Classic spooky stories for Halloween

21 October 2016

By The Window Seat

Our pick of the best scary books to read this Halloween, from classic ghost stories to fiendish mysteries. These classic tales have all the ghosts, vampires and monsters you need for a truly terrifying October 31st. 
 

Dracula

Dracula

Bram Stoker

Sensual, dark and thrilling, Bram Stoker's Gothic masterpiece still surpasses any film or TV versions of this peerless tale of a desperate battle against a powerful, ancient vampire.

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Frankenstein

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley's dark parable of science misused, would go on to influence countless writers and film-makers. Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant but wayward scientist, builds a human from dead flesh and then, horrified at what he has done, abandons his creation

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Edgar Allan Poe

Some of the most exciting and haunting stories ever written, including ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and 'The Fall of the House of Usher', can be found in this collection of Poe's work. These Gothic tales range from the poetic to the mysterious to the darkly comic.

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Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Charles Dickens

Throughout his illustrious writing career, Charles Dickens often turned his hand to fashioning short pieces of ghostly fiction, chilling stories of coincidence, insanity and revenge. While all his supernatural tales aim to send a shiver down the spine, they are not without the usual traits of Dickens' flamboyant style: his subtle wit, biting irony, humorous incidents and moral observations

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and other stories

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and other stories

Robert Louis Stevenson

A masterpiece of Victorian literature. Why has Dr Jekyll begun to associate with the ugly and violent Mr Hyde? When Jekyll's friend Utterson tries to solve this mystery he uncovers a horrific story of murder and suffering which leads to the terrible revelation of Mr Hyde's true identity.

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The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

Gaston Leroux

Perhaps best known for its many stage and screen adaptations, Gaston Leroux's brilliant and disturbing novel surpasses them all. Strange things are going on at the Paris Opera House; a mysterious phantom is wreaking havoc amongst the singers and backstage staff. But when new managers take over and dismiss the rumours of the Opera Ghost, the terror really begins. 

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Classic Locked Room Mysteries

Classic Locked Room Mysteries

Edited by David Stuart Davies

This new anthology of gripping ‘locked room’ stories – they’re just as much about how dunnit as who dunnit – includes tales from many great mystery writers, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allen Poe. Perfect for anyone who prefers a clever crime to a scary story.

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Still undecided? We sat down with Frances Hardinge, author of The Lie Tree, to get her Halloween recommendations.





A Skinful of Shadows

A Skinful of Shadows

Frances Hardinge's newest book, Skinful of Shadows is also out now in Hardback, and as an Ebook and Audiobook.

When a creature dies, its spirit can go looking for somewhere to hide. 

Some people have space inside them, perfect for hiding.

Makepeace, a courageous girl with a mysterious past, defends herself nightly from the ghosts which try to possess her. Then a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard for a moment.

And now there's a ghost inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, but it may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. As the English Civil War erupts, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.

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