Hi! This is Vicky, from the Roaring Bookworm, and I’m super excited to bring to you my first-ever Hallowe’en collab about the amazing books you should be reading to bring a bit of that Autumn chill into your life (sound appealing? Thought so!).
With Hallowe’en on the horizon, is the perfect time to break open the spooky stories, and while this book isn’t the newest, it’s also one of the most interesting and disturbing I’ve read, ever. For people who want some spook-tastic inspiration, this is definitely for you…
The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter
It’s everything you need from any Hallowe’en read. Need any convincing? It’s got fairy stories. It’s got dark twists on fairy stories. It’s got death, baroque descriptions, vampires… come on!
This nifty little collection of stories is more than thirty years old, but in a very real sense, it’s never been more relevant. It’s all about celebrating women, wherein many stories they traditionally play the victims, or the object of men’s affections (not to get too meta or #MeToo about this!).
Seriously, though, it’s great. The stories span everything from the legend of Snow White, to Red Riding Hood taking all the power and seducing the wolf (!). It’s like Once Upon a Time, gone absolutely mad, and the stuff that Carter drags up from the depths of her imagination is really interesting. One of my favourites is the one set in a dusty castle in Romania, where a vampire woman attempts to seduce a soldier on his way to the trenches in the First World War… which doesn’t quite go to plan.
The description is gorgeous and ornate, the stories are beautiful, often quite disturbing, and picking through them is really like reading the works of Edgar Allen Poe, given a female twist for the modern age. Maybe mixed with Daphne Du Maurier. It’s quirky and unusual, and probably quite unlike anything else you’ll read this year, even decades on. For Hallowe’en, this perfect! Best enjoyed with a glass of red wine/ hot chocolate and a roaring fire.
I’m in total agreement with Vicky and am definitely of the opinion that Autumn is the perfect time to crack open those horror books! The most recent one that I’ve read, and therefore would recommend, is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.
Title: The Woman in Black
Author: Susan Hill
Publisher: Vintage, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Genre: Fiction, Horror
Blurb: Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black – and her terrible purpose.
You can read my full recommendation of this book over on Vicky’s blog, but if you’re in the mood for a classic ghost story, then this is definitely a book for you!
Have you read either of these books before? What did you think? 👻
Leave us some of your favourite spooky/Halloween reads below!