stories

P.S.: We’ve also included a few tips on how we update our floating wall shelves with some seasonal decor to get us into the ‘spirit’!

Things that Go Bump in the Night

Who doesn’t love a good monster mash? These creepy creatures are a Halloween staple and cornerstones on our shelves!

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 

At just 19 years old, Mary Wollstonecraft-Shelley’s debut novel launched a brand new literary genre and helped to revolutionize the ways in which we tell stories. This commentary on what it means to be human has become a cult classic among both science fiction and horror fans alike and is a staple in schools across the nation. We guarantee this harrowing tale will leave you absolutely and positively spooked. 

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

"I am Legend" by jovike is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 via Flickr

When a mysterious disease decimates life as we know it, protagonist Robert Neville must fight each day for survival. Surrounded on all sides by armies of the undead, Neville must battle both his own demons as well as the ones that seek to destroy him body and spirit. What ensues is the tale of a man who is at times hell-bent on living and at others driven to the brink of death by his despair. 

Matheson does vampires as we’ve never seen them before in this incredible whirlwind horror dystopia. Adapted for the silver screen in 2007 starring Will Smith, this moralistic horror novel is a quick read that’s sure to thrill and leave you with a whopping moral dilemma that’s just as daunting as any bloodsucker!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

"coraline." by ciaokatelinn is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Gaiman and McKean pack this children's fantasy book with more deliciously horrifying details than many adult books on the market today. 

Coraline follows young protagonist Coraline Jones as she navigates life in a new town. The secrets of her home’s inhabitants, and of the house itself, take Coraline on a fantastical journey through space and reality as she battles to find answers and learns to appreciate what she’s been given. While this all may sound relatively standard for a children’s fiction novella, Coraline must also contend with a mysterious creature known as the “Other Mother” and the enchanting fantasies she spins to lure in her prey.

 

Creepy Collections

Anthologies, or collections, compile all of the best stories into one massive tome for your convenience. While some are more mundane in nature, we’ve gathered the most petrifying collections of tales for your enjoyment!

Complete Stories & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Poe has been enshrined as an American classic since the mid-18th and early 19th century. His short stories include terrifying classics like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Raven and have shocked and horrified readers across the world and inspired countless others. If you haven’t taken a look at this author since your first encounter with him, now is the time to dive back into the dreary and nightmarish worlds that Poe weaves.

The October Country by Ray Bradbury

"The October Country" by photoscott is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr

Although he was catapulted to fame by his stand-out dystopian tale, Fahrenheit 451, (which is horrifying in its own right), Bradbury has many a spooky tale under his belt!

His collection in The October Country is just what the witch-doctor ordered around this time of year! Bradbury is a true American classic and his stories are well known and beloved by many for their sharp wit and biting commentaries on society. This haunting collection of short stories is often overlooked in favor of cult-favorites like Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree, but these quick and easy reads are just as horrifying and twice as short! 

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell 

Image is licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Three generations of children everywhere have been reared on this petrifying collection of short horror stories from Schwartz and Gammell. The illustrations alone conjure up memories of gathering around a single flashlight among friends to spook and frighten one another. 

This eclectic mix of collected stories is a refreshing and approachable choice for those of us who can’t stomach the darker, gorier, more terrifying stuff or just a great trip down memory lane during the time of year when we all wish we could just be kids again.

Modern Monsters

Sometimes the truth is more terrifying than anything the imagination can cook up. Dive into one of these bizarre and bone-chilling books for a frightfully good scare!

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

"The Exorcist" by Terror on Tape is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ever hear the phrase, “hell is a teenage girl”? 

Blatty takes it to heart in this harrowing possession tale based on a true account. This horror classic is just as much a coming of age story as it is a paranormal one and is the template that many have followed over the years.

Quite possibly the most blood-curdling novel and film ever created, Blatty’s blasphemous psychological thriller is a must-read for everyone. Detailing the slow-progressing possession of young Reagan MacNeil as she transforms from a sweet and loving little girl to a violent, disturbed, screeching monster, Blatty's novel is a staunch paragon in the horror genre.

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Truth is often stranger than fiction, and there is nothing more terrifying than Ann Rule’s candid account of her time spent as an ex-coworker and once-friend to infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy. Rule catalogs Bundy’s early childhood and later life, leading up to the murders. She meticulously details the time the two spent together working at a crisis hotline, helping talk people down from the proverbial ledge, all the while he was brutalizing co-eds in the Pacific Northwest. 

This hair-raising first-person account of life beside one of the United State’s most prolific and savage serial killers is absolutely chilling and will leave readers wondering just how well they can truly know someone.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Photo by chrisforsyth is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This true-crime book took the world by storm and claimed a spot on Goodreads’ Best Books of 2018 list. 

  Author and blogger Michelle McNamara traces the terrorizing reign of an undetectable criminal that stalked the shadows in Contra-Costa county in northern California between the early 70s and late 80s. Channeling the fear and paranoia of the decade and the loss of innocence of a host of small towns south of San Francisco, McNamara catalogs her own journey to uncover the motive and the suspect of several decades-old cold cases. What emerges is a vibrant profile of a monster who flourished on the terror and tragedy left behind in his wake.

 

Whether or not you participate in the season’s haunts and hoopla, we hope we’ve inspired you to pick up one or two of our suggestions next time you’re looking for a good fright! 

We had so much fun coming up with our favorite scary stories for this post and especially loved styling our collection of floating wall shelves for the spooky season, filling them with baubles and sweets, and, especially, these bone-chillingly good reads. 

What’s your favorite spooky tale? Leave your best suggestions in the comments below for a chance at a shoutout in our next post and check out these terrifying titles in the meantime!


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