There’s something about gloomy weather that my brain links with scary stories. So as soon as the skies start darkening early and my nose starts to feel frostbitten after a twenty second venture outdoors, my bookshelf antics turn to the fearful. If you, too, enjoy the pull of the creep, here are some recommendations on what to read…
… And how best to read them.
What to drink whilst reading: Tea. (OR hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream – nom)
What to wear whilst reading: Your comfiest leggings and too-big jumper. Big socks and a ponytail are a bonus too.
What to surround yourself with: A scented candle. A blanket. A comforting human being or pet in case sh*t gets too real.
Why scary books are better than actual scares: Because unlike that time a lightbulb exploded above my head without warning en route to the loo, a book won’t make you scream, run downstairs, and almost (almost being the operative word here) empty your bladder in an inconvenient place (like your own pyjamas.)
So, a few great spooky reads from my shelf to yours:
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
‘Last night I dreamed of Manderley again’ is an iconic opening line, cited in lots of different places. This is where that line came from. Following the first person narrative of an unnamed protagonist, Rebecca explores the plight of the second wife, exploring the after effects of the mysterious loss of the first. Spooky, sad and very readable, with just the right amount of mystery to keep you turning the page.
The Woman In Black – Susan Hill
I picked up this book years ago (before the terrible, terrible film came to light) because the cover was pretty – I am that guy. I started reading it in a coffee shop, and had to be dragged away to finish Christmas shopping. The next day was stormy, and I didn’t move from my sofa all day, reading the rest of The Woman In Black in one sitting. It’s SO GOOD. Haunted houses and ghostly happenings galore, I love it.
Ring – Koji Suzuki
The book that inspired The Ring, Ring is every bit as terrifying as the horror movie that came from it. With a focus on a Japanese male journalist rather than an american female one, Ring follows the mystery of the deaths taking place 7 days after victims watch a certain video tape. The follow up, Spiral, is also grand. But I’d skip Loop if I was to read again. That one was dire.
The Shining & Pet Sematary – Stephen King
My two favourite Stephen King horrors. The Shining is deliciously ghostly (much more so than the movie) and Pet Sematary is just incredibly sinister. Argh, I adore this man’s writing. Brilliant.
So there we have it, five scary stories to keep you occupied when it rains. Please share your own recommendations should you feel compelled to. My current reading material is far too cheerful… 👻👻👻