Do you prefer to read a spooky book during Halloween, or watch a scary movie instead?
As much as I love a good scary film, television show, or even just a light hearted spooky show to watch in the month of Halloween. There is something super special about reading a horror novel in the month of Halloween.
As I’ve mentioned in many blogs before this, I love Halloween, and all things Fall and Autumn. This can be challenging here in Australia, as we are right smack bang in the middle of Spring. And although October does present us with some overcast days of rain, thunderstorms to envy and plenty of cool changes as the weather decides whether it wants to remind cool or go warm, most of the days unfortunately are hot hot hot.
I’m reminded of a hilarious TikTok video I watched several years ago. It was in America, and a woman created a small video of what it’s like to celebrate Halloween, Fall and Autumn living in a state in America that is similar to Australian spring weather. Too hot to celebrate anything remotely Autumn or Halloween at all.
It started with her waking up in bed, getting excited for the first day of Autumn, or rather Fall for Americans. Making herself a hot chocolate and hanging out some cute Fall decorations. Then she would rug up in a cute jumper with a scarf and beanie and open her front door to step outside into the cold air. Only to be met with people walking past in shorts and t-shirts, and a hot steamy belt of warm air hitting in her in the face. Everything is green and nourished, no Fall colours and nothing Halloween at all.
She quickly slammed the door, turned on the aircon to the lowest setting ever, and then settled into her sofa, all rugged up to enjoy her version of Fall and Halloween indoors instead. I wish I could find the video so I could share with you here – it was the best.
This is exactly how it is in Australia. Halloween is hard to celebrate when the weather is warm, the flowers are out, the animals are excited to feel warm again, and everything is so lush and green.
So, with all that said, that doesn’t mean I can’t try and harness a little bit of Autumn here and channel my inner spooky vibes for Halloween. Especially as the nights are still fairly cool here, so it’s was to snuggle up with a good book (or movie) and enjoy the moment at least until we kick off into the month of November. Where by then, there is no more cool weather at all. Sigh!
No matter where you live, what type of climate you are in or how much you celebrate Halloween. There are ways you can set the right scene at home, for a good night in, with a good book, for a great spooky read.
- Create a good nook somewhere, where you can settle in and get cosy. If you live somewhere hot and have a fan or aircon, you might want to turn it on so you can set yourself up for a little bit of Autumn/Fall vibes.
- I find a good blanket, a comfy pillow (or two or three), a side table to house my hot chocolate, tea or coffee (and maybe a biscuit or two) and if there’s a window, make sure you can close the blinds to create a little ambience.
- Set up some candles to really set the scene for your little time out reading a spooky novel. But make sure you have decent light to read in, or your eyes will hate you. Even a nice table lamp beside you can create the right amount of light for reading, and then set up some candles around you as well for extra ambience.
- If you do have the air con and you’re able to get comfy with your cute little Autumn/Fall gear, like a scarf, blanket, or perhaps motive type jumper, then go ahead and do this. If you are operating off a fan to keep cool. This might not work. Oh and if you have a fan going, you might want to think about no candles either. Unless they are in a glass votive where the flame won’t budge.
- Make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate to enjoy. And whilst you’re at it, make yourself a treat to enjoy as well. You deserve it once in a while. You can et healthy later LOL.
Now you can sit back and relax and enjoy your spooky novel. Of course, this little scene set up works if you want to get comfy to watch a good scary movie or tv show too.
Now you need to find the right book. Before I give you some of my book recommendations, here are some tips on how to find the perfect book:
- Make sure your story has a good isolated setting. A lonely house, an empty train the main character might be travelling, an office block where someone is working late, or an old castle. A good spooky novel will always have a very isolated setting.
- Is your main character travelling alone? Are they separated from others? Or perhaps it’s a group of people isolated from everyone, like camping in the woods. Suspense always comes when people have been cut off from others.
- Is there a town rumour or a ghost story linked to the book? This creates a great foundation for a spooky read. It could be an old town where there is a spooky house just outside of the main centre, where everyone talks about how haunted it is.
- Things like bad weather, thunderstorms, unexplained events will also contribute to a great spooky and scary read. This could be strange lights always seen over a castle, or perhaps your story takes place on a train, where there is a terrible story outside and the train has to stop in the middle of nowhere. All of these great scenes great the foundations of a good scary read.
Depending how spooky or scary you like your read, there are so many great books to read for the month of halloween. They can range from suspenseful murders, to spooky ghost stories, or horror stories of evil people doing evil deeds. It’s always a personal thing when it comes to deciding what to read. Some like the horror of real stories, or fictional ones adapted from true stories. Other like talked of the supernatural, from ghosts to vampires.
Me, I like to keep things true to the spookiness of Halloween, so ghosts are my things. Or rather anything supernatural. So yes, werewolves and vampires are okay too. Maybe even zombies, if the story is right that is.
Check out my four recommendations below:
A spooky apocalyptic zombie novel, with a variety of twists and turns and unpredictable outcomes. With an ending to surprise any veteran reader, this novel is incredible well written and one of my favourite in the genre.
It follows a girl called Zoe as she treks across the country trying to escape evil people, zombies, whilst taking with her a very dark secret that could hold the key to why the world is the way it is.
Nothing is more spooky than a scary story which takes place in the 17th century. Where your only light comes from the day and a candle at night. Where great old mansion hold ghosts from the past and stories of old. There are no mobile phones and a strange town holds a very dark secret.
Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral Mrs Alice Drablow, the house’s sole inhabitant, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows and deep within the surrounding marshes of the landscape.
Where the old meets the new. This novel has many varying subject from which stem from the life of the house, from it’s creation into modern times. Filled with the ghosts of the house, which are tormented and stuck at the house, unable to leave. 2 kids must work with their new nanny to try and stop the continued suffering of many ghosts, one in particular who continues to kill anything it’s in way.
Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House- Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past.
This novel was actually written by a descendent of Bram Stoker himself, Dacre Stoker. He teamed up with well-known writer Ian Holt to continue the story of Dracula years after his apparent defeat by the two lead characters, Jonathan and Mina and is based on their son, Quincy.
The story begins in 1912, twenty-five years after the events described in the original novel. Dr. Jack Seward, now a disgraced morphine addict, hunts vampires across Europe with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school to pursue a career in stage at London’s famous Lyceum Theatre.
Quincey soon discovers that the play features his parents and their former friends as characters, and seems to reveal much about the terrible secrets he’s always suspected them of harbouring. But, before he can confront them, Jonathan Harker is found murdered.