Tag Archives: horror

Happy Friday the 13th

And also, only 7 weeks til Halloween!

Is it ever too early to start thinking about Halloween? Personally, I love Halloween and all the various representations of the horror genre. Here are some books and movies that I hope will get you, too, into the Halloween spirit!

Let’s start with the movie Gremlins! Just because this film takes place around the festive season doesn’t mean it’s all holly jolly. It’s a great 1984 classic that begins with a father buying his son a pet for Christmas. The reluctant shop keepers sells the father a “Mogwai,” but this pet comes with 3 very important rules that must be followed… or else.

Next is one of my favorite horror movies, The Cabin in the Woods. It starts like a typical horror movie: 5 friends going to a cabin that someone’s cousin just bought but no one has seen yet. But then the door to the basement blows open and the friends can’t resist looking at all the creepy artifacts unknowingly confirming their demise. All the while a group of technicians are placing bets, watching and manipulating the horrors as they unfold. The friends must come together if they have any hope of survival and escape from the cabin in the woods.

Now for some books; let’s start with Stephen King’s IT. A group of 7 friends begin their summer seeing strange and terrifying things. A group of 7 adults get a phone call asking them to come back home as promised. There’s an evil that wakes up every few decades as children go missing at an alarming rate, but none of the adults seem to notice. How can a group of 7 friends fight such an evil being?

Next is a YA pick: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys is a book of short stories by a variety of authors like Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Leigh Bardugo (the Shadow and Bone Trilogy), and Kendare Blake (the Anna Dressed in Blood series) and so many other amazing authors. There are tales of horror, thrillers, supernatural creatures, and some that almost seem like reality.

The Haunted Mask 2 is by R.L. Stine. Steve decides he needs a new terrifying mask for Halloween and goes to the same shop his friend Carly went to earlier and almost had her face permanently changed. This year Steve found a mask that is even scarier than Carly’s, but what happens when he can’t get the mask off??

Last up is a graphic novel called Ice Cream Man by W. Maxwell Prince. It’s the first instalment of a series filled with a variety of short stories that are all connected by the Ice Cream Man. Wherever he goes delivering ice cream, sorrow, wonder and terror follow. Each story follows a character dealing with their own struggles and no matter what, the Ice Cream Man isn’t far behind. But who or what is the Ice Cream Man? Is he a God? A demon of some sort? Is he really your friendly neighbourhood ice cream man with a colorful musical truck?

All the best of terrors!

Jordan

And the Award Went To…

Book Awards. There are many, many awards given out for books, and whenever a book has been newly honoured with an award, or was recently nominated, this book often has lots of holds on it. So if you come to the library and find that the newly minted Governor General Award winning books aren’t available, have no fear, our lovely library staff members can place a hold on the book for you, and while you wait, why not take a look at some past award winners that may very well be available right away?

Governor General Literary Awards – Fiction:

sistersbrothers Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (2011 Winner)

Contract killers and brothers Charlie and Eli Sisters set out from Oregon City to their mark’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento in this darkly comic novel by Canadian-born novelist Patrick deWitt. Though Charlie enjoys his whiskey and being a killer, Eli does not and on this long road he starts to question what he does for a living and dream about a different life. Set during the Old West the novel is filled with interesting characters and humour, perfect if you like reading Western novels with a bit of quirkiness thrown in. 

Bram Stoker Award (Horror):

silence The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988 Winner)

This classic by Harris was not his first novel to include the infamous Hannibal Lecter, the first was Red Dragon which came out a few years prior. Though Lecter was only in that novel for a very brief time (much less than the movie version) his character certainly made a lasting impression. His follow-up to that novel features a strong female protagonist, Clarice Starling, as an FBI trainee, and of course the excellent character, Dr. Hannibal Lecter as they work together (“quid pro quo Clarice”) to find the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. This is a fantastically taut and fast-paced thriller that will have you breaking out in goose-bumps whenever Lecter is featured on the page (of course that may just be me as whenever I read any dialogue by Lecter I just imagined Anthony Hopkins’ reading the lines). Perfectly sinister!

Lambda Literary Awards (the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender books):

six Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor (2012 Lesbian General Fiction Winner)

Twenty years ago Ismail Boxwala mistakenly forgot his baby daughter in the back seat of his car and ever since then he has been racked by that grief. After a divorce and heavy drinking he has been alone and isolated for years until chance would have it that he befriends two women. One, Fatima is a queer activist who was kicked out of her parents’ home and the other is his neighbour Celia who is also grieving. All three find strength and safety together to help heal old wounds in Doctor’s second novel.  

Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction:

nightwatch Nightwatching by Méira Cook (2016 Winner)

In the Orange Free State of South Africa, Ruthie Blackburn feels like an outsider, everyone is at odds around her and she is constantly in conflict with her maid Miriam who is raising Ruthie due to her widowed father being more absent every day. She runs around during the dull days of summer until two guests arrive from the big city. This arrival, and one weekend, will alter the course of her adolescence and lead to a devastating tragedy. A beautifully written novel from local author and poet Méira Cook.  

Hugo Award (Science Fiction):

sandman The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by J.H. Williams III (2016 Best Graphic Story)

A prequel to the Sandman series of graphic novels by the fantastic Neil Gaiman, this collection of stories follows Dream/Morpheus/The Sandman (and his many other names) as he embarks on a journey in an attempt to fix what he had previously tried to repair (and failed). In his travels he meets some of his siblings, Destiny, Delirium, Desire and Despair as well as his father Time. Gaiman is a master at building fantastical worlds and interesting characters, and the art by J.H. Williams III gorgeously captures Gaiman’s world. Start with this graphic novel and you’ll want to continue reading more adventures with The Sandman.

RITA Award (Romance Fiction):

repressed Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton (2017 Romantic Suspense)

The first in a series of novels featuring adoptive siblings with troubled backgrounds, this book follows high school teacher Samantha Parker who, eighteen years ago witnessed her brother’s murder, and newcomer Dr. Ethan McClane a child psychologist, who turns out is not a newcomer to the town after all. When working together to help a troubled student, attraction grows between the two, but when new facts come to light of an incident long ago the newly formed bond will be tested and danger will be found just around the corner.

Don’t see a book listed here that peaks your interest? You can search other award-winners in our catalogue by clicking “Award Winners” and choosing an award in the categories listed.  

Happy Reading!

-Aileen

Our Watch Has Ended… Now What?

The end of an era of fantastic television that gave rise to epic one-liners, shocking deaths, and a series finale that a few of you may not have enjoyed so much, has finally come to pass. Not to worry though, no spoilers here for those of you who haven’t seen or heard what happens at the end of Game of Thrones (kudos to you, that is a feat in and of itself!). After watching the finale, I, as I’m sure many of you were, thinking “Now what?” Naturally, HBO answered that question by including previews of some pretty amazing new shows that were coming to the network, His Dark Materials series, Westworld season 3 (though that isn’t until 2020), and Watchmen. All these amazing trailers had me questioning whether to cancel my subscription now that Game of Thrones was over. I realize that there are still some great TV series out there, and with great TV series there are of course great books that many are based on. Here are just a few promising starts to series airing this year that may just help with your GOT withdrawal (you can of course still read the books if you haven’t already. If you have, you may need something to tide you over until George R.R. Martin releases the final two in the series.

His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman’s immensely popular trilogy did already have a film version of the first novel, but it didn’t do well at the box office. Now, HBO and BBC are presenting a series of all three novels which looks very promising. Dafne Keen (of Logan fame) plays Lyra, with a fantastic extended cast featuring James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The trailer previewed some excellent visuals and with time to truly flesh out the fantastical world that Pullman created, I have my fingers crossed that the series will do his work justice. For those unfamiliar with this book series, it follows Lyra, niece of famed adventurer Lord Asriel as she embarks on her own adventure to save her friend Will who is kidnapped by a group known as “the gobblers”. Through the series she discovers aspects of herself, her past and her world that will forever change her life.

Watchmen

Based on the award-winning graphic novel by Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons that was written during the 1980’s and was lauded as the first grown-up comic, this TV series certainly looks intriguing. Whether you’re a fan of the Zack Snyder film or not, a series could certainly have the potential of delving into the world that Moore created in the comic. Set during an alternate history where “superheroes” have emerged and the United States has won the Vietnam War, the year 1985 has the world edging towards World War III and the superheroes who were discovered are either in retirement or working for the government. A government-sponsored superhero is murdered and those retired re-emerge.  

Good Omens

Based upon the off-beat and comedic novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and the late Sir Terry Pratchett, this TV series, also written by Gaiman looks like a sure hit. And with the Tenth Doctor in it, aka David Tennant, I’m definitely in! The novel follows the angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley, two unlikely friends who take a liking to humanity as they attempt to thwart the apocalypse. Sound crazy and fun enough for you? 

The Twilight Zone

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

Rod Serling

This introduction has become pop culture legend. I remember the intro from sneak-watching some episodes when I was younger, and then from going on the Tower of Terror just a few times at Disney World, and I get chills each time I hear it, coupled by the fantastic intro music of course. You may remember watching these shows as re-runs on late-night television and many of the shocking twists I’m certain stayed with you. Comedian, screenwriter and director Jordan Peele has revitalized this series with some new episodes that reflect the issues and topics of our time (I’ve watched many of them, and they are quite good!). The library does have all five seasons of the original series for your viewing pleasure, but if you’d like a book similar to The Twilight Zone, the following are my suggestions: Duel: Terror Stories by Richard Matheson (this compilation contains some stories which inspired episodes of The Twilight Zone), Body by Asa Nonami and The Best of Richard Matheson by Richard Matheson.  

NOS4A2

This series (pronounced Nosferatu) is based on a novel by bestselling author Joe Hill, whose father, yes, is Stephen King, but who has written some incredible books in his own right. The book and TV series follow Victoria “Vic” McQueen who possesses an ability of finding things that are lost, as she attempts to thwart seemingly immortal child abductor Charles Manx who takes the children to a place called “Christmasland”. When she was younger Vic was the only kid to ever escape Manx, now older she must risk everything to save her son from being taken. The book itself is certainly very creepy, and the TV series looks unsettling as well, with Zachary Quinto as Charles Manx, it is sure to be one frightening ride.

This is of course just a taste of exciting new TV series coming out, are there any in particular you’re looking forward to watching? Comment below!

Happy Reading (and watching!)

-Aileen

Hair-raising Podcasts

This year I made an amazing discovery. I tried my first podcast, which, naturally, was Winnipeg Public Library’s Time to Read. Through this discovery I realized what all the excitement and fuss about podcasts was about. I can now say that I am a faithful listener to the Time to Read podcast, though I haven’t always read the books discussed, as the easy banter between hosts is excellent and I always learn a few new things every time I listen. After realizing how amazing podcasts are I decided to further explore this sensation that has been around for a while (and which people have been talking about for years, I know, I’m a bit slow on the uptake). As I have mentioned many times before in my blog posts, I am a lover of horror novels and certain horror movies, some are too scary for me to watch, as my sister can attest,* books are okay though. I get goose-bumps, I sometimes am disgusted, but usually, usually, I’m okay sleeping with the lights off after devouring a horror novel. Yet I digress. So I am a fan of horror novels, I bus to work every day, and I am unfortunately prone to car sickness if I attempt to read on a moving vehicle. My solution? Audiobooks or, handy, dandy podcast episodes which are just like audiobooks and offer often short, quick hits that help pass the time on my commute to work. Both are easy enough to download to your phone, MP3 player (I think those still exist?) or iPod and listen to offline throughout the day. The library offers a wonderful selection of eAudiobooks through Overdrive and RBDigital, simply download the app and you can listen to them offline, and best of all, no late fees!

So, for this blog post I will showcase a few horror/thriller podcasts that might be of interest as well as offer some further reading recommendations should you really enjoy these podcasts. And, if you have not done so already, check out our Time to Read podcast, you can even see our wonderful librarians host a live recording at the Goodwill Social Club on Tuesday, March 26 from 7:30-9:00PM where they will be discussing favourite childhood books! (adults only)

Lore

lore This podcast features real-life scary stories taken from the history books. For all the history buffs out there or true crime fans, this would be an excellent podcast for you, if you like a little bit of unease or creepiness alongside those genres. In the creator’s own words: “Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.” If that doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will. One of the episodes I listened to discussed the “re-animation” of a corpse, and naturally mentioned Mary Shelley, her husband Percy, and how his study of re-animating a body with electricity brought about her idea for Frankenstein. With this podcast there is no need to listen to the episodes in order, each is a stand-alone. Want more Lore? Creator Aaron Mahnke has written a book, Wicked Mortals which includes illustrations and further information of some of the creatures and people discussed in the podcast.

Alice Isn’t Dead

alice This podcast thriller/mystery story follows a trucker who is searching for her partner, Alice, whom she is certain is not dead (hence the title!). Through strange towns, meeting serial killers and witnessing devastating events where Alice seems to always show up, we follow her on her search for answers. This podcast has an excellent voice actor, some great sound effects that truly bring you into the story and fills you with suspense. Unlike the others on this list, this podcast must be listened to in order to follow the development of the story and to help unravel some of the mysteries. This podcast is part of Night Vale Presents, which also produces another podcast series on this list. Alice Isn’t Dead is also available as a book, which is described as a complete re-imagining of the podcast, and written by creator Joseph Fink.

Nightmare Magazine

kelley These podcasts are fictional short stories written by a variety of writers, including some well-known authors such as Carrie Vaughn, Christopher Golden, Clive Barker, Jonathan Maberry and Kelley Armstrong. With such an A-List of authors as well as some fantastic up-and-comers, many of these episodes are top-notch, some of course may be better than others, or more your cup of tea than others, if that’s the case, simply skip to the next episode as each is a stand-alone. With a variety of narrators you will be sure to find a story that will give you the chills and make your heart race. If you like the stories from this podcast, as many are by well-known authors, simply search our catalogue for further books in their repertoire, we have plenty to keep you reading long into the night.

Welcome to Night Vale

night vale This excellently written and acted podcast takes place in a radio broadcast centre in, you guessed it, a small town called Night Vale. Though characters do reappear in different episodes, it is not required to listen to them in a particular order and, if you’re not enjoying a story, simply skip to the next one. Let me allow the creators to describe this podcast in their own words: “[Welcome to Night Vale] is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures and unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide.” Want to read more Night Vale and delve deeper into the mysteries? Creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have published a couple books about the legends discussed in their podcast titled It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel.

Knifepoint Horror

This podcast doesn’t have as many stories as some of the others mentioned here, only a few are released every year, but the stories themselves are truly frightening and bone-chilling. Each episode is narrated by a single person, explaining the event from their point-of-view to offer a creepy first-hand account of a range of different supernatural stories. The stories here are top-notch horror and range in length from just a few minutes to over an hour, which makes for a perfect listening experience on your commute, you can time it to end perfectly! If you’re a fan of The Twilight Zone many of these stories follow similar tropes.

Happy Listening!

-Aileen

 * As a bit of an anecdote, when the first Insidious movie came out in theatres my sister mentioned that she thought it was funny, so I went to watch it with her. It was NOT funny, and I proceeded to sleep with the lights on for many nights afterwards and shied away from even watching trailers of the sequels. What are older sisters for if not to terrify their younger siblings? ;)

Spooky Scary Comic Books

 

If you love reading something scary around Halloween, Winnipeg Public Library has a great variety of horror-themed graphic novels to check out.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

This isn’t  Sabrina the Teenage Witch you remember from the comics (except for taking place in the ‘60s, which was when the original Sabrina comics started) or the fun ‘90s TV show. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is the creator of the hit TV show Riverdale as well as the Sabrina show based on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which will be coming out this month.  While Sabrina lives with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (who are very cavalier about their taste for human flesh) she doesn’t know a lot about her tragic family history.  The plot thickens as a mysterious figure known as Madam Satan, disguised as the drama teacher, comes to town and starts to stir up trouble for everyone.   Definitely not for the squeamish!

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn

Harrow County is a limited series which just wrapped up this year. which just wrapped up this year. A farm girl named Emmy learns on her 18th birthday the life she thought she was living is a lie.  Her father is not really her father and she has strange and mysterious powers.  Finding out her identity is only the beginning of the story.  One of the most fascinating characters is the “haint” she befriends.  He’s the skin of a boy who she often brings in her bag with her, though his skinless body often goes and gathers information for her.  The art is entirely done in watercolour and is often beautiful and horrifying.  The American TV network Syfy has picked it up to be developed into a show.

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror: Dead Man’s Jest (multiple authors)

Even after The Simpsons went past its prime long ago, the Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes were often still the best part of a season. I always end up watching a few of those classic episodes every October.  The writers add all sorts of supernatural and weird elements to the stories since they weren’t part of the ongoing canon.  Dead Man’s Jest has many spooky stories, some written by celebrities like Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie.  Some particular standout stories are “Two Tickets to Heck!” and “The Legend of Batterface”.

Penny Dreadful (based on the TV series created by John Logan)

Penny Dreadful was a was a very dark TV show that starred multiple figures from classic literature such as Frankenstein and Dorian Grey. The figure at the heart of the show, however, was the complicated and flawed woman Vanessa Ives.  This graphic novel is a prequel of the show, which goes into the history of Vanessa’s failed mission of trying to save her doomed friend Mina Harker from the clutches of Dracula.  A scary story but I would recommend watching the television show first (all DVDs are available through the library) before reading the graphic novel as there is a lot that the reader is assumed to know already.

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman

This was originally published as a short story by Neil Gaiman, then turned into a graphic novel with the help of Michael Zulli and Todd Klein. The story seems almost semi-autobiographical—the main character sounds very similar to Neil Gaiman himself and the artistic depiction looks like him as well.  However the story itself has some mysterious supernatural elements that leave you wanting more.  The Gaiman character and his friends take a rather grumpy and tiresome acquaintance named Miss Finch for a night on the town to a strange circus which seems to appear rather cheesy and laughable.  Things take an unexpected and exciting sharp turn when a performer asks them which one of them “will gain all that you desire, in the cabinet of wishes fulfilled”.  Great for fans of Gaiman as well as first time readers.

Madeleine

 

It’s Alive!

It is a famous line most commonly associated with Frankenstein. This line, however, never actually appears in Mary Shelley’s ground-breaking novel. It does appear in the 1931 film version of the novel and has been associated with the story of Frankenstein ever since. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and with National Frankenstein Day fast approaching (it’s October 26th FYI) I thought it would be appropriate to showcase books exploring the impact Shelley’s novel has had on horror, science and female horror writers.

frankenstein Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

A Titan from Greek Mythology, Prometheus created man from clay and stole fire from the gods to give to man. This mythological being is an appropriate comparison to Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the “Monster”, and an apt alternate title to the novel. The original text still haunts readers today, and has never been out of print for the last 200 years. If you haven’t read the original, do so, not only will it frighten and horrify you, but it will also have you thinking and questioning the possibilities and ramifications of science today.

frankenstein2 Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years by Christopher Frayling

In his incredible book (the pictures alone are amazing), Frayling explores the origins of Frankenstein and the lasting impact the novel has had on popular culture. He has included movie stills and posters from the many film versions of the novel as well as photos of Shelley’s original manuscript. It is truly a work of art.

frankenstein3 Frankenstein: How a monster became an icon: the science and enduring allure of Mary Shelley’s creation edited by Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller

As a physicist and as a filmmaker, Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller have compiled essays from scientists, directors, artists and scholars who speak to and dissect the lasting impact of Shelley’s work on the world as well as explore what the future may hold for the legacy of Frankenstein.

frankenstein4 Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

In his five-book series Koontz takes inspiration from Shelley’s original novel and sets his in modern-day New Orleans. The first book in the series, Prodigal Son, follows Deucalian, a mysterious man who teams up with two detectives to solve a string of murders that leads back to a race of killers and their mysterious maker.

Shelley’s novel has inspired many film versions as well as TV series that include the characters from the novel. You can find many of these in our catalogue here.

Frankenstein not only has had a huge impact on popular culture but also on female writers, especially female horror writers. Many of the fantastically frightening horror writers today are women, and we owe many thanks to Mary Shelley for helping pave their way. Some of these award-winning writers are: Carmen Maria Machado, Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, Angela Carter, and Anne Rice, just to name a few. You can find all these women in our library catalogue. If you would like more suggestions, and a longer list of female horror writers, this article by Lithub gives you even more names to explore.

Happy Reading!

-Aileen

Scary stories to read in the dark

It’s October and cold, dark days with dreary skies have arrived…  you know what that means—the countdown to Hallowe’en has officially begun.

Short stories are one of the best ways to experience the thrill of horror fiction. Like the bite-size chocolate bars in our trick or treat bags, they deliver just the right amount of delightfully tasty fright.

If you’re new to short, terrifying fiction, start with the classics: Edwardian Englishman M.R. James and mid-century American Shirley Jackson couldn’t be more different in style or tone, but they’re both experts at grounding uncanny weirdness in the ordinary and mundane world.

 

If you like Shirley Jackson but haven’t tried Kelly Link yet, what are you waiting for? Magic for Beginners is a great place to start if you haven’t gotten the chance to sample her whimsical but deeply unsettling prose before.

 

Everyone knows Stephen King for his doorstopper-thick horror novels like The Shining and It. But I find his short stories even more frightening as they leave more unspoken, like shadows hovering in the corner of your eye. Whether you choose one of his more recent collections, like Everything’s Eventual and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, or an earlier selection like Skeleton Crew, you’re sure to sleep with a light on that night.

Not surprisingly, King’s son Joe Hill is a master storyteller as well; check out 20th Century Ghosts for a selection of his early work.

Editor Ellen Datlow discovers and collects some of the best short horror. You won’t go wrong checking out any of the anthologies she’s put together, but my favourites are two excellent collections of modern ghost stories: The Dark and Hauntings.

Are you looking over your shoulder yet?

Danielle

Can you tell me where your Horror section is?

Multiple times a day I receive a question similar to this. If it isn’t about horror it might be about short stories or historical romance or thrillers. I would love to say to our customers “it is just right here, follow me”, however unlike book stores we do not have a section devoted specifically to horror or these other subgenres for many reasons. This is of course not to say that you can’t search for books that are horror novels, you just may have to go about it in a different way. First, you can ask our fabulous library staff who would be more than happy to find books that will scare the pants off you, or, you can browse our online catalogue at the library, on the bus or in the comfort of your own home (as long as it is not haunted).

From our online catalogue you have the power to search for these subgenres that aren’t always on display at the library, and I will show you just how to do so.

I recently finished the excellent horror novel Kill Creek by Scott Thomas. This novel was of a “haunted house” variety and I am interested in books that take place in haunted houses, or books in where a haunted house is an important aspect of the novel. How do I find more books that have haunted houses? Well there are a few ways to find them in our catalogue. One way would be to go into the record of the novel Kill Creek. From that record we see the following information: Title, Author (you can select the author’s name to find more books written by them), Publication Information and finally Subject Term. Beside and underneath “Subject Term” we have the following: Authors – Fiction. Haunted houses – Fiction. Halloween – Fiction.

killcreek2

What is so wonderful about this feature is that the books that fall under these subjects are grouped together by these subject terms. If you select “Haunted houses – Fiction.” you will be taken to a list of books that have been given this subject term.

Now this list is by no means exhaustive. Some older books don’t have these detailed records and sometimes only “Genre” is listed, but it is certainly a start. Following this, you can also look under “Genre” and go to the listing of “Horror fiction.” and find all sorts of different books under the genre horror fiction, for a much broader search result. Or, simply search “horror fiction” in the general search bar, you will get over 1800 items but you can narrow them down using the limiters on the left-hand as is shown in figure 2 below, especially if you wanted further subgenres of horror like vampires, occultism etc. Your choices are endless, but it helps seeing what subject terms we use in our catalogue to be able to find exactly what you are looking for.

killcreek4

General search bar

killcreek5

Fig. 2

 

Finally, if you really enjoyed a particular book and would like further suggestions of read-alikes, look no further than the book’s record page. Scroll down to the bottom and where the tab says “Novelist Content” simply click on it and voilà, there will be read-alike titles, authors, reviews, etc. Just like having your very own librarian at your fingertips! If you haven’t checked out NoveList, a database we subscribe to and you have free with your library card, do so! There are tons of reading suggestions that will help you find exactly what you are looking for, and with links to our catalogue it makes it easy to find and place a hold on your book.

killcreek3

Of course with anything like this, don’t hesitate to ask staff at your local library, we love to help!

-Aileen

Frightfully Good Reads

darkandstormy

October is such a wonderful time to come to the library. Not only is it Canadian Library Month and filled with programs for those of all ages, but October is the prime month where all you horror fans (or closet horror fans) receive the attention you deserve! Halloween allows us to promote some of our less-advertised collection of thriller and horror books. Reader Services staff at the Millennium library have created a wonderful display, as can be seen in the picture above and offer plenty of creepy books that will frighten, unsettle and give goosebumps to many readers. Therefore, in honour of the creepiest month of the year, here are just some authors whose books you can sink your teeth into, just be sure to leave the lights on…

Stephen King

doctorsleep

What horror list would be complete without the horror master who has written many, many (long) but amazingly creepy and unsettling books. With a recent adaptation of part 1 of his novel IT in theatres and receiving rave reviews (you should go see it, it is fantastic!), check out the source material which is just as good, though clocking in at over a thousand pages, leave yourself some time to read it. There are a few holds on this title so you may have to be patient, but if you are wanting a King fix right away, here are some more excellent and creepy books by him: Salem’s Lot, Mr. Mercedes, Doctor Sleep, Pet Sematary, Cujo, The Mist… and the list goes on. For all King titles, check here.

Joe Hill

heartbox

As the son of the horror legend Stephen King, Joe Hill had some big expectations

 

for his writing career, and he did not disappoint. Check out The Fireman about an epidemic which leads people to internally combust, and Heart-Shaped Box the story of a rockstar who purchases morbid items and finds himself owning a suit containing an old man’s spirit that will do his bidding, the suit arrives in…a heart-shaped box. Naturally, chaos ensues.

Richard Matheson

hellhouse

Did you enjoy the film I Am Legend with Will Smith? No, well you will most definitely enjoy the source material then (remember to take “based on….” With a grain of salt in movies). With all its twist and turns, you’ll be sure to keep the pages turning of this book by the venerable Richard Matheson. The author that brought us the haunted house tale Hell House and many excellent short horror stories will be sure to have you staying up late and listening to every creak you hear from your home, terrified to get out of bed.

Josh Malerman

birdbox

Josh Malerman does not have many novels out, however his novel Bird Box  which I just finished is a fantastic read! I read the review on a blog I frequent and thought the premise, just as the reviewer did, was incredibly unique. Something is causing people all over the world to go crazy; the catch though, is no one knows what this thing looks like because all who have seen it end up dead. The solution, block all the windows, bar the doors and when going outside do so blindfolded. Intrigued? I certainly was. The terror and suspense are excellent and it will have you turning pages, anxious to know what happens.

 

Scott Smith

ruins

A classic horror beginning to a surprising and unconventional novel, Smith’s The Ruins is an excellent read. University students vacationing in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula come across Mayan ruins covered in vines, once they venture to these ruins, however, villagers block their way back and prevent them from leaving. The reason? Well, you will have to read this book to find out. Those who are squeamish may have to skip certain parts of the book as it can be a bit gory, but if you can get past that, this is an excellent horror novel that had me rapidly turning pages, and itching to finish it.

If you are wanting a collection of supernatural/haunted houses/monster stories, Ellen Datlow has edited fantastic horror compilations which can be found here.   nightmares

If these authors don’t strike your fancy, and you like something more traditional and classic, we have Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to fit your bill. (Interestingly these are all “creatures” from Universal Monsters which starred Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr., now revamped with the most recent The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, which you can place a hold on.)

Happy Reading!

Aileen

Summer Spooktacle

Summer is a time of sunshine, sand, ice cream, and s’mores around the campfire. There is nothing quite like sitting around a toasty fire while staring up at the stars, listening to the rustling of the wind in the trees while someone tells a scary story.

If you want to keep the spooky times rolling even after your summer vacation is over (if you ask me, it’s never too early to start getting ready for Halloween!), check out items in the list below, guaranteed to bring that campfire feeling into your home! Maybe leave the fire outside, though.

 The Curse of the Wendigo by Nick Yancey

In book 2 of the Monstrumologist series, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancée to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

If you’ve never encountered the Wendigo in your reading, it’s well worth checking this one out. It’s one of the creepiest folkloric creatures I’ve run into in my reading adventures!

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Speaking as someone who recently missed a turn and then found herself driving on a deserted highway surrounded by marsh, and then on a lonely dirt road through endless cornfields, all under a partially cloud-covered full moon, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think that you might see a ghostly figure along the side of the road.

Haunted highways are a classic amongst urban legends. You might recognize some of these popular titles: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

In fact, in Sparrow Hill Road, she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom.

If you’re feeling brave, feel free to bring this along as your next road trip read!

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Killer mermaids and ghost ships, anyone?

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.

As a novella, this book is a nice, quick read, perfect for the beach!

And if you enjoy this one, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Into the Drowning Deep.

Gravity Falls by Alex Hirsch

Twelve year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are off to spend the summer with their gruff Great Uncle (‘Grunkle’) Stan who runs the tacky tourist trap, ‘Mystery Shack.’ The kids uncover mysterious surprises, unsurpassed silliness, and supernatural shenanigans lurking around every corner of the deceptively sleepy little town.

This is a fun series for younger fans of things that go bump in the night, and you just can’t go wrong with shenanigans!

Supernatural

This television series got its start in the folklore and myths that created all of the really great campfire tales. The main characters, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, seek out and fight supernatural forces in an attempt to find their mysteriously missing father and the person or force responsible for their mother’s death. In the process, you’ll meet recognizable characters, some of whom have already appeared on this list, such as the Phantom Traveler and the Wendigo.

These are just a few of the spooky stories we have at the library, so don’t worry horror fans, you won’t run out!

Maybe you’ve got some other favourite tales that you like to share with friends. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to know what they are!

Happy reading,

Megan