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20 Great, Scary and Not So Predictable Books (also a cute DIY) for Halloween.

What are you going to do tonight? Are you going to a party or are you staying? I haven’t been feeling well lately, so I’m probably opting for a terrifying indoor night, with old scary movies (“M”), Halloween TV series episodes (that means a lot of Buffy, Fringe, and that brilliant, unmatched classic that is “Blink” from Doctor Who), popcorn, pumpkin candles and… books!

Since we are still going to start the evening with some friends (a brief happy hour before they go to a nightmarish dinner+party and we come home to our freaking evening), I prepared these super cute mini witch hats.

Creating them is easy and funny:print this file on a white paper, cut it and use it as a template to draw the shapes on a black paperweight paper. Cut, glue and decor them with what imagination suggests! I made a white bow, a dark feather and an orange flower for my hat, and three feathers and a dark bow for my handsome half (here the tutorials). At the end, just glue the hats to a hairpin, a bobby pin, a clip or a hairband.

Curling in a blanket together and reading scary stories will be also funny with them… Wait, aren’t you gonna read horror stories in the dark tonight? Too bad. Seriously, that’s too bad, because I have a spectacular list for you just after the image!

20 Great, Scary and Not So Predictable Books for Halloween

1. The turn of the Screw, H. James 

Half-seen figures who glare from old windows, playing a evil hide and seek with two innocent children. Day by day, night by night, the creatures come closer, haunting them, with growing horror of the helpless governess. What else do you need?

2. Dracula, Bram Stoker

Poor Jonathan Harker is being “hosted” in a Transylvanian castle by none other than Count Dracula. The standard for gothic horror, when vampires were charming but real villains, and the macabre plot were terrifying. An incredible classic.

3. Tales, E.A. Poe

Tales of Terror, of Mystery, The fall of the house of Usher… every Poe’s book will do. Murderers, premature burials, madness, haunted houses, terror, suspense, dark landscapes: one of the greatest figures in American literary history, but turn the lights on.

4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, R.L. Stevenson

The shocking story of a good man exploring his dark side. A classic horror tale, extremely well written. Good and evil in a scary short novel.

5. The midnight folk, J. Masefield

One of my favorite books when I was a child. Orphan Kay Harker lives in an old house with lots of portraits of his ancestors. One day, his great-grandpapa steps out of his portrait to take him in a creepy, terrifying and funny world of witches, talking cats and pirates that adults can’t see: things are different in the dark when you are a child.

6. The master and Margarita, M. Bulgakov

This is a real classic, not a horror story… But in this surreal, dark fairy tale we have a scary Satan in Moscow with talking black cats, writers, Pontius Pilate and… of course, Margarita. Fear (and humour) everywhere, so maybe this is the right night to read it, if you are looking for a masterpiece.

7. Rebecca, D. Du Maurier

A (not so) modern Jane Eyre marries the dashing and fabulously rich Maximilian de Winter. But once in his famous estate Manderley, she begins to recognize the large shadow of his dead wife, a lingering evil that threatens to destroy them from the grave. This gothic, thrilling book is also a great Hitchcock movie.

8. Sometimes they come back, S. King

Thing is, I can’t read Stephen King. I’m too scared. So you won’t find here It or other novels, because this is his only adult book I’ve ever read. I can still remember the terror of a child who had stolen the book from her brother’s library and is reading it under the bed because she knows that she shouldn’t read it, and really, reading it under the bed doesn’t help.

9. Something by H.P. Lovecraft

I still haven’t read anything by Mr. Lovecraft, but being he the master of classic gothic tales (and one of my fiancée favorites), I can only apologize and put him in the list, looking forward to the day we will meet.

10. Wuthering Heights, E. Bronte

Are you really prepared for this book or do you think it’s just a darker Jane Austen? Love? Yes, but a mad, haunting and demonic one. A cruel, obsessive and vengeful one, which doesn’t end with death and has no redemption, in the isolation of the windy moor. My goodness.

11. In cold blood, T. Capote

Everyone’s worst fear written in an impartial, intense reconstruction that creates both suspense and empathy: on November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered without apparent motive. Monsters are among us. They look like us. And are we really, really sure that we aren’t as much monsters as they are?

12. The rime of the ancient mariner, S.T. Coleridge

Supernatural in poetry. Timeless.

13. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, T. Burton

This was a gift and I haven’t read it yet. But we should always trust Tim Burton.

14. The Picture of Dorian Gray, O. Wilde

Eternal youth and corruption, where vanity leads to cruelty and sin, and monsters are beautiful outside. You don’t need me to explain Dorian Gray, do you?

15. The princess and the Goblin, G. MacDonald

I’m not sure I’m not partial here, but I read this book when I was very young, and the Goblin really scared me.

16. Pandora, A. Rice

From the author of Interview with the vampire, when vampires didn’t sparkle, you know. A classic of the genre.

17. Guilty Pleasures, L.K. Hamilton

When vampires didn’t sparkle #2, in case you need a contemporary novel.

18. Lois the Witch, E. Gaskell

Gaskell wrote gothic tales indeed, but I was more fascinated by her tragic, historical tale of the Salem witch hunt where witches didn’t exist. Set amongst the American hysterical trials and the Puritan beliefs of the 1600s, this story leaves you struggling with anger and pain.

19. Le più belle leggende del Trentino, G. Borzaga

I don’t think you will ever be able to read this book if you don’t know Italian (it is acually not so easy to find also here, anyway if you want to try, here you are), but every country has a nordic, cold district, where light goes out soon and shadows hide scary worlds. Trentino is an italian mountain region with an incredible mythology, full of creepy legends about cruel elves, ghosts, frightening witches and the devil itself.

20. J.K. Rowling

Is she or isn’t she going to give us a new Harry Potter’s short story today?

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