Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon

OTBs Picks for Twelve Tomes for A Terrifying Halloween.
(In no particular order.)
  • 1. “The Music of Erich Zann” by H.P. Lovecraft. The shrieking and whining of desparate viols…defending against…what exactly?
  • 2. The Tenant by Roland Topor. The most disturbing novel I have ever read, a nauseating crescendo of paranoia and sinister characters.
  • 3. “O Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad” by M.R. James. Mysterious medieval whistles with Latin inscriptions and the infamous “face of crumpled linen”.
  • 4. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Evocative, eerie and I first read it in one sitting.
  • 5. “The White People” by Arthur Machen. “And if the roses in your garden sang a weird song, you would go mad. And suppose the stones in the road began to swell and grow before your eyes, and if the pebble that you noticed at night had shot out stony blossoms in the morning?”
  • 6. “The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood. Two campers encounter a place where the veil between the worlds has grown thin…an alien world, a world tenanted by willows only and the souls of willows.
  • 7. “A Haunted Island” by Algernon Blackwood. Chilling terror and remniscent of the Adirondacks island camp I stay at in the summers. (Blackwood makes this list twice, because he is truly the master of the unsettling tale.)
  • 8. The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. A found manuscript, swine creatures and the swift passing of the universeis the narrator sane or not?
  • 9. “The Spider” by Hanns Heinz Ewers. Mysterious suicides take place in the same apartment, seemingly without cause.
  • 10. “The Human Chair” by Edogawa Rampo. A bizarre tale of the Japanese gothic.
  • 11. “The Room in the Tower” by E.F. Benson. Sinister dreams and unfriendly nocturnal visitors.
  • 12. “The Damned Thing” by Ambrose Bierce. What may happen in a field of wild oats.
A bonus pick by Mlle. Ghoul:
  • 13. The House Next Door by Anne River Siddons. A singular tale, and from what I can tell the author’s lone foray into the genre. A unique take on the haunted house story - is the evil housed within in the structure of the dwelling, or is it the wickedness of the inhabitants that drive the horrors that occur within? The chills are so subtly sinister and so elegantly written that it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why the book is so frightening; I imagine the shudders provoked by these pages will be very different for each reader.

An English professor was training her students in memorization techniques.
“For instance,” she said, “if you want to remember the name of a certain poet, Bobbie Burns, you could visualize a London policeman in flames.” She drew a picture in chalk. “You see? ‘Bobbie Burns.’”
A student raised his hand and asked, “How could we know that’s not ‘Robert Browning’?”

No comments: