It’s coming up to the spookiest night of the year, so what better time to immerse yourself in a scary supernatural story or some chilling horror? We’ve picked some tales of the macabre that are sure to make your spine tingle…
Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions is a dark Gothic ghost story that opens with the heroine, Elsie, imprisoned in a Victorian asylum. Encouraged by a sympathetic doctor to write about her past, she tells her story, starting in 1865, when she arrives – newly married, newly widowed and pregnant – at her husband’s decrepit country mansion, The Bridge, accompanied by her unprepossessing cousin-in-law Sarah. Exploring the house, Elsie discovers a locked room, containing the 200-year-old diary of Sarah’s ancestor, Anne, and a ‘Silent Companion’ – an unsettling figure made of wood and painted to look like a person. The eyes seem to follow Elsie around – and soon, the companions multiply and start to appear all round the house… This dark, sinister novel follows in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill, and will leave you on the edge of your seat.
For more terrifying tales, try Fear on 4 – a CD collection of 13 bloodcurdling BBC radio full cast dramas, introduced by ‘The Man in Black’ Edward de Souza and written by classic authors such as E F Benson (‘The Face’), William Fryer Harvey (‘The Beast with Five Fingers’), Charlotte Perkins Gilman (‘The Yellow Wallpaper’) and Bram Stoker (‘The Judge’s House’). With top-class casts including Imelda Staunton, Bernard Cribbins and Anna Massey, and superb sound design, these adaptations will thrill and chill in equal measure.
If you’re a fan of vampire fiction, you’ll want to feast on the brand new book in Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’ – Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat. It tells the gripping story of how Lestat came to rule the world of blood drinkers, how he struggled with the division within its ranks, and how he sacrifices himself to save his tribe. Spanning the globe – from Lestat’s chateau in the French mountains to lush, verdant Louisiana to the Pacific islands to St Petersburg – this sweeping saga shows Anne Rice at her brilliant best.
Alternatively, why not go for some old-school monsters, in the form of Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror? These two classic chillers by Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson have had a huge influence on the horror genre and, despite being over 150 years old, they still retain their power to shock. Both are sensational stories of scientific experimentation gone wrong and fiendish freaks of nature, and they’ll both fill you with delighted terror.
These titles are all available for delivery in 2-6 working days, with fantastic discounts on the publisher’s price. So curl up on the sofa, turn the lights down low, ignore the trick-or-treaters and get in the Halloween spirit with these wickedly good titles!