Welcome to the little corner of our library where we keep all of our favorite reads. It’s here you will find the books that carry the Dreadful Tales stamp of approval – a label we bestow upon some of our favorite dark/horror fiction and non-fiction titles.
Now, keep in mind that these are OUR favorites. You may have your own choices and we encourage you to share your favorites with us in the comments. In fact, it’s that kind of action that will get you noticed, and help your fellow genre fiction fiends find the stories that they may come to cherish.
Take a look around. See if you can find anything you like. Our library is open all day long, come rain or shine. Just make sure to close the door on your way out. Wouldn’t want any of these beasties making their way out into the world…
Halloween is upon us, and what better time to sit in a comfy chair, grab your favorite glass of spirits, and lay into a scary story. Every day is halloween for us, if you’re talking about reading scary books, so we thought we’d throw you a curve ball. And while we know that there are a million stories in the horror publishing world with this theme, we thought we’d let you know which ones are the ones we approve of 100%.
So without further ado, we bring you – Dreadfully Approved: Halloween Stories.
Norman Partridge blasts the reader with an exciting 1st person narrative with Dark Harvest, never allowing them a moment to breathe, and always keeping them on the edge of their seat. With non-stop action, a terrifying premise, and a darkness that is absolutely palpable, Dark Harvest has got to be one of the best reads to check out on this, All Hallow’s Eve.
We always try to sneak a little Laymon into our big features, and this one isn’t going to be any different. Well, except that this one is for the kiddos. The Halloween Mouse takes a full step away from Laymon’s usual fare, and plants itself inside a wonderfully old-time library, and in the world of a bibliophilic mouse. His adventures on Halloween is something that will definitely keep the kids attention, and if that doesn’t, the artwork will. Alan M. Clark paints a beautiful scene to go along with Laymon’s amazing words, making reading The Halloween Mouse a tradition is our household, as it should be in yours.
Gord Rollo’s balls-to-the-wall foray into 80s slasher fare is a phenomenal read for Halloween. Why? Well, with all of the standard nuances of your favorite stalk and slash movies, but in print, Valley of The Scarecrow will definitely suppliment your need for the screen and deliver the scares straight into your brain the old fashioned way. It would be a sin not to make this book into a film, as it’s one of Rollo’s most cinematic pieces to date. Complete with a killer scarecrow, sexually charged scenarios, and enough jump scares than you can shake a stick at, we at Dreadful Tales fully endorse Valley Of The Scarecrow as a phenomenal Halloween read.
Uh oh… Laymon’s at it again. This time coming at the reader with not only his signature style of brooding, yet action packed horror, but also with one of the darkest pieces he ever wrote. As I mentioned above with Dark Harvest, the darkness in this novel is palpable. There are moments when our main character is walking the streets, navigating a safe way to do some wrongness, and you can’t help but feel that you’re in the shadows with them. Laymon never fails to deliver the goods, and Night In The Lonesome October is no exception to that rule. Fully approved.
You cannot have a list of books that deal with Halloween without mentioning Bradbury’s seminal classic, The Halloween Tree. A coming-of-age story involving a group of friends in search of the spirit of Halloween, The Halloween Tree wanders back and forth from awe inspiring prose to full our terrifying without missing a beat. This book is utterly essential for anyone’s halloween collection. In fact, Colum and Pat have made a tradition of reading this one to their little ones, hoping to stoke the fire for their own love of the fantastique. This is essential reading, folks – Halloween or not.
If ever there was a book that was so perfect, so dead on with its subject matter that nothing could ever top it, it’s October Dreams. Edited by the amazing Richard Chizmar and released by Cemetery Dance, this collection of short stories not only reeks of Halloween spirit and terror, but it also includes select remembrances by some of the authors, of their favorite childhood Halloween memories. Our absolute favorite here is the last entry in the collection – Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub – a genuinely haunting story that speaks volumes in terms of darkness, wonder, and fear. If you weren’t a fan of Straub before, this one story will make you a fan for life. Colum reads Pork Pie Hat (a novella) at least once a year. And that’s saying a lot, since he doesn’t like to re-read things often.
As we said above, we know there are a metric shit-ton of books out there that focus on Halloween, but these ones are our favorite. There will be many more to come, so check back next year when we bring you a whole slew of wicked reads for the halloween season. Why don’t you let us know what yours are in the comments while we wait?
From your friendly neighborhood spooks at Dreadful Tales, we’d like to wish you a happy, safe, and absolutely terrifying Halloween!
That October Dreams anthology is fantastic. I read a couple stories from it every Halloween.