Halloween is over, but we’re heading into the season of dark and cold, so why not curl up with a book? The kind that spreads delicious chills down your spine while you drink something hot and think you’re safe. The first one I’d recommend is a classic:
Dracula, by Bram Stoker
It’s called a classic for a very good reason. It builds quietly, pulling us into a different time and place until we’re caught in its net. And there are no sparkles here.
The next two came highly recommended, although I haven’t read them yet.
A Book of Horrors, by Stephen Jones (Editor) Format: Kindle Edition
From Amazon: A collection of original horror and dark fantasy from the world’s best writers, including Stephen King and John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Harbor, by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Suspenseful and chilling. I’m easily scared but I might still read this one—during the daytime.
And finally, something for the younger set, although I think it’s good for adults too:
Great Ghost Stories of the Old West, Edited by Betty Baker
Who says ghosts only reside in houses? These tales are alternating scary, hauntingly beautiful, and mournful. What’s not to like?
I asked a few friends to list their favorite Halloween movies. This is a mixed bag and some of the choices surprised me, but that’s part of the fun. Since I haven’t seen them, all descriptions are from IMDB.
The new owner of a sinister house gets involved with reanimated corpses and demons searching for an ancient Aztec skull with magic powers.
A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill.
A young couple trying for a baby move into a fancy apartment surrounded by peculiar neighbors.
(Seriously creepy, folks, you’ve been warned.)
Homicide detective John Hobbes witnesses the execution of serial killer Edgar Reese. Soon after the execution the killings start again, and they are very similar to Reese’s style.
(Make no mistake, this is supernatural and dark.)
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
Two employees of a secluded hotel investigate a murder on the premises in which the goofy bellboy is the prime suspect.
And finally, my choice for the unexpected, a B movie that’s so bad, it’s fun. The first time I watched it at a Halloween party, we had a good time afterward dissecting it.
A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants.
(I saw this under the American name of Horror Hotel, but The City of the Dead is the title under IMDB. Go figure.)
What are your suggestions?
I’m not a big fan of serious horror films. It’s too hard to turn off the lights at night after I’ve watched, so I gave up (the exception is Bela Lugosi in Dracula and the version with Louis Jourdan).
But I love what I call spooky-funny films that may or may not actually involve the supernatural. Here’s my list:
It’s difficult to be proactive in these strange and trying times. I find that to-do lists help keep me focused. At the same time, it’s easy to write such a long list of chores that nothing gets done and then it’s time for bed.
I don’t put things on my list that are automatically done (like feed my sweet cat, Frankie), but it’s fine to write those down if it helps you focus. It can also be satisfying to check something off the list with little effort. Here are my guidelines:
I’m getting ready to take an online class and I’m both excited and nervous. It’s out of my comfort zone and we’ll see if I stick with it. Not going to mention what it is in case I don’t follow through. But I’ve got my spiral notebooks and pens ready.
I hope everyone has something to keep their minds occupied. That will help us make it through these strange times.
UPDATE: The college screwed up and never processed me properly so I’m getting a refund. Sighhhh. I was really looking forward to that class.