Halloween has come and gone, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still the season for all things spooky. Perhaps it’s the chilly nights, or perhaps it’s the recent spate of “killer” clowns terrorising the streets of the UK. Either way, my fingernails are still adorned with cobwebs (nail varnish, not real ones) and I don’t plan to put my Edgar Allan Poe back on the bookshelf just yet.
The evenings are getting darker, the air is tinged with woodsmoke, and, if you’re anything like me, now is the perfect time to take a look through these spine-tingling (get it?) spooky things for book lovers…
Make like the Victorians and keep telling ghost stories around the fire (or centrally-heated radiator) until Christmas. Ghost stories were a yuletide staple in the 19th century, and, if you’re interested, you can find out why here…
…or if you’d prefer, you can skip the rumination and dive straight into your own seasonal scare-fest with one of these tomes or one of these authorly favourites. As for me, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas is my favourite festive mash-up and something I definitely plan to watch between now and Christmas Eve.
The dark web
If you’re on the lookout for something spooky but a little different, how about an online story told in the form of email correspondence? The Dionaea House is a short horror tale by screenwriter Eric Heisserer (known for such gems as Final Destination 5 and The Conjuring 2). I have yet to read it (yes, I’m scared and it’s far too dark as I write this) but have heard very positive things about it and the premise reminds me of a much-mentioned favourite of mine, House of Leaves.
Perhaps you’re very organised and want to plan next year’s Halloween costume now. Or perhaps you are inclined towards a literary theme for an upcoming fancy dress party. If so, take a look through these inspired ideas.
Shops and shocks
Etsy is full of weird and wonderful objects that you never knew you wanted and probably really don’t have a use for. The website contains plenty of delights for fright-loving readers, from Dracula-themed prints to Poe-esque bookmarks via Stephen King-themed horror candles. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t have a need for a Stephen King-themed horror candle?
Finally, are you looking for something to do during these long evenings? Are you feeling inspired by the above and want to try penning your own ghostly tale (and just maybe winning £500 in the process)? Found out more about The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition 2017 and have a read through some previous contest winners.
As for me, I will be back in a few weeks’ time with an update on my character-based self-editing. First though, I’m off to watch some comedy in an attempt to cleanse my mind of the horrific delights I have spent the last few hours browsing for this blog post.