Spooky Classic Recommendations

Halloween season is finally here and it’s time for some spooky reads!  Several weeks ago we wrote about the benefits of reading classics, along with some good places to start.  This week we have some classic recommendations that are great for Halloween.  See if you can find time to give one of these a try!

  1. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Lereox – Most people are fairly familiar with this story of the deformed man whose obsession with a young opera singer turns to kidnap and murder.  However, the musical, while certainly creepy, doesn’t fully explore the depth and darkness of the Phantom or the mysterious story itself.  Usually around 300 -400 pages, this is a middle length novel that will definitely give you the creeps.
  2. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – This short novella follows the experiments of Dr. Jekyll in studying the human psyche through the eyes of close friend.  Watching Dr. Jekyll’s seeming shift into a madness that is unexplained until the very end is riveting and chilling.
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – For those who prefer to avoid the darker stories, but still prefer a bit of a gloomy atmosphere, this book is for you.  In this story we follow the doomed love between two anti-heroes, Heathcliff and Catherine.  Dark, passionate, with possible spectral sightings, this book will definitely create the eerie atmosphere you want during this Halloween season.
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – Written by Emily’s sister, Jane Eyre is a well-loved love story between a young governess and her employer.  Similar to the previous recommendation, this story is much lighter and happier, but still includes various gothic elements to provide a dark atmosphere for the holiday.
  5. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – If you have time and the attention span, this over 600-page book follows the mysterious case of the Woman in White, through the perspectives of a variety of characters.  Madness, mistaken identity, and hints at murder are all explored in this grippingly haunting story.
  6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Want something a little more unique?  This book follows a young man who realizes that his youth and beauty will not remain when he sees a portrait of himself.  He then wishes that he could swap places with the portrait, him remaining immortally young and beautiful while the image in the painting would eventually wither and die.  Does he get his wish? Find out in this short but incredible novel.
  7. Dracula by Bram Stoker – This is a well-known story or the most famous vampire of all time.  A group of men from variety of backgrounds must come together to destroy this blood-sucking monster.  It’s dark and full of vampires.  What could be better at this time of year?
  8. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu – The less well-known inspiration for the previous recommendation, Carmilla follows the story of a young woman who finds herself a new roommate, the gorgeous and sensual Carmilla.  Although it is much shorter that Dracula, many consider it to be a much better vampire story.  Coming in at only about 100 pages, this may be well worth a read this season.
  9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Another much loved classic, Frankenstein follows a young scientist by the name of Victor Frankenstein as he experiments with the generation of life.  The combination of gothic elements with the great moral question of what makes someone a monster makes this work a true masterpiece.
  10. Really anything by Shirley Jackson – One of the most recent writers on this list, Shirley Jackson wrote several great works of horror fiction, including many short stories.  Some of her most well-known works include The Haunting of Hill House, which was recently turned into a Netflix series, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a story following a small family of possible murderers.  Definitely the types of stories to cause your hair to stand on end, Shirley Jackson wrote books that are perfect for spooky season.