Frightening Five: Stories for Halloween

Frightening Five

Yes, the Friday Five is back, but this time it’s got a spookier feel!

Here are five frightening Halloween stories to send shivers up your spine… read them tonight if you dare!

5: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This isn’t billed as a horror, but as a dystopian fantasy. Even so, the constant sense of dread that underlies frequent chase scenes in this book, where disaster is wrenched again and again from the jaws of victory, make it pretty scary. Especially if you’re a woman and have just seen that Shoshana B Roberts video.

4: The Price by Neil Gaiman

Pet owners: read with caution! This tale of animal bravery against supernatural odds is both terrifying and heart wrenching. There’s also an animated version of this story in the works.

3: Pigs Dinner by Graham Masterson

This short story is from The Mammoth Book of Terror 1991. It’s out of print now, but you can get a secondhand copy from Abe Books. And you should because this is just one of the terrifying tales in it! I read this when I was far too young and it’s a very graphic example of the Splatterpunk genre. All I can say is that I’ve never looked at a pork chop the same way since!

2: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

It’s a classic psychological horror and with good reason. I like to imagine this as what could have befallen Jane Eyre if she’d walked the pages of a horror, rather than a Romantic gothic novel. Henry James pitches the sense of self doubt against a creeping sense that all is not as it should be perfectly.

1: The Haunted Dolls’ House by M R James

Think George R R Martin has the monopoly on unexpected deaths? Think again. If you’re used to Hollywood horrors where the jocks and cheerleaders come to a sticky end but the innocent children manage to hide safely in the closet til the monster’s gone, then this one will be a shock to you. The kids are most definitely not alright in this creepiest of short stories. (If you don’t want to buy the whole story collection, then you can also read just this one here.)

Having relived that little lot, I think I might just sleep with the lights on tonight. What about you?

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I love all things fantasy, from fiction to films to games. Mostly books though. I also love cooking and plus size fashion. Find recommendations for great fantasy reads and general fangirling here! If you want to get in touch with me, the quickest way is by Twitter @dorristheloris

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Posted in fantasy fiction

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