So the furniture market got in the way of my posting last week. I was so busy I didn't even notice that my reviews of spooky books didn't post. Since today is Halloween, it's the perfect day to finish up my list of the best horror books with a triple threat of fear. Don't plan to sleep tonight.
You can't reference the horror genre without talking about Stephen King and Peter Straub. This was actually one of the first books I read that gave me nightmares, and it still spooks me today.
First published in 1979, the story does have a few references that date it, but Ghost Story will pull you in with its twisty tale.
Milburn, NY, seems like a sleepy little town; the kind of place where people play bridge, where kids still walk home from school, and where a group of elderly friends meet to relive memories in their Chowder Club.
This idyllic setting hides darker truths, and a spook (literally) has returned to reveal them. Gregory Bate haunts the town, and the Chowder Club, offering retribution and revenge. As the winter sets in, there is more than a chill in the air as evil takes over. (1979 - Pocket Books)
Moving from fantasy to reality, Helter Skelter proves that nightmares can come true. Written by the prosecutor who originally tried the Manson Family, the book has become a classic in the true crime category.
Familiar to so many today, it's a tale that is still impossible to comprehend. Charles Manson, an outcast and a loner, creates his own "family" by manipulating young and disenfranchised runaways in the '60s. Using a lethal mix of drugs and psychology, Manson convinces his followers that an apocalyptic class and race war is about to begin, it just needs a catalyst. He meticulously plans a mass murder, but asks his family to carry it out. The rest is, of course, infamous. But Bugliosi does his best to explain what is really unexplainable, offering in-depth interviews and an insider look at the investigation and bizarre trials. (1970 - Bantam Doubleday)
A 100-year novel still has the the ability to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. In fact, this book scared me so badly when I first read it that I slept with the sheets around my neck until I was in college (okay, maybe for a little longer after).
This was not the first story about vampires, but it is the book that defined the idea of the vampire for a solid century after its publication.
Originally penned with the title The Dead Un-Dead, Dracula tells its story through a series of letters and diary entries, detailing the story of a young lawyer who travels to a remote castle to provide advice to a Count Dracula. Jonathan Harker finds himself a prisoner of the count, and begins to suspect that evil deeds are being done. When Harker finally escapes back to England, he finds that Dracula has followed him and is targeting Harker's fiance Mina and her lovely young friend Lucy. (new edition - 2011 - Platinum Editions)