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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Haunting reads for a dark and stormy night

    Haunting reads for a dark and stormy night

    If you somehow find yourself home alone with the power out on Halloween night, these are the perfect books to read by flickering candlelight and intermittent flashes of lightning. While none are exactly in the “”horror”” genre, all are spooky enough to leave you checking over your shoulder or, maybe, inside your own mind. That shadow across the page? You imagined it. Totally.

    “”The Things They Carried”” by Tim O’Brien

    One of the best Vietnam War novels available, this haunting book reads like a sadder “”Apocalypse Now,”” a more eloquent and readable “”Heart of Darkness”” set in southeast Asia. Based on the author’s own experience, this harrowing account of love, loss and regret will make you fear yourself, your choices and where your country might send you. An elegy in heartbreaking prose, this is a book that stays with you.

    “”The Turn of the Screw”” by Henry James

    It’s well-known in horror movies that nothing is creepier than freakishly smart children. This novella is the story of a nice narrator who goes to the country to care for some lovely little British children and eventually find out that it’s no coincidence the governess position was open.

    This will make you think twice about babysitting for those angelic blond children that seem just a little too smart for their own good. The young Miles is one of the most sinister characters this side of Harry Potter’s Tom Riddle. “”The Turn of the Screw”” is a gothic novel in every way.

     

    “”Wuthering Heights”” by Emily Bronte and “”Jane Eyre”” by Charlotte Bronte

    Don’t be fooled by the “”Edward and Bella’s Favorite Book!!!!”” stickers on the new editions of these classics; these books are not romances. Sure, there’s some love and some dark, handsome men, but there is also lots of betrayal, trickery and oh yeah, some arson by a crazy wife that the dashing Rochester has had locked in the attic for years. These Victorian novels err on the side of the grotesque in setting and plot. Plus, is there anything spookier than a dark, misty moor at midnight?

    “”Different Seasons”” by Stephen King

    This short story collection isn’t one of King’s horror books, and it’s all the better for it. It includes the stories that inspired the films “”Stand By Me”” and “”Shawshank Redemption,”” as well as stories about friendship, betrayal and crazy Nazi neighbors. King leaves out the menacing clowns and dogs in this work and plays to where fear really affects us: the mind and the emotions.

    “”The Yellow Wallpaper”” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

    This short story is one of the most humanistic and relatable account of mental illness ever written, made more impressive by the fact that it was written by a woman in 1892.

    The story gives a woman’s account of her progressing delusion and the terrible way her husband deals with it. Read closely; this account will leave you questioning the difference between your perception and reality, as well as fearing the limitations of society and, maybe, husbands.

    “”The Demon in the Freezer”” by Richard Preston

    If you are paranoid about disease now, you will be a flat-out agoraphobe after you read this terrifying non-fiction book about the history and science of smallpox. Forget being scared of wolves and mental hospitals after this — you’ll be left terrified of the possibility of mass epidemics and biological warfare. It’s an enjoyable and thrilling read, but the facts and the stories here are true, and they are scary.

    Other haunting books:

    “”The Poisonwood Bible””

    by Barbara Kingsolver

    “”Lord of the Flies””

    by William Golding

    “”A Million Little Pieces””

    by James Frey

    “”The Sparrow””

    by Mary Doria Russell

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