Even though fall has clearly gotten lost on its way to Colorado (hello record breaking temperatures, please go back to summer), it is still my favorite season of the year. To quote Anne, I am so happy I live in a world where there are Octobers. Despite it seemingly being in contrast to my aesthetic – pretty dresses, pretty prints, pretty shoes, with a bit of flannel (works great, according to no one other than myself, not that I’ve asked) – I love ALL the horror. Blood, parasites, vicious child-eating clowns, haunted houses, evil lurking behind the small town facades, I want it all, although maybe not all at once.
With that, here are twelve of my favorites that are delightful during any point in the year, but are particularly charming when read in October. I think streets filled with rustling leaves give it that little bit of something extra.
12. IT by Stephen King. Because a list like this needs to begin (and end) with Stephen King.
11. Phantoms by Dean Koontz. 90% of this book is excellent. The end is just…odd.
10. Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. A perfect blend of Stand by Me meets ‘Salem’s Lot.
09. The Troop by Nick Cutter. Delightfully gross. Check your gag reflex before reading.
08. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. A classic ghost story that takes its title from a Nirvana song. What more could you ask for?
07. American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett. A clearly negligent omission from my Lynchian list, this (long) novel of what lurks beneath a small town is well worth your time.
06. The Missing by Sarah Langan. Intelligent, vengeful zombies! (Yes, horror purists, they’re still very hungry.)
05. Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist. A cursed island, a missing little girl, and madness…maybe.
04. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. If there’s any part of you that still believes in the good of humanity, this book will kill it. Slowly. Naturally it’s based on a true story.
03. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. A husband wants to be successful so he agrees to force his wife to have the devil’s baby.
02. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. For the literary snob in you.
01. Pet Sematary by Stephen King. Sometimes dead is better.
So what does October mean to you? Pumpkin spice lattes*? The return of boot season?
(*Fun fact: while I’ve physically been inside of a Starbucks, I’ve never ordered anything, so I’ve not yet experienced the delight of a PSL. Is it worth it?)