Tales of Terror-October 2020

The Handmaid’s Tale / by Margaret Atwood

A look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.


The House with a Clock in Its Walls / by John Bellairs

A boy goes to live with his magician uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in the walls which is ticking off the minutes until doomsday.

The Exorcist / by William Peter Blatty

In D.C. to shoot a film, adored film star Chris MacNeil finds her stay turning into a nightmare when her young daughter, Regan, is possessed by the devil and must endure a brutal exorcism.

World War Z / by Max Brooks

An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.

The Girl with All the Gifts / by M. R. Carey

A little girl who is detained by the military, restrained in a wheelchair, and goes to school while heavily guarded doesn’t truly understand why she is special until it is up to her to save the world.

Through The Woods / by Emily Carroll

Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red.”

The Troop / by Nick Cutter

Leading a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a traditional weekend camping trip, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs encounters a disturbing, voraciously hungry intruder in the woods who infects the troop with a bioengineered disease.

Rebecca / by Daphne du Maurier

A classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious and enigmatic new husband and learning the story of the house’s first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted.

Lunar Park / by Bret Easton Ellis

Becoming a best-selling novelist and wealthy celebrity while still in college, only to have his fame disintegrate in a sea of booze and drugs, the narrator gets a new chance at life, but his new life unravels after a series of grotesque murders.

The Collector / by John Fowles

A butterfly collector buys a country home where he keeps captive his new specimen–a beautiful young art student.

Coraline / by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

When Coraline steps through the locked door in her family’s new flat, she finds a world which caters to her every whim. When she wants to leave, however, things rapidly change and she must fight a battle of good and evil to save herself.

Sandman / by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III and Sam Kieth

Neil Gaiman’s chronicle of Death’s little brother Dream isn’t strictly horror (he is more a mopey Goth, annoying and still somehow compelling), but our judges agreed that vast swaths of his realm, the Dreaming, are pretty horrific. And then there is the 1989 story “24 Hours,” about a villain who steals an artifact from Dream and uses it to trap a group of people in an all-night diner and torture them — forcing them to confess their sickest secrets, worship him as a god and ultimately kill each other in gruesomely beastly ways.

NOS4A2 / by Joe Hill

When Charles Talent Manx, an unstoppable monster who transforms children into his own terrifying likeness, kidnaps her son, Victoria McQueen, the only person to ever escape his unmitigated evil, must engage in a life-and-death battle of wills to get her son back.

The Haunting Of Hill House / by Shirley Jackson

When four seekers arrive at a notorious old mansion, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.

‘The Lottery’ / by Shirley Jackson

A seemingly ordinary village participates in a yearly lottery to determine a sacrificial victim.

The Turn of the Screw / by Henry James
On a cold Christmas Eve night, guests at a holiday party share stories of phantoms and ghosts of Christmases past. Yet one guest delivers a tale of sheer fright: after losing both parents, a young boy and girl move into a large wooded estate to be held under the care of their uncle. Wanting nothing to do with raising the children, the uncle hires a young governess to attend to their care. The governess then witnesses the transformation of the two children into sinister beings who wreak unspoken horror and psychological terror.

The Hunger / by Alma Katsu

A supernatural reimagining of the Donner Party story follows a group of wagon-train pioneers who navigate sanity-testing misfortunes, including the mysterious death of a little boy and a series of disappearances that cause a beautiful member of the group to be accused of witchcraft.

The Shining / by Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing.  But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote… and more sinister. The only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Intensity / by Dean R. Koontz

The sole survivor of a homicidal sociopath’s latest killing spree, Chyna Shepherd unwittingly discovers the identity of the murderer’s intended next victim and confronts her own troubled past and overwhelming fear to protect herself and the life of a complete stranger from the ultimate evil.

Rosemary’s Baby / by Ira Levin

The basis of the 1968 Oscar-winning film, a tale of the demonic follows a young couple who move into a Manhattan apartment and are haunted by their eccentric elderly neighbors.

Her Body and Other Parties / by Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

Bird Box / by Josh Malerman

In an apocalyptic near-future world, a mother and her two small children must make their way down a river, blindfolded. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them–but is it man, animal, or monster?

I Am Legend / by Richard Matheson

A lone human survivor in a world that is overrun by vampires, Robert Neville leads a desperate life in which he must barricade himself in his home every night and hunt down the starving undead by day.

Swan Song / by Robert McCammon

In a nightmarish, post-holocaust world, an ancient evil roams a devastated America, gathering the forces of human greed and madness, searching for a child named Swan who possesses the gift of life.

American Gothic Tales / edited by Joyce Carol Oates

A collection of more than forty tales of horror and suspense begins with such nineteenth-century writers as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne and includes the works of Flannery O’Connor, Stephen King, Anne Rice, William Faulkner, E. B. White, and others.

‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’ / by Joyce Carol Oates

A collection of stories written in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Edge of the World,” “At the Seminary,” “Four Summers,” “By the River,” and the title story.

White Is For Witching / by Helen Oyeyemi

Suffering an acute form of pica throughout her youth that is exacerbated by her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Miranda helps to run the family bed-and-breakfast while witnessing her community’s hostilities toward outsiders, a malice that erupts in violent and destructive ways.

The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings / by Edgar Allan Poe

A selection of Poe’s poetry and sixteen of his best-known tales, including “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.”

Interview with the Vampire / by Anne Rice

A vampire recounts his tragic two-century life, marked by an endless thirst for human blood.

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark / by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell

Tapped from the oral traditions of American folklore, these ghost stories and tales of weird happenings, witches, and graveyards have startling, funny, or surprising endings.

Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus / by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of creating life and fashions an eight-foot monster, only to bring danger and destruction to the lives of those he loves.

The Terror / by Dan Simmons

Captain Crozier must find a way for his crew to survive the deadly attacks of a mysterious and insatiable sea monster that is stalking the men trapped in the Arctic ice, in a novel loosely based on the mid-nineteenth-century Arctic expedition originally led by Sir John Franklin.

The Ruins / by Scott Smith

In Cancún, Mexico, for a peaceful vacation, a group of tourists sets off in search of one of their group who disappeared during an excursion to some nearby Mayan ruins, only to come face to face with an insidious evil that threatens their lives.

Dracula / by Bram Stoker

Having deduced the double identity of Count Dracula, a wealthy Transylvanian nobleman, a small group of people vow to rid the world of the evil vampire.