Following from my previous post of top ten disturbing books for this Halloween season, here is my post of some recommendations to soak up and enjoy that spooky atmosphere surrounding Halloween, my favourite time in the whole year. I am presenting four sections (short stories, films, music and ambience videos) that include four recommendations each:
SHORT STORIES: (i)Don’t Look Now and Other Stories  by Daphne du Maurier – In this collection, Don’t Look Now is a particularly eerie story about a couple John and Laura on their trip to Venice. In my review, I said that du Maurier makes “Venice claustrophobic, day-to-day reality – enigmatic, the mind – paranoiac, and ordinary people – full of threatening agendas“; (ii)Murder in the Age of Enlightenment(and other Stories)  by Ryunosuke Akutagawa – This collection of short stories by Japanese author Akutagawa includes his unforgettable horror storyHell Screen; (iii)The Signal-Man  by Charles Dickens is an incredible, frightening ghost story which has its own unique atmosphere (see also the short film adaptation (1976) of the story here); and (iv) Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery (my review).
My favourite time of the year has started, and this year I have decided to start the Readers Imbibing Peril Reading Challenge earlier than usual. This is because, firstly, yes, I am impatient to delve into all those exciting scary books, and, secondly, I want to have plenty of time to decide what I want read for this challenge, and then read and review those books. This year I spotted this challenge at Robin’s A Fondness for Reading (it was first started byCarl V), and the goal is to read a certain number of books associated with the Halloween season. This year I am planning to readat least four booksin one or more of the following categories: horror, thriller, mystery, dark fantasy and the supernatural. I have not yet decided on specific books, but I will definitely be reading something from both Daphne du Maurier and Shirley Jackson.Are you participating in this challenge this year? What authors or books are you planning to read?
“Wasn’t it just a story-book over which I had fallen a-doze and a-dream?” [James, Ed. 2004: 33].
This is a horror novella penned by James in 1898 at the invitation of Robert J. Collier for his magazine. First published as a series, it tells of a hired governess who comes to Bly, a country estate in Essex, to supervise two children, Miles and Flora. The children are orphans under the responsibility of their uncle who, in turn, does not have much time to spend with them and resides in London. The young governess willingly assumes her responsibilities, being totally delighted to be in charge of two beautiful, lovely and well-behaved children in such grand estate. However, Bly soon opens its horrors to the governess and she becomes aware that there are at least two ghosts in the house that haunt the children. The Turn of the Screw is now infamous for its multiple story interpretations and all kinds of meanings that can be read into the text. Nevertheless, whether one reads the story as a straightforward ghost tale or as a more complex psychological study of one nanny losing her mind, it is still a scary and intriguing read, which leaves much to think about and discuss upon finishing. Continue reading “Review: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James”→