Halloween is creeping up on us fast. And while it may seem like cinema-related monsters have a stranglehold on the scares these days (it’s hard to escape Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, and Jason Vorhees), let’s be honest: The real horror is found in books.
From classics like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry and stories to the plethora of terror-inducers by Stephen King, Anne Rice, H.P. Lovecraft, and Peter Straub, to contemporary frights like Daniel Kraus’s The Ghost That Ate Us: The Tragic True Story of the Burger City Poltergeist, Max Brook’s World War Z, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things: A Novel (and so, so many more than we have space to mention here, like the works of Shirley Jackson, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Dan Simmons, Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman….), horror literature is deep, diverse, and longstanding. And it’s easy to understand why. It can bore into our minds to truly scare us, much more intensely than film or visual medium sometimes. What’s unseen and left to the imagination can definitely be scarier than the literal.
Celebrate your love of the spookiest of all holidays and books with something from the ALA Store. Hang a poster in your crypt, slide a bookmark into your favorite horror novel, or unearth some horror readers' advisory for more scares on the page.
Read Something Spooky
Inspired by the cover of Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener, this poster dares all who come upon it to Read Something Spooky.
Read to a Zombie
Reading inspires great high jinks in Megan McDonald's Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk. This poster inspired by the book is guaranteed to scare up some good-natured fun.
Read Creepy Tales
This poster and bookmark features Jasper Rabbit, whose hare-raising adventures began with 2013’s Creepy Carrots!, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. The picture book, which followed a young rabbit and a bunch of peculiar carrots garnered Brown a Caldecott Honor and was followed by Creepy Pair of Underwear! and Creepy Crayon!
Go Batty for Books
This poster and bookmark featuring Vampirina “Vee” Hauntley and her mom Oxana, from the Disney Junior animated series Vampirina, will have kids searching for spook-tacular books. When Vee and her vampire family move from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, she learns to do things the "Pennsylvania way”, while dancing to the beat of her own drum.
Don't Be Afraid to Read!
This new poster and bookmark designed by Mexican artist and New York Times best-selling author Flavia Z. Drago features Gustavo inviting everyone to read. Gustavo, the Shy Ghost, the first book in the World of Gustavo series, introduced readers to this lovable ghost as he found the courage to make friends. In Leila, the Perfect Witch, readers met a young witch as she discovered one can’t be perfect at everything.
The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror, Third Edition
Covering the latest in monsters and the macabre, horror expert Becky Spratford's resource is ideal as both an introductory guide for novices and a fount of new ideas for horror fans. Like the zombies, ghouls, and vampires which inhabit many of its books, the popularity of horror fiction is unstoppable. This definitive resource details the state of the genre right now, including its appeal factors and key authors, assisting readers in getting up to speed quickly; presents 10 annotated lists of suggested titles, all published since 2000, each with a short introduction providing historical context; delves into horror movies, TV shows, podcasts, and other formats; and offers abundant marketing advice, programming options, and pointers on additional resources. While written for librarians, this guide will fascinate and inspire horror lovers of all kinds!