You don’t have to wait for young spooks and goblins to knock on your door to enjoy the scares of Halloween. There are movies to watch and books to read, some which are sure to give you the chills.

Below are six horror novels just right for October. In no particular order, these are some favorites:

‘Salem’s Lot (Stephen King)
After his first novel Carrie was published, the King of Horror tried something different: a larger book about small town evil and the vampires that came to haunt the scene. ‘Salem’s Lot was published in 1975 to critical acclaim and still conveys an ungodly fright to modern readers. It is an atmospheric tale that has enough creepy scenes that will make you want to leave the lights on long after you’ve closed the book.

The Red Church (Scott Nicholson)
Scott Nicholson, who lives in the Appalachian Mountains, has created some fantastic horror stories such as The Manor, The Farm and the gothic fright tale The Red Church. He’ll take you through the lives of some of the town’s most interesting and mysterious characters, including the pastor of the local congregation where not everything is as it should be. Be sure to read this with all the lights turned on. And no matter what, don’t go into the bell tower.

Image courtesy of The Overlook Press

Psycho (Robert Bloch)
You know the movie, but have you read the book? Norman Bates is portrayed a little differently in the novel by Robert Bloch, but he’s just as creepy as the version played by Anthony Perkins. Alfred Hitchcock did a good job of bringing the motel manager to life on the silver screen, but when you read the book there’ll be a few scenes that will haunt your mind even more. You won’t want to take a shower after you read this classic thriller.

The Reach (Nate Kenyon)
This talented writer packs a punch with one of his early novels about a young girl with supernatural powers that is, well, not so heavenly. Reminiscent of King’s Fire Starter and Carrie, Nate Kenyon’s The Reach is a tall tale that dives into the emotions and will scare the hell of you. Read it, if you dare.

Dracula (Bram Stoker)
There have been plenty of films made on this classic book by Bram Stoker – not to mention many stand-alone vampire movies – but none of them come close to the literary appeal that Stoker created with Dracula. Filled with drama, tension and atmosphere, this tale is wickedly fun to read. It also packs a punch when the King Vampire is on the scene. If you haven’t read Dracula, don’t wait any longer. This and King’s ‘Salem’s Lot are two of the best vampire books available. The vampires in these books really do bite!

Image courtesy of Signet

It (Stephen King)
If you’ve read, listened to, or watched the news lately then you know all about creepy clown sightings. Clowns seem to have been popping up out of the woodwork the past several weeks, just as they have done for the past several years. Some say it might be in anticipation of the reboot of It, a movie based on the Stephen King novel. No matter, the creepy clowns of today have nothing on the masked terror that is King’s make-believe horror. Besides being one of King’s best novels, it is a character-driven story about young people who grow up in the face of ultimate fear and how they fought and won their life’s battles that in many instances took the form of … you got IT, a creepy clown. These are some of the reasons, in fact, that make the novel one of King's best.

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