(This is actually the end). I have had such a journey writing this post for you! I started with the idea that I would think outside the box and avoid all the obvious authors/novels only to realise that the post I really wanted to write was a historical romp through the Horror/Supernatural genre. Now I know that many of you will disagree with my choices and rage at my omissions as well as question my genres and I don’t disagree that there are many, many more authors who I could have referenced or that sometimes the genres are mixed-up but I have written this nevertheless and I hope you enjoy your travels!
We shall start with one of the most enduring, thought-provoking, ground-breaking novels of all time Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Composed as part of a challenge between Byron and Shelley to conjure up the most terrifying ghost story, ‘Frankenstein’ narrates the chilling tale of a being created by a bright young scientist and the catastrophic consequences that ensue.
This volume constitutes a must-have for fans of the macabre, and would make for a fantastic addition to any collection. Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was an American author, editor, poet, and critic.
Most famous for his stories of mystery and horror, he was one of the first American short story writers, and is widely considered to be the inventor of the detective fiction genre. Many antiquarian books such as this are becoming increasingly rare and expensive.
Is it a love story, a tale of revenge, a ghost story, a family drama, a horror story or simply one of the greatest novels ever written? Who can say, I know that this one breaks your heart and leaves you feeling sad FOREVER after… I suppose if you are only ever going to write one novel then it might as well be this one! I am, of course, talking about Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff – the gypsy boy her father brought home – have been inseparable since childhood. But as Catherine grows up and becomes a lady, she spurns Heathcliff for the wealthy and genteel Edgar Linton. She never stops loving him, however – with a passion that not even death can diminish.
Where to next? Well, I am hoping you have guessed as it is a BIG one but just in case you haven’t read it or you need reminding that a re-read is due… In case you were wondering whether I really like this book then the answer is YES I really do, even if, as I have mentioned in the past, it makes me sad and I wish it had a different ending. One of my favourite love stories.
First published in 1897, “Dracula” is a Gothic horror novel written by seminal Irish writer Bram Stoker. Jonathan Harker is a newly-qualified solicitor from England who travels to the Carpathian Mountains on the border of Transylvania, Bukovina, and Moldavia to oversee the sale of a castle. The current owner of the property is one Count Dracula, whom Harker initially perceives as gracious and welcoming, but whom he soon realises has diabolical plans of a preternatural nature. Abraham “Bram” Stoker (1847 – 1912) was an Irish author most famous for writing this novel, as well as the influence it has had upon the horror and vampire genre in print and film. Other notable works by this author include: “Miss Betty” (1898), “The Mystery of the Sea” (1902), and “The Jewel of Seven Stars” (1903).
This classic of horror fiction is not to be missed by lovers of the genre and constitutes a must-read of anyone with an interest in vampires and vampire fiction. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive.
Moving on in time we have a writer who I think of as like marmite! Not everyone’s cup of tea but generally if you’re a fan, you’re a cultist!!!
‘At the Mountains of Madness’ is a crucial work in Lovecraft’s ‘Cthulhu Mythos’, the author’s first interpretation of his occult paroxysms in science fiction terms, dating dark entities back to the primordial aeons of Earth’s existence.
Next up we have a writer who if you haven’t read any of her offerings, I can’t recommend enough – Daphne Du Maurier, I’m choosing Rebecca but an honourable mention for The Birds must be given as well.
Du Maurier’s famous tale of suspense, mystery and love concerns Maxim de Winter’s shy new bride and the house she is to inhabit, but that still reverberates to the haunting presence of his previous wife’s influence.
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 assistant; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
When looking at publishing dates, the next one surprised me, I have to say, I always thought it was written in the 70s or 80s and I think I like it even more now that I know it was actually the 1950s… This really (really) is one of the greatest novels and I think everyone should read it.
By day, Robert Neville, the last living human being, hunts the sleeping undead vampires. By night he barricades himself in and prays he’ll survive. How long can it be before he joins the undead too?
Moving on now to a writer who I must admit I have struggled to decide upon a single title for this post as there are so many to choose from. I am going with Carrie but my colleague thinks I should choose IT as surely scary clowns are the very definition of ‘spooky’. Yes, the King has arrived and the literary landscape is changed forever!
Carrie has the gift of telekinesis. To be invited to prom night by Tommy is a dream – the first step to social acceptance. But events take a turn on that night as Carrie is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her.
My next choice is one that I have debated whether to include the whole way through, I thought of it immediately when I knew I was going to write this post and think that it fits the bill perfectly. However, I do not think it sits with all my other choices, if that makes sense – they are the more obvious candidates and I wondered whether to recommend this title, I needed to write a spin-off post where it would not seem so alone! I discussed with my trusty colleague who I know has read and enjoyed this recently and she agreed it deserved a place so here it is. I know the suspense is now unbearable!
The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris (eBook)
FBI trainee Clarice Starling has an elusive serial killer to hunt.
Only one man can help.
Psychopathic cannibal Hannibal Lecter…
The serial killer nicknamed ‘Buffalo Bill’ has been capturing and starving women, then murdering and skinning them. FBI rookie Clarice Starling is assigned to solicit help from imprisoned psychopath Dr Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lecter, whose insight into the depraved minds of serial killers is second to none.
But in exchange for inviting her into the darkest chambers of his mind, Hannibal begins to probe at hers, demanding knowledge of her childhood demons as the price of understanding Buffalo Bill’s.
Clarice knows how dangerous this man is, and the terrible things he can do with this information. But women are still disappearing, and time is running out…
Titles/authors that I omitted and feel guilty for doing so, include MR James, The Exorcist, Henry James, Clive Barker, James Herbert and more!!!
I am always happy to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment or find us on social media for some #BookChat.