On the Borderland and Ghoul Next Door recently posted their suggestions for Halloween reading here on After Dark in The Playing Fields. After giving 13 very fine suggestions, their post ends with this exhortation: “Feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments on in a post of your own!”
And that, Dear Readers, is precisely what I intend to do in this post.
I Sing These 9 Hexes: A Literary List Deadicated to OTB and GND.
"Gas Station Carnivals" by Thomas Ligotti - Everybody knows that something sinister lurks in the blackbeating heart of the traveling American carnival, but who could suspect it’s true nature?
"The God of Dark Laughter" by Michael Chabon - Clowns, monkeys, caves, and unspeakable truths woven into a narrative inspired by E.A. Poe.
"The Canterville Ghost" by Oscar Wilde - Do the dead haunt the living or do the living haunt the dead?
"The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber" by Charles Dickens - I have a soft spot for this tale as it is something I’ve written on academically, but I think there are some fine (and unusually queer) moments that a joy to read here.
"Abed" by Elizabeth Massie - This story is the cure for all the cutesy zombie tripe like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies that has been creeping around these last few years.
"The Judge’s House" by Bram Stoker - I once made the mistake of assigning this tale of an academic’s suicide at the end of a semester. My beleaguered students were not amused.
"The Wendigo" by Algernon Blackwood - "Oh, oh! this fiery height! Oh, oh! My feet of fire! My burning feet of fire!"
"Survivor’s Ball" by Kelly Link - Another plausible answer to the question posed by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: “Who will survive and what will be left of them?”
A String of Pearls - by…someone - This Victorian penny dreadful marks the literary debut of Sweeney Todd. Likely written by James Malcom Rymer or Thomas Peckett Prest—or any number of likely candidates—A String of Pearls was the inspiration for countless bits of guignol over the years.