Readers' All Hallows Reads

What book would you give to someone to scare them on Halloween? You tell us your All Hallows’ Reads

Yesterday, we asked our Twitter followers and Facebook friends what frightening read they would give to someone else to celebrate Halloween, a fabulous idea dreamt up by Neil Gaiman, whose recent novel The Graveyard Book was picked by several of those who wrote back with the hashtag #allhallowsreads. And thank you to him for retweeting our request.

People picked a large variety of books, from children’s to adult, classic and modern. The famously taphophobic (fear of being buried alive) Edgar Allan Poe still rules the roost as far as the classics choices goes, though Dracula is also a favourite, while that modern master of the spooky Stephen King is still scaring people silly with stories like It and Pet Semetary.

I would add to this list John Wyndham’s classic The Midwich Cuckoos – in which the inhabitants of a small English village all fall unconscious for a day, before they start giving birth to sinister children – and almost anything by Shirley Jackson, whose own psychological issues gave a very disturbing slant on small-town American life, a slant later mined by Stephen King to great effect.

So as the dark draws in and four-foot tall monsters in plastic masks roam the streets over the next few days, search out one of these books and give it as your All Hallows’ Read.

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs. Snotty sustenance!

For ages 4 to 8: Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott. Clever, kind, spooky fun for a kid you love.

I’d start with the The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. Some of the best written YA lit these days.

What is the scariest book ever? My creator says Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. Dog Grooming for Dummies is a book that terrifies me.

Mine would be It by Stephen King! Scared the crap out of me anyway!

Pet Semetery or It – Mr King at his most terrifying!

‘Prom Night’ by Libba Bray, from the collection Zombies Vs. Unicorns.

The Bottle Imp by Robert Louis Stevenson – a story that made simple math into the frightening foe!

David Wellington’s Monster series. Such a great version of the zombie genre.

My favorite story from when I was a kid was The Thief Of Always by Clive Barker. Had to repurchase it four times.         

I love Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire and would definitely recommend it.

Shhh! by Sally Grindley and Peter Utton, scarily brilliant for 4-7-year-olds.

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is actually pretty spooky.

I'd say Stephen King's Night Shift. Perfect shivery ghost stories for late October!

I was given a copy of Sparks and Shadows by Lucy Snyder for All Hallows’ Reads this year! I would give Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore.

Definitely would give Edgar Allan Poe stories!

The Juniper Tree by the Brothers Grimm. That is a beautiful and messed up fairy tale that not many know about.

Bram Stoker's Dracula.

For last year's All Hallows’ Reads I gave Richard Matheson’s I am Legend. Can't think of an improvement for this year, actually...

I would say Alan Moore’s From Hell! An amazing work and one of the best graphic novels I have in my collection.

For adults: I Am Legend. For kids 9+: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. For kids under 9: Scooby Doo books, any title.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James or anything my Edgar Allan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum in particular).

The Ash Tree by M.R. James still scares the bewotsits out of me.

James Robertson's The Testament of Gideon Mack for a spooky devilish encounter.

James Herbert's Others, featuring hell, deformity, evil science, redemption, reincarnation.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Dracula. Edgar Allen Poe tales bound in leather.

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding – haven’t read it in ages but was spooky!

Horns by Joe Hill, probably the best horror offering in recent memory.

Beyond Midnight by S.R. Dixon.

Definitely either Simon R. Green's Nightside series or Seanan McGuire's Toby Daye books – both terrifying and awesome!

The Graveyard Book. fantastic story. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is a great short story too.

The Pan Book of Horror Stories – those are a step in the right direction...

Stephen King's It. I still avoid storm drains!

Necroscope by Brian Lumley or Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard.

Horns and Locke and Key by Joe Hill. But I wouldn't call either ‘scary’.

Obviously Poe's The Cask of Amontillado.

A Haven of Shades by Helen Young.

The Whisperer in Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft.

The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse. That scared me proper...

Florence and Giles by John Harding definitely needs to be an All Hallows’ Reads.

Sights by Kaaron Warren, anything by Joe Hill and Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.

HAVE to be The Haunted by Niki Valentine and The People Next Door by Christopher Ransom.

John Landis’ Monsters in the Movies. Not a scary story per se but full of monsters.

Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and ‘The Lady of the House of Love’... deliciously creepy. And Sarah Waters The Little Stranger, naturally.

Really enjoying our book group choice Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, spooky and atmospheric: perfect for our Halloween meeting.

I don't read many horrors aside from old school gothics. For adults: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (more eerie) and The Graveyard Book for younger.

Has to be John Lindqvist's Let the Right One In – scary beyond belief.

A classic like Poe’s ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Jonathan Thompson
Justin Cronin's The Passage.