Lists, Reviews

A vintage modern guide to good horror: A top ten list

October is my favorite month of the year. I love pumpkins, crunchy leaves, and cooler weather. It is the last relaxing month before the holiday season kicks into full swing. For some unknown reason, perhaps Halloween or longer nights, October always seems like the perfect time of year to break out books that are a little (or a lot) on the scary side (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). This list has what I would consider a rather pleasant mix of gothic and horror novels. Why is it a vintage modern guide? Because I’m listing both vintage and modern titles, although there are certainly enough of each for there to be a vintage and a modern list.

In no particular order:

10. ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

9. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

8. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

7. Ghost Story by Peter Straub

6. The Missing by Sarah Langan

5. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

4. Horns by Joe Hill

3. Hell House by Richard Matheson

2. In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill

1. The Terror by Dan Simmons

What is the perfect October read? Anyone love this month as much as I do?

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  • Jessica

    I love October too – for all of those reasons you listed! My porch is currently overloaded with pumpkins! And it is just the right time of year for a nice spooky read. Your list made me feel very Halloween-ish just by reading it.

  • Gone Pecan

    I love October, too, and i haven’t read any of these, but they spund great! ~dixie

  • West Virginia Red (@wvredreads)

    I love your banner for this because October is one of my favorite seasons and may be the only reason I stay in a 4 season climate. 🙂 I love your list. Horns is in my queue and I had not yet heard about the book they did together so that needs to go on my TBR list. Thanks for stopping by my list.

    • Rory O’Connor

      It is a super short read. It was originally published over a couple of months in Esquire, Now it is available as an e-book. It is definitely a fun read around Halloween – there is something spooky about deserted rest stops (I think that every time I drive through Kansas).

  • Lucy

    Love the theme of your list! October is pretty great, especially the cooler weather and the Halloween decorations. I’ve seen Joe Hill’s books on several lists today so it sounds like I’m missing out. Heart-Shaped Box looks really good, and Salem’s Lot is an old favorite of mine. Can’t go wrong with Stephen King! Or his son, apparently 🙂
    I’ve only seen the movie of Let the Right One In (the original) and it is so scary, I bet the book is great too.
    Happy spooky reading!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Both Let the RIght One In movies are very good. It was one of the few times I could really get behind and American remake.

  • atoasttodragons

    Yeah, I’m fond of October, too. October and April. Looks like a great list.

  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    I thought you might fill your top ten with Mr King!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I really could’ve! But I like quite a few others as well, I did include 3 of Joe Hill (his son), so I’m keeping it in the family.

      • rubybastille

        Ha! I read the synopsis of Heart Shaped Box and thought “huh, that sounds like a Stephen King book.” Guess it runs in the family!

  • Amanda @ Letters Inside Out

    Great selection! I don’t think I’ve read Hell House yet, but it sounds familiar. Maybe a re-read is in order. 😉

  • softdrink

    Geez, everyone is pimping Joe Hill this month. I’m gonna succumb, I just know it.

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