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Spooky season is the perfect time to grab a cup of tea, find the softest blanket you own, and curl up with a good book. Due to reasons beyond our control, many of us are forced to stay indoors, making it harder to get outside and explore. The seasons are changing, the weather is getting colder, and quarantine is still in effect, putting a damper on many people’s moods. If you are feeling the effects of seasonal changes and quarantine, books can help lift your spirits. Books provide us with another method of exploration through the pages of a good story. Literature is a great outlet of expression, whether you are writing or reading, and can take you to another world. For those interested in reading a good horror novel this spooky season, you have come to the right place. Here is a list of five books to read this spooky season.  

Disclaimer: Some of these books are not for the faint of heart.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is a staple of gothic literature and the perfect story to read this spooky season. Mary Shelley began writing this novel at the early age of 18, with the first edition being published when she was 20 years old (this definitely makes me rethink my career decisions in the past 20 years). The novel illustrates the story of Dr. Frankenstein and the horrid monster he creates in the name of science. The story follows the narratives of a sea captain whom Dr. Frankenstein meets, Dr. Frankenstein himself, and the hideous monster. The book is filled with fear, betrayal, revenge, and murder. This literary classic is a must-read for this spooky season.

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

The Heretic’s Daughter is a haunting portrait of Puritan, New England during the infamous witch trials. Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, one of the first women to be accused, tried, and hung for witchcraft. This story follows Martha Carrier’s fight for her life, as told through the eyes of her daughter, Sarah. The book depicts the mass hysteria that took place in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials, as highlights the mother and daughter relationship. This historical fiction novel is not only an enjoyable read, but it also provides a great historical anecdote.

Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Uzumaki is a series of horror manga for anyone looking for a real fright. Originally published in a weekly manga magazine, this hit series was compiled into a three-bound volume and translated into English and other languages. The story follows a teenage girl and her boyfriend, as well as the citizens of a Japanese town called Kurouzu-Cho. The town is cursed by paranormal events involving spirals, which causes the citizens to become obsessed and paranoid about the supernatural shapes. This dark fantasy story is filled with horror, insanity, the supernatural, and death. This book is highly recommended for those who love a good scare, although I do recommend NOT reading it at night.

The Ruins by Scott Smith

The Ruins is a survival horror novel set in the modern-day Yucatan Peninsula, specifically in the Mexican region. This novel tells the story of eight tourists and the supernatural events that take place. Having lost his brother the day before, one of the tourists attempts to retrace his steps with the help of his new friends. The group is led to a remote Mayan village, one described by the locals as “no good” (which should’ve been a hint to cut their losses and hitch a ride back home). The group ultimately finds themselves trapped on a large hill covered in intricate vines. These vines are not what one might think, and the group is forced to fight for their lives. This terrifying story is one of survival, supernatural, horror, and death. For those who love a survival horror story, this book is excellent for you.

The Complete Tales And Poems Of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

The Complete Tales And Poems Of Edgar Allan Poe is a book for anyone interested in spooky short stories and poems. Poe is arguably the “King Of Horror,” having perfected the short story and psychological horror genre. This book collects all of Poe’s innovative and revolutionary pieces into a single volume. It includes famous horror stories like “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and so much more. Poe’s stories are filled with psychological horror, death, and torture. This book is great for anyone looking to read a spooky short story or poem written by the legendary author Edgar Allen Poe.

If you are interested in finding these spooky stories, there is an abundance of online resources you can use. Buying e-books and used books are the best way to purchase literature in a safe and environmentally friendly way without breaking the bank. Buying used books and e-books are often less expensive than buying brand new. Many books can also be accessed through your phone or tablet, giving you immediate access. There are also tons of websites with free access to books, although these can be limited. For those looking to enjoy a soft or hard-copy, there are many websites to purchase used books. These websites are a great way to get a physical book while staying environmentally friendly. Whichever method you choose, buying books can be simple and easy. Here are some resources you can use to find your favorite books:

Those looking for online used bookstores: 

Better World Books 


Those looking for free e-books:

Project Gutenberg 

The Online Books Page

Those looking to purchase e-books:

Book Bub

Amazon Kindle Books

Alexa Ziler

Rutgers '22

Alexa Ziler is a Junior at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She is pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in education and English. Alexa hopes to one day become an elementary school teacher and is applying for her masters at the Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about reading poetry and the classics, as well as writing her own stories.
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