Ten terrifying readings to celebrate Halloween

Although in ‘El Asombrario’ we think that the horror literature is –in addition to being a very interesting literary genre and very necessary to claim– perfect for any time of the year, in the halloween night, more than ever, we want to stay home and tremble with fear under a blanket, sheltered from a good read. Here are 10 recommendations to feel the chills.

The ways of celebrating the eve of All Saints’ Day, a night known worldwide as Halloween –inheritance of the American All Hallow’s Eve–, are as varied as there are cultures and beliefs in the world. However, if there is something that we all share, it is the fascination for a good horror story. Ghosts, monsters, demons, witches, serial killers… or maybe just the cracks in this strange present reality.

To celebrate autumn with its dark afternoons and golden foliage, Halloween and, in general, horror literature, we bring you ten literary recommendations that will make you tremble… with pleasure.

‘A Hawk in the Woods’, by Carrie Laben (The Carfax Library).

Abby and Martha are twin sisters, witches, from a powerful family. When Abby is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the first thing she does is help her sister break out of jail, and together they head to the old family cabin in Minnesota. In their flight to survive they will have to face old mistakes and their terrible relatives, because if you come from a family in which your father took control of your body when you were little; your mother was trying to inhabit and possess your mind and draw on your energy, and where so many dark secrets—and some bodies—are buried, family gatherings aren’t usually pretty. A new title from one of the best horror publishers in our country.

‘The secrets of the vampires’, by Julie Légère and Elsa Whyte, illustrated by Laura Pérez (Errata Naturae).

From the lamias of Ancient Greece to Edward Cullen, passing through the tempting dandies of Anne Rice, and not forgetting, of course, Dracula, this wonderfully illustrated book by Laura Pérez –as well as her two previous titles on witches and mermaids– will accompany you on a dark journey to discover the fascinating and enigmatic history of vampires, creatures of blood and of the night, but also of lust and transgression.

‘The girls from Chapel Croft’, by CJ Tudor (Plaza & Janés).

A dark history stirs in Chapel Croft. Adding to a long list of disappearances and deaths is that of the local parish priest, who hanged himself in his own church just a few weeks ago. To replace him, Jack Brooks arrives in town. He brings with him a 14-year-old daughter and a troubled conscience, although he hopes to start a new life here. But what he finds is a place full of conspiracies and secrets where a strange welcome gift awaits him: an exorcism kit and a sinister message. The more he delves into the city and he gets to know its peculiar inhabitants, the more old disputes, mysteries and suspicions seem to arise. And when his daughter Flo begins to see ghosts of girls burning, it becomes clear that the ghosts of Chapel Croft refuse to rest in peace.

‘Pena negra’, an anthology of several authors, coordinated by María Zaragoza (InLimbo).

Through these ten stories we enter the regions of Lorca’s black penalty, the mysteries of sycalypse, the duende with a broken voice and the dark sounds of copla and cuplé. This collection from the young publishing house InLimbo, specialized in disturbing literature and signed by names like Jimina Sabadú, Gemma Solsona or Ariadna Castellarnau, makes the most representative figures of the insignificant genre disturbing and unusual, to make Tina de Jarque rise from the grave, that the Piquer’s trunk keeps a dark secret, that the copla voguing of Marifé in the queer premises is a death spell or that a group of outdated people invokes Bella Dorita by Ouija board.

‘Uke. The opponent’, by Elia Barceló (Minotaur).

Elia Barceló is one of the best genre writers in our country, and she dares both with science fiction and with suspense and terror, of which Uke is a great example. A missing woman and a man obsessed with her to the point of insanity; two incomprehensible deaths, an insane killer, and a terrifying green circle that appears in mirrors. All this converges in an absorbing story of diabolical possessions, suspense and unconditional love that reveals a fearsome reality: God can only reign if he has an adversary with whom to fight in perpetual combat, who is the engine of the world.

‘Lunch at the Gotham Cafe’, by Stephen King, illustrated by Javier Olivares (Nordic).

A man named Steve Davis comes home one day to find a letter from his wife, Diane, coldly telling him that she is leaving him and intends to get a divorce. Diane’s departure prompts him to quit smoking, and he begins to go through nicotine withdrawal. Diane’s attorney, William Humboldt, calls Steve with plans to meet the two for lunch. He decides on the Gotham Cafe and sets a date. The protagonist’s desperation for a cigarette and for his ex is almost unbearable, but nothing compared to the horrors that await him in the trendy Manhattan restaurant. A story, originally published in 1995, by the best of horror writers, illustrated by Javier Olivares, winner of the National Comic Award.

‘The Gift’, by Zoe Maeve (Alpha Decay).

The independent publisher from Barcelona continues with its risky and original new line of comics. The fourth Romanov princess was born: Anastasia. Ella and her sisters grow up in a gilt cage, isolated from the society that lives beyond the palace walls. After mysteriously receiving a camera as a gift for her fifteenth birthday, she begins to document the reality around her, but her gift brings with it a burden she is not yet able to understand. A creature moves in the margins of her gaze and stalks her in her dreams. As the revolution progresses, the corners of Anastasia’s world tighten. Something is after her, an unrelenting force.

‘Tidepool’, by Nicole Wilson (Dilating Minds).

This work has been a finalist for the Bram Stoker and Ladies of Horror Fiction awards. In 1913, Henry Hamilton disappears during a business trip, and his sister, Sadness, will not rest until she finds out what has happened to him. She decides to travel to Tidepool, the last place she knows of that she visited Henry. The small and decaying city settled by the sea seems tinged with a halo of unrest, the residents seem to hide something, and the reservations that Sadness harbors about Tidepool increase when a succession of corpses wash up on the shore showing signs of having been sullied by something. who is not entirely human… When Sadness meets Ada Oliver, a wealthy widow, and the secret she carries behind her back, her problems will only have begun.

‘Crocodile’, by Alicia Mares (Horror Vacui).

With only three published titles, the Horror Vacui publishing house is positioning itself as one of the most interesting labels specializing in the strange and terrifying genre. This book of stories takes place in a fantastic Mexico populated by beasts, mythological creatures and women who wander aimlessly between liminal spaces haunted by memory. Bleeding spells, owls, quetzals, jaguarundis, monstrous pregnancies, knots of hair, relatives of witches, superstition, supernatural and marital affairs, sleepwalking, somniloquy, craters, dazzling promises, the march of a monolithic mob seeking a new place to reinvent humanity, and, of course, dozens of crocodiles.

‘Children’, by David Roas (Foam Pages).

Who does not have a trace of childhood that walks through dark corridors at midnight, that he inspects under the bed before going to sleep, that he does not recognize in the brightness of a mirror? Who is not afraid of the monster that lurks inside the closet, the footsteps on the other side of a door, the shadow that hits the window pane? The boys and girls that we went through the fantastic stories of David Roas reminding us how alive our childhood fears are. And in turn, the adults that we are cannot help but shudder.

Ten terrifying readings to celebrate Halloween