Ah, the crisp autumn air. Pumpkin spice everything. Pulling out the flannel. And of course, everything creepy and scary. While it’s always fun to marathon classic and even cheesy horror movies, there’s an extra bit of magic in curling up with a good story that will make you afraid to sleep without the lights on.
Below, I have compiled recent books and comics that you may want to read to get you in the mood for Halloween. Or this could be a list of stories you avoid because horror isn’t your thing.
The Hunger by Alma Katsu
This novel mixes the true story of the Donner party which is already terrifying due to cannibalism and gives it a supernatural twist. A wagon party is traveling West and are plagued by misfortunes. But things get worse as members of their party start to disappear and only parts of them reappear…Will the group destroy themselves or is it something evil following them?
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin and everything is idyllic until the day a group of strangers with menacing weapons comes to their cabin and informs Wen that what happens next is not her fault. The strangers invade the cabin on the premise that Wen and her family can save them from the apocalypse right outside their door through sacrifice. Tension, paranoia and their survival instincts take over the family.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Mila Flores’ best friend and fellow Wicca practitioner, Riley, passes away under suspicious circumstances shortly after two other girls in her school do as well. So Mila decides to raise the girls from the dead since she knows there is a killer to catch and who better to catch their killer than the victims? Of course, raising the dead causes more problems than good.
Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman
Carol Evans suffers from a strange disease. She goes into comas that are indistinguishable from death. Only two people know of Carol’s secret condition. Her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her money and James Moxie, the love of her life and an infamous outlaw. When Carol falls into another coma, her husband decides to claim her as dead and bury her alive. James finds out that Carol has been declared dead and races to save Carol from an actual death. All the while, Carol tries to free herself from the darkness that binds her.
Obscura by Joe Hart
In the future, a new form of dementia is affecting people of all ages. The cause is unknown and the symptoms are more terrifying than devastating. Dr. Gillian Ryan has dedicated her career to finding a cure but once her daughter starts to show symptoms of the disease she realizes she must take her research to a new level. She accepts a research position with NASA and a team suffering from the disease. But soon space weakens her grip on reality and she starts to question the purpose of the mission and herself.
Gideon Falls written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino
The series tells the stories of a Catholic priest who is reassigned to a small rural town of eccentric characters and of a recluse whose life revolves around digging through the big city’s trash because he thinks he’s on to a conspiracy. While the stories sound completely different, they share the thread of an ominous black barn that is an urban legend in both towns.
Man-Eater written by Chelsea Cain and drawn by Kate Niemczyk
A mutation in Toxoplasmosis in menstruating women causes them to turn into ferocious killer wildcats. PMS-ing takes on a new meaning as these wildcats are easily provoked and very dangerous. Panic spreads and the fate of the world falls on the shoulders of a twelve-year-old girl. The comic is being described as part The Handmaid’s Tale and part Cat People.
Die written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Stephanie Hans
Six friends disappear one night in 1996 while playing a tabletop RPG (think Dungeons & Dragons). No one can find the teenagers and eventually give up the search. But two years later, all six teenagers suddenly reappear, miles from their home, traumatized and unable to tell people what happened to them. Fast forward to 2018 and the event still haunts them as adults and in unwilling to let the group go.
Stranger Things written by Jody Houser and drawn by Penciller: Stefano Martino Inker: Keith Champagne Colorist: Lauren Affe
The wildly popular story TV series is expanding into comics. This comic follows Will Byers as he navigates himself through the Upside Down, while also trying to escape the Demogorgon. While we know the outcome of Will’s story, we don’t know what he saw or how he was able to survive while Barb couldn’t.
Have fun reading and trying not to pee your pants in fear!
Feature Image via Penguin Random House