The Book Club: recommendations based on your Halloween costume

This edition, we’re trying something a little different; I plan on making recommendations based on your Halloween costume this year, much like one of those fun Buzzfeed quizzes you may stumble upon from time to time. Obviously, given the plethora of costumes out there, as well as the wordcount limit, I’m only able to suggest a limited number of books and may have to be vague with my costume descriptions. Nonetheless, I’m hoping to come up with a bountiful variety of costume/book pairings to get you ready for Halloween.  

“Dracula” by Bram Stoker. Photo from AbeBooks.

Classic Monsters – If you’re dressing up as a classic monster, such as a bloodthirsty – or sparkly – vampire, werewolf, etc., then I think you would enjoy dabbling in some of the horror classics. For example, you can read some of the origins of the monster you’re embodying for Halloween, such as Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” or Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” if you plan on being a vampire. Similarly, there’s Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” if you plan on dressing up as the titular character, or Stephen King’s “Cycle of the Werewolf” if you intend to get a little furry this holiday. Ultimately, I think you would enjoy embracing the classics for this Halloween. 

“Firestarter” by Stephen King. Photo from Amazon.

Superhero – If you plan on going as a superhero, whether it be DC or Marvel, I think you would love reading horror novels that focus on the danger that comes with having supernatural powers. For example, Stephen King’s “Firestarter” and “Carrie” both remind me of X-Men, as the girls in both works try to control their powers, whether they be telekinetic or pyrokinetic in nature. The horror elements in the novels focus on not only the terrifying potential of their powers, but also on the malevolent people intent on controlling them. I think that the best way to tap into your “powers” this holiday is to read up on some horror novels featuring this darker side of these supernatural abilities.  

“Pet Sematary” by Stephen King. Photo from Amazon.

Animals – If you intend on putting on some ears and/or a tail and going as an animal this year, then I think horror novels highlighting some terrifying pets and animals would suit you best. For example, the classic “Pet Sematary” and “Cujo,” both by Stephen King, may be right up your alley, as they focus on a dangerous force, whether it be supernatural in nature or simply rabies, turning animals into anything but man’s best friend. If you want a horror novel where the animal is involved but not necessarily the source of evil in the plot, then Catriona Ward’s “The House on Needless Street” may be for you. The book switches perspective each chapter, including the point of view of a cat, as the characters try to find a serial killer and solve the mysteries of the titular house.  

“Hide” by Kiersten White. Photo from Amazon.

Disney – If you’re going as your favorite Disney character, whether it be a princess, car, fairy or something else, I think you should focus on horror novels that take place at a theme park in order to capture the similar rush you get at Disneyland or Disney World. In this case, I would recommend “Hide” by Kiersten White, which centers around a high-stakes competition taking place at an abandoned amusement park. I would also suggest “Joyland” by, you guessed it, Stephen King. The story focuses on a boy trying to forget his troubles while working at a theme park but slowly discovering that there’s a murderous secret behind all the cotton candy and flashing lights.  

If none of these quite encompassed your costume this year, that’s okay! Pick any recommendations that sound interesting to you, or just peruse the horror shelves at the library or bookstore and see what options are available to keep you up at night.