Bleeding through the Pages


Jumping into the Halloween spirit, many students spend the spooky season watching horror movies and TV shows, but many sleep on novels. Reading horror stories may require more effort than watching a movie, but a great novel contains the suspense and gory details that a movie will lack. Especially as limited trick-or-treaters make their rounds this year, tonight is the perfect time to cozy up with a frightening book for a good scare. 

One critically acclaimed horror novel, “The Long Walk,” written by legendary horror novelist, Stephen King, goes down in history as a favorite King adventure. As a dystopian horror story and part of King’s collection of the “Bachman books,” “The Long Walk” follows the idea of a grueling walking contest where teenage boys held at gunpoint are forced to travel along the East Coast without any breaks to win a prize at the end if they survive. This contest is held by the militarist dictator that rules over America. The horror elements of this supreme dictator loom above readers’ heads as it is written as if it could be a possible future of America, making the story scarier and more threatening.

This isn’t a book about killer clowns or haunted hotels. This book [“The Long Walk”] is in-your-face and physical, while simultaneously never losing that dreamy, philosophic quality of existential fiction,” Kay Rekindling, book reviewer, said. 

Looking for another creepy story? It is 1972 in the remote northern area of Ontario. The old mining town is quiet as two former residents move back in. One is searching for refuge, and the other is looking for answers after his father’s murder. The town,  built on top of the caves of Bradley Lake, holds many terrifying secrets. One can find all this and more in the novel “Enter, Night” by Michael Rowe, a winner of the Lambda Literary Award known for his fear-inducing stories. 

Enter, Night was spooky, thrilling and detailed, avoiding common horror novel tropes with its plot, characters and scenarios that make it stand out from any other book,” Rebecca McNutt, book reviewer, said. 

If readers are searching for a goosebumps-style giving novel, “Penpal” is the perfect book. Written by self-published author, Dathan Auerbach, and based on a popular Creepypasta story that he originally posted on Reddit, the story follows the narrator, who in kindergarten participated in a penpal experiment. Going months without hearing anything back, the narrator was soon sent polaroid pictures featuring him and his mother. Instead of gaining a penpal, the narrator gains an obsessive stalker, causing a series of kidnapping and murders to occur around him. 

“Great read, a very sad and terrifying story. Unlike a lot of works of horror that focus endlessly on bloodshed and pointless murder, this one takes on a more classical perspective of character development…knowing that they will never be safe,” John Jilwin, book reviewer, said.

Another great novel to check out is the traditional horror novel “Heart-Shaped box”. Written by Joe Hill, this novel centers around an unordinary man named Judas Coyne, who dedicates his retirement to collecting morbid objects. The story kicks off when he purchases a dead man’s funeral suit, which arrives in a heart-shaped box. Before the purchase, Judas is told the man’s spirit is said to be connected to the suit. This starts causing problems for Judas when he learns the man’s spirit is out to get him. Due to this, the spirit starts killing the people around Judas. 

“Heart-Shaped Box is a tale of revenge from beyond the grave. Craddock was a suitably creepy antagonist. The powerlessness that Judas felt for a good portion of the story made the story that much more effective,” Dan Schwent, book reviewer, said. 

Cuddling in a blanket in the dark with a small reading light is something a movie cannot match. Though the films and TV shows are typically considered more popular, a good thriller/horror novel cannot be replaced.