Welcome to October, the month when we turn to all things dark and haunted. I call it “Poetober” as a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, King of Creepiness.
I love this time of year. The weather starts to turn cooler, leaves change color, and monsters go bump in the night. By way of celebration, I take in as many thrilling, spooky stories as I can, whether in written or video form. I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top violence or gore, but anything spooky that messes with my head is a good time.
This year, I have a huge pile of Poetober books to read. It’s doubtful I’ll get through them all, but here’s my list:
|Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories (Audrey Niffenegger)
I’m starting with this collection of short stories. The first one was a perfectly creepy Edgar Allan Poe story (“The Black Cat”) and it was an amazing way to kick of my Poetober.
|Tales of the Macabre (Edgar Allan Poe)
It took me over a year to track down this book. I think I first saw it posted by The Bloggess and it was so beautiful that I had to have it. I contacted the publisher, local stores, Amazon, national booksellers. I ordered it on Amazon, despite being out of stock, in November 2014. I received it in December 2015.
|Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences (Matthew Christopher)
It’s a coffee table book full of photos of abandoned spaces. Churches, schools, industrial plants, hotels, homes, etc. I love imagining the history in places no longer serving the living.
|Bad Dreams and Other Stories (Tessa Hadley)
This is a short story collection. While it isn’t necessarily about ghosts and murder, the stories are of a psychological nature so they should be satisfying.
|His Bloody Project (Graeme Macrae Burnet)
I picked this up in Amsterdam this summer. Mike actually suggested it based on the topic (it’s nice that my husband indulges my enjoyment of the creep-factor). Once I read the description and saw it was a Man Booker Finalist, I snatched it right up!
|Poems Bewitched and Haunted (John Hollander)
I’ve already established that I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but I continue to read it occasionally. When I saw this collection on a recent trip to New Orleans, it seemed perfect for Poetober. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a beautiful book. If I can’t enjoy haunted poetry, nothing else stands a chance.
|Scary Stories Box Set (Alvin Schwartz)
This box set of three books includes the original “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” which I read in March. A friend bought these for me, and I don’t think I’ve ever read the second and third book. Also, this edition has illustrations by a different illustrator. Since these are for young readers, it won’t take long to read them.
I’m also watching plenty of dark television and movies. Here are a few possibilities:
- Stephen King’s It (1990 version)
- It (2017 version)
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (annual tradition!)
- The Witch
- The Craft
- Little Evil
- And plenty of Hitchcock
If you have any suggestions, either to read or to watch, leave a note in the comments below. And let me know how you feel about the Poetober theme and scary/suspenseful media.