Halloween Reading

Want some good seasonal reading to get into the Halloween mood? Here are some of my top picks for October.

Usher's Passing by Robert McCammon
One of my absolute favorite novels, Usher's Passing tells the story of the Usher family, descendants of Poe's Ushers, as they prepare for the family patriarch's death. Sinister events begin occurring around the family's North Carolina estate, as the heirs to the family fortune (and curse) gather. McCammon's novel takes place in October and really captures the feel of the season.

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazney
A new favorite, A Night in the Lonesome October (illustrated by Gahan Wilson), is set in the Victorian era and features characters such as Jack the Ripper, Count Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, Larry Talbot, and Sherlock Holmes. The story is narrated by Jack's familiar, Snuff, a very good dog, who is helping his Master prepare to fight the attempted release of the Old Ones into our world.

Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton
This is a collection of stories set in the Halloween season. Favorite stories include the period piece, Witch's Hazel by Jeffrey Ford, the touching A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds by Eric J. Guignard, and John Langan's genuinely chilling Lost in the Dark. Also particularly enjoyable are With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfsbane Seeds by Seanan McGuire - which opens the collection on a strong note, the revenge tale, A Small Taste of the Old Country by Jonathan Maberry, The Seventeen-Year Itch by Garth Nix, and Nos Galan Gaef from Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville universe.

Finally, there's Ray Bradbury. So much of his work will get you in the mood for the season. Obviously his collection, The October Country, is perfect, as is The Halloween Tree.
From the Dust Returned is a collection of stories featuring the family from The October Country's Uncle Einar and Homecoming. I've found that a lot of people overlook From the Dust Returned, but it's one of my favorites.
Also, there's the classic, Something Wicked This Way Comes. I haven't read this in years, but it's spooky and sweet and easily one of Bradbury's best works.

If you're interested in some young adult books for the season, check out my recent post at my other blog, YA Horror, here.


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