Books about Gothic Horror
We have compiled a list of books with some of the best in classic and modern Gothic fiction with a sprinkling of books about Halloween and Day of the Dead. This list is grouped for adults, teens/young adults, and children, and can be borrowed from the Roslindale Library.
The House of the Seven Gables
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
A gloomy New England mansion provides the setting for this classic exploration of ancestral guilt and its expiation through the love and goodwill of succeeding generations. Nathaniel Hawthorne drew inspiration for this story of an immorally obtained property from the role his forebears played in the 17th-century Salem witch trials. Built over an unquiet grave, the House of the Seven Gables carries a dying man’s curse that blights the lives of its residents for over two centuries. Now Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, an iron-hearted hypocrite and intellectual heir to the mansion’s unscrupulous founder, is attempting to railroad a pair of his elderly relatives out of the house. Only two young people stand in his way — a visiting country cousin and an enigmatic boarder skilled in mesmerism.
Interview with the Vampire
By Anne Rice
Recounting his first two hundred years of life, a vampire tells of his erotic alliance with Claudia, whose passions are forever locked up in the body of a child.
by Hideaki Sena
Filled with scientific acuity and existential challenges in the tradition of Ghost in the Shell and Frankenstein, this medical fantasmagoria is a disorienting look into the consciousness and will have you questioning the future of human evolution. New life begins at the cellular level, but when that cell contains restless mitochondria, it will aspire to be much more than just a speck in a petri dish. Parasite Eve was the basis of the hugely popular video game of the same name and has been cinematized in Japan, where the novel’s smashing success helped set off a horror boom that has only been intensifying ever since.
By Sarah Waters
An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a séance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.
Cuentos de el Día de Los Muertos: Day of the Dead folk tales
By Salvador Gonzalez
Text in Spanish and English.
By Toni Morrison
Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
By Daphne Du Maurier
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten — a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.
The Shadow of the Winds
By Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
The Thirteenth Tale
By Diane Setterfield
Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.
By Bram Stoker
A young Englishman is bound for the remote castle of an obscure count whose estates are folded deep in the mountains of Transylvania. He travels by carriage, staying the nights at rustic inns.It is 100 years ago, and time is frozen in a winter that knows no release. Heavy snows bog the road, slowing and finally stopping the carriage. Wolves suddenly materialize from the forest, terrifying horses and passenger. Only the driver remains impassive: by superior will he forces the animals back. On plunge the travelers, deeper into the darkness, into the woods, into the unknown.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
By Duncan Tonatiuh
Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing Calaveras–skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities–came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852-1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his Calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe’s, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.
I Hunt Killers
By Barry Lyga
Seventeen-year-old Jazz learned all about being a serial killer from his notorious “Dear Old Dad,” but believes he has a conscience that will help fight his own urges and right some of his father’s wrongs, so he secretly helps the police apprehend the town’s newest murderer, “The Impressionist.”
The Complete Stories and Poems (ebook)
By Edgar Allen Poe
This single volume brings together all of Poe’s stories and poems, and illuminates the diverse and multifaceted genius of one of the greatest and most influential figures in American literary history.
Summer of the Mariposas
By Guadalupe Garcia McCall
When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero’s journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer s original tale. With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother s house. Along the way, they must outsmart a witch and her Evil Trinity: a wily warlock, a coven of vicious half-human barn owls, and a bloodthirsty livestock-hunting chupacabras. Can these fantastic trials prepare Odilia and her sisters for what happens when they face their final test, returning home to the real world, where goddesses and ghosts can no longer help them? Summer of the Mariposas is not just a magical Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey, it is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
By Ray Bradbury
Two boys, best friends in a small midwestern town, finally come to understand that of all the terrors threatening them from Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show the greatest menace exists within themselves.
Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying Truth! About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More
By Joshua Gee
Bursting with eerie photos and Special Investigations, a nonfiction compendium of all things ghoulish and ghastly–from Aliens to Zombies! Vampires, ghosts, monsters, and more–ENCYCLOPEDIA HORRIFICA invites you to join our quest for the terrifying truth about all things ghoulish and ghastly. But beware! Surprises lurk at the turn of every page.
Halloween: Imaginative Holiday Ideas
By Marie-Laure Mantoux
Witches on broomsticks, pumpkins and masks, spiders and bats and hissing black cats! Here’s the ultimate idea book for Halloween fun. Parents hosting a party for their children as well as older kids themselves will find page after page of instructions for making masks and costumes, jack-o-lanterns, indoor decorations for party rooms, and outdoor decorations for yards. There are also quick and easy recipes for Halloween party cakes and other food treats. Kids who want something more elaborate than Halloween masks to go with their costumes will love the face-paint ideas that show how to make a cat face, a vampire face, a pumpkin face, a witch’s face, and the sinister face of the mistress of a haunted house. Vivid full-color photos and diagrams on every two-page spread come with detailed instructions that show how to do everything from haunting a house to entertaining party guests.
Day of the Dead: A Mexican-American Celebration
By Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Describes the activities associated with the Mexican holiday known as the Day of the Dead.
175 Easy-to-do Halloween Crafts: Creative Uses for Recyclables
Boys and girls can make October 31 the spookiest and most festive ever with this craft book filled with Halloween fun. Easy-to-follow directions and full-color photographs show young craft makers how to create frightfully funny decorations, pumpkins, gifts, masks, costumes, and so much more. All of the crafts are made of recyclable materials and everyday items found around the house.
Arthur’s Halloween Costume: Story and Pictures
By Lillian Hoban
Arthur the chimpanzee, after worrying that his Halloween costume won’t be scary enough, wins a prize for the most original costume in the school.
The Best Halloween of All
By Susan Wojciechowski
A young boy recalls all the Halloween costume agonies he’s been through, until, at last, he gets to do things his own way!
Creepy Crawly Critters And Other Halloween Tongue Twisters
By Nola Buck
Nola Buck’s book of tantalizing tongue twisters with spirited illustrations by Sue Truesdell is just right for Halloween and will have beginning readers laughing out loud. Full color.
Halloween-costumes and Treats on All Hallows’ Eve
By Fay Robinson
Robinson opens with a lengthy history of Halloween and its ghostly beginnings. The next section explains the different symbols and traditions. The final chapter relates information about our modern celebrations, safety issues for children, and costume and decorating ideas. Full-color, archival photos appear on almost every page.
My Very Own Halloween: A Book of Cooking and Crafts
By Robin West
Contains recipes and crafts grouped conveniently for five Halloween theme parties.