“Come, We Fly.”-Winifred Sanderson. It’s that spooky time of year again and I can’t tell you how excited I am. My jack-o-lanterns are lit, and my cauldron (Crockpot) is bubbling away (It’s soup season). So, let’s get this spooky season started with my October 2023 tbr.
For nearly two decades, Jamie Warren has been running from darkness. He’s haunted by a traumatic childhood and the guilt at having disappeared from his disabled brother’s life. But then a series of unusual events reunites him with his estranged brother and their childhood friends, and none of them can deny the sense of fate that has seemingly drawn them back together. Nor can they deny the memories of that summer, so long ago – the strange magic taught to them by an even stranger man, and the terrible act that has followed them all into adulthood. In the light of new danger, they must confront their past by facing their futures, and hunting down a man who may very well be a monster.
If you search popular horror novels Black Mouth will more than likely be on that list. So, I’m excited to see what all the hype is about. I hope the story gives off the same vibe as the cover because it looks amazingly spooky.
Masters of Death
Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the house has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on. Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though he is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses–seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death.
When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with her ghost-infested mansion, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few mindfulness-practicing creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.
I don’t know a lot about Masters of Death. All I know is it sounds like a lot of fun and I’ve seen a lot of people recommend it. I don’t exactly know how spooky it is, but it has ghosts and vampires so that’s good enough for me!
Originally published in 1971, it remains one of the most controversial novels ever written. A literary phenomenon soon after its release, it spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. It also became a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On the opening day of the film, lines of fans stretched around city blocks.
In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events, and CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark of American culture. . . and a reflection of our innermost fears.
I started The Exorcist a while back but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. But now I’m excited to give it another try. I feel like October is going to be the perfect time for it!
“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.” A summer evening’s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine’s room, and a runaway imagination–fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life–conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter.
By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein. Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley’s novel of “The Modern Prometheus” chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.
Frankenstein has been on my re-read list for years. It’s time to give it a read.
Anna Dressed in Blood
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat.
They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay. Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. Yet she spares Cas’s life.
Anna Dressed in Blood sounds like a book I would have loved in my teenage years. Halloween makes me nostalgic anyway and I think this will make a perfect addition.
It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, horrifying secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man. There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them…and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road?
I’ve been on the hunt for a book like All Hallows. It’s actually set on Halloween in the 80’s and I just think it’s going to have a great vibe to it. I can almost smell the rubber masks of vintage Halloween costumes.
Halloween, 1963. They call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and death. Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror–and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy.
Dark Harvest is all over the internet right now. It’s also a Halloween throwback to the 1960’s. I’m so ready to give it a read. I’m hoping to end the month out with this one.
October Screams brings you twenty-seven tales of the greatest holiday of all, Halloween! Featuring stories from authors like Brian Keene & Richard Chizmar, Jeremy Bates, Kealan Patrick Burke, Clay McLeod Chapman, Philip Fracassi, Todd Keisling, Gwendolyn Kiste, Red Lagoe, Ronald Malfi, Bridgett Nelson, Rebecca Rowland, Steve Rasnic Tem, TJ Cimfel, Cassandra Daucus, Ryan Van Ells, Patrick Flanagan, Brennan Fredricks, Larry Hinkle, Larry Hodges, Kevin Kangas, Evans Light, Gregory L. Norris, Frank Oreto, Robert Stahl, Cat Voleur and Jacqueline West.
October Screams is a short story collection from the best in horror. I think it will be fun to read a short story a day up until Halloween.
So that is my October 2023 tbr. What spooky books are you reading this month?
And don’t forget to subscribe. This is just the start of the Halloween festivities. We take Halloween seriously at the Wildwood Reads headquarters.