Have some terrifying fun this Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and we think its the best time of year to turn all the lights down and curl up with a good scary book or movie.

So, to celebrate, we've asked some of our staff to recommend their favourite scary books or movies:

Jacinta: I've read Interview with the vampire and all the other Anne Rice Books years ago. They are still the best written vampire books I've ever read.

Max: I remember the The Exorcist was a page turner. (Or was that a head turner?)

Karen: Carrie is the classic horror story of a prom night gone wrong by Stephen King. I'm usually not a fan of horror and the last time I read Stephen King I quickly gave up (in my defence, I was 11). So I was surprised when I found I actually loved this book. As my sister said 'it's like Matilda gone wrong'. It's the story of Carrie, a senior High School student who is horribly bullied at school and abused and tortured at home by her fanatically religious mother. When Carrie discovers she has Telekinetic powers the results are catastrophic and throw a whole town into disarray. Read more of this review.

I also remember loving the Goosebumps series, by R.L. Stine as a Kid. They were as popular as Twilight and Harry Potter when I was going to school and they're still being borrowed today.

Jess: Truman Capote's In Cold Blood explains the before, after and during of one of America's most shocking and gruesome crimes of the 20th century. Capote draws on his own observations and interviews with the convicted murderers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, Kansas State investigators working on the case and townsfolk of Holcomb, Kansas just outside of which the Clutter family lived. In Cold Blood was a chilling novel to read, it sucks you in the same way a car accident might - horrifying and terrible but unable to tear your gaze away from. The detail Capote puts into his work is something he is famous for and when reading this novel you almost forget that it is non-fiction. Read more of this review.

Angela: Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist combines a disturbing mix of supernatural and a social commentary on a depressing Swedish suburb in the 1980s. The characters deal with issues such as bullying, alcoholism, drug abuse, pedophilia, crime and a range of emotional connections.

Oskar is a product of divorced parents with their own issues. He is bullied at school and has very few real friends. Then 12 year old Eli moves in next door. Eli is also a social outcast but for a very different reason. Eli doesn't go to school and only comes out at night. Eli is not really a girl but rather a 200 year old vampire who remains looking like a 12 year forever. Eli's need for a supply of fresh blood takes the story into a series of gory murders. Marginalised by their peers, Oskar and Eli become friends. Eli encourages Oskar to fight back leading to a horrifying conclusion. Read more of this review.

Cathy: Some eerie viewing for Halloween is the Swedish-language film titled 'Let the Right One In'. The film is in our Library DVD Collection and is based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It was originally released in 2008 and is directed by Tomas Alfredson.
The main character is a bullied, young boy and even though it is a horror film, quite shocking at times, it is viewed through his naïve and innocent perspective. The surreal setting and dark overtones add to the suspense and unfolding plot. However, to elaborate further would spoil the experience.

Brian: Justin Cronin’s The Passage is an epic story of enraged creatures roaming a post-viral America thirsty for the blood of the few remaining uninfected humans who struggle to keep the beacon of civilisation alight.

Justin Cronin has populated his novel with many characters that develop significant relationships within the core group of survivors, but even the infected, the “virals”, have a human history that adds complexity, even a certain poignancy, to the story. This close attention to the characters’ stories is combined with a detailed rendering of an American landscape utterly transformed by catastrophe. Read more of this review.

Other suggested reads by Monique:

Honey Brown. “Red Queen” (2009, Australian shadows award finalist)
Agatha Christie. “Hallowe’en party
D. Harding. “Tricks and treats: The ultimate Halloween book
Steven M. Irwin. “The dead path” (2009, Australian Shadows award finalist)
Stephen King. We have approximately 50 titles to choose from.
Tracey O’Hara. “Nights cold kiss
Edgar Allan Poe. “Tales of mystery and imagination” (1001 books)
Preston Douglas. “Cemetery dance
Mark “Chopper” Read. “One thing lead to another” (anything he writes is scary in my book, there are no requests on this title at time of posting)
Mary Shelley. “Frankenstein” (available from Overdrive as an audiobook)
Kaaron Warren. “Slights” 2009 (Australian Shadows award winner)
Leave a comment and let us know what your favourite scary books and moviews are. We'd love to hear from you. Happy Halloween.