Tuesday, October 21, 2014

8 Classic Tales of Horror

Looking to add some intellectual savvy to your Halloween celebrations this year?  There are so many  awesome books, fiction and non-fiction, that make excellent spooky reading material for this time of year, but I've chosen to share some of my favorite examples of classical horror literature.  These tales, all written in the 1800s, have withstood the test of time and remain as creepy now as the day they were written.  Many of these are quick reads, either short stories or novellas, and ALL are available FREE in various formats for reading on your computer or ebook device.

If you have a favorite spooky book, perfect for the Halloween season, hop on over to Theresa's Haunted History Facebook and let me know what it is!

1. Turn of the Screw by Henry James--Published in 1898, this is perhaps one of my favorite novels by Henry James, despite its verbosity and complexity.  Don't let the language scare you off; this is truly a frightening tale of a governess trying to protect her young charges from the spirits who intend to do them harm....or is it?  The mystery of what is actually going on, whether it be in real life or in the governess' own mind makes for some creepy reading.

2. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde--Here's a short story, first appearing in print in 1887 and again in 1891 featuring a family that moves into a quintessential haunted house.  However, as hard as the ghost tries, the family, except for one young girl, chooses to ignore him.

3. Dracula--Published in 1897, this iconic work by Bram Stoker is the go-to guide for the vampire mythos and the creation of horror's most famous ghoul, Count Dracula!

4. Frankenstein--Mary Shelley's 1818 work is another iconic piece in the history of horror.  Written one summer during a challenge with some friends over who could write the scariest story, this tale of a doctor and his monstrous creation has been a Halloween favorite for close to 200 years.

5. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson--The ultimate tale of good vs. evil and the dual nature of every human being...just, pushed to the limits, lol.  Published in 1886, this classic tale will send shivers down your spine.

6. The Picture of Dorian Gray--Another Oscar Wilde favorite, published in 1890.  The Picture of Dorian Gray is a tale of what happens when vanity overrules a person's senses.  This story was apparently quite controversial in Britain when it was first published!

7. The Tell-Tale Heart--First published in 1843, the Tell-Tale Heart is a Poe classic...and you can't have a Halloween-themed literature list without mentioning Edgar Allen Poe!  Murder, insanity, and the incessant beating of that blasted heart come together to terrify you with this gothic thriller.

8. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving--Published in 1820, this short story has withstood the test of time; the tale of Ichabod Crane meeting the Headless Horseman is still as spooky as it was almost 200 years ago.

*Links updated on October 8, 2017*

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