The Halloween Edit: Podcasts, Books + Films
Halloween is the perfect time to cosy up with a spooky book, film or podcast, and it’s basically all I’ve been doing in my spare time.
It’s Spring here right now, but we’ve been getting so much rain and cool weather lately that it might as well be Autumn. As I type this sentence out, the wind is howling through the windows and it sounds almost demonic.
Does anyone else have an obsession with all things creepy? I’m not sure what it is, but I love to feel scared. If I have an evening off work, you know I’ll be on the couch watching a horror film with my cats and begrudging boyfriend.
Sure, I rarely make it through the whole movie without falling asleep, but the enthusiasm is still there…
Since we’re already half-way through October, I thought I should share the things I’ve been reading/watching/listening to lately to get in the spooky spirit. I’ve rounded up a bunch of books, films and podcasts that I think you’ll love, and I would love to receive some recommendations from you guys too.
Stephen King is obviously the perfect Halloween read for those looking for a bit (or a lot) of a scare. I will admit that I haven’t read much of his work, but I do have and love The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, which is basically full of short stories intended to make you feel uneasy. I wouldn’t say they are definitive of the horror genre, but they’re short, punchy bites perfect for these October evenings.
In The Woods by Tana French is a psychological thriller that kept me up at night, and it focuses on the eerie disappearances of children in a small Dublin town. This novel is a masterpiece, and kept me guessing until the very end. It’s one of the first crime based novels that I read, and I credit it for my growing obsession with the genre.
Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy is perhaps the best crime thriller I’ve ever read. It’s about a serial killer that mimics the kills in an online game. I’m kind of bad at describing the plot of a novel, but trust me when I say that this is a good’un.
My final spooky book recommendation is about a terrifying stalker and the lengths he goes to to insert himself into a girls life. Many of you have read You by Caroline Kepnes, I’m sure, but I thought I should add it to the list anyway. It will have you closing your blinds in the evenings, sleeping with one eye open and really paying attention to the information you share on social media.
Gone is one of my favourite films to watch this time of year. It centers around protagonist Jill (played by Amanda Seyfried) whose sister Molly disappears one night. Jill claims Molly has been abducted by a serial killer who tried to murder Jill the year before, but nobody believes her, and instead they think that she has lost her mind. Jill knows that the only way to get her sister back is to find her herself… and so she ventures into the woods. It’s SUCH a creepy film!
Sleepy Hollow is a classic Halloween film and I feel like it must be watched at least once throughout October. It’s classified as an American Gothic supernatural horror, and the visuals are just stunning. It’s definitely dark and creepy though, involving a headless horseman and multiple murders, a.k.a. absolutely perfect for a cosy night in on the couch.
Hush is a sort of recently emerged thriller that is packed full of jump scares and dramatic sounds. The protagonist is a deaf writer named Maddie who lives alone in a cabin in the woods. Maddie’s life is going great, until a masked man decides to try and attack her. The premise of this film alone is terrifying, but what makes it even more so is when the attacker realises Maddie is deaf. Oh my god this film had my heart racing non-stop!
My last scary film recommendation is Ghost Ship. I first watched this film when I was probably 12 or 13, and I have absolutely loved it ever since then. It’s about an abandoned ship with a dark history that is found in the middle of the sea by a salvage crew. That’s all I’m going to say about this one, as I don’t want to give anything away. All I can say is – prepare for lots of jump scares!
Honorable mentions go to Prom Night, It and The Silence Of The Lambs.
Creepy is a relatively new addition to my podcast app, but I’ve been listening to it non-stop ever since. It’s basically a bunch of creepy short stories that are read aloud and with terrifying music in the background and oh my god. I was listening to this podcast the other day while vacuuming and had to turn it off because it was putting me so on edge.
Casefile is a podcast that I’ve been listening to for about a year now, and I feel like each story just gets darker and darker. It’s true crime/murder based, so just be aware that the episodes deal with pretty horrific stuff, but I look forward to the release of each episode so I can learn about another case.
The Black Tapes – oh my god. Okay, let me say this. Although I think of myself as quite a rational person, I do believe that there’s life after death. I didn’t always think this way, but after losing friends, family and pets, I’ve begun to cling on to the idea that they’re not gone forever. It makes me feel more at peace with the loss, but there’s also the scary aspect of ghosts and hauntings that goes along with these beliefs. This podcasts is about ghosts, plain and simple, and I was a little disappointed when I found out it’s a fictional serial drama after sweating my way through the first episode thinking it was real… but actually, it’s brilliant story telling and I’m really enjoying it so far.
The No Sleep Podcast is another creepy short story podcast, but with actors and different voices for each story, which makes it all the more believable. I find that some of the actors are a tad dramatic, but overall I’ve been really enjoying these episodes, especially the longer ones.
Up and Vanished is a podcast that I recommend to all of my friends, and for good reason too. It’s a crime documentary style podcast about the disappearance of 30 year old Tara Grinstead and I’m not going to tell you any more than that. Just know that this podcast might have helped solve this disappearance. It’s a must listen.
Okay, now it’s your turn. Let me know in the comments below which films, podcasts and books you turn to this time of year. I’m definitely looking to start reading more horror novels, so let me know where to begin.