All Hallows Read

Neil Gaiman has this thing. It’s called “All Hallow’s Read” and he explains it significantly better than I can.

The idea is simple. In honor of Halloween, you give someone a scary book. I like this better than Trick or Treating because, in the grand scheme of things, I am better off having extra things to read around than extra candy.

So, because I am stupidly busy this week and because otherwise the blog will be even more sadly neglected than it already is, I have here for you…

Liz’s List of Scary Stories (that can be had for free on the Internet)

(This list has been carefully curated for you by a tired graduate student trying to remember some good scares. I shouldn’t even have to say this, but this list is a very looong way away from being either complete or authoritative. For obvious reasons (free and legal, remember), this list is primarily made up of stories written in the 19th and early 20th centuries.)

Updates for 2014 with suggestions from the comments and some new ideas

And, for those of you who are interested in more recent works, you can always pick up one of these:

  • Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Sunshine by Robin McKinley

For more inspiration/horrification, I recommend Neil’s list of scary books, some of which actually overlap with my recommendations, which leaves me very pleased indeed. Let me know how the other ones are and some time in the next ten years, when I have time to read fiction again, I’ll take a look.

Have fun!


I'm a doctoral student in English Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My interests lie in the field known very broadly as the Digital Humanities and I focus on reading digital books (what happens to books as they become not merely digitized, but digital) and reading books digitally (how can we use computers to learn new things about literature). In what spare time I have, I read speculative fiction, transform long strings of yarn into apparel and decor and play with my friends' dogs while eagerly awaiting the day when we move to an apartment complex that will allow us to have one.

Posted in Personal Blog
3 comments on “All Hallows Read
  1. Ema says:

    What a great idea! I plan to read those i have not yet read (when I can get books again) and would like to add two others. As you say, any Poe will do, but I recently retread “Fall of the House of Usher” and it is great. “Ghost Story” by Peter Straub and “the Butcher’s Theater” by Jonahan Kellerman. So, the Kellerman is NOT his (mediocre) Alex Delaware detective and remains one of the scariest books I have ever read. Same with the Straub.

  2. Erachet says:

    Thinking back to what we read in Gotchic Novel class in college: The Romance of the Forest, Dracula, The Castle of Otranto. Also, The Phantom of the Opera – pretty scary (the book is a lot weirder than the show).

  3. Erachet says:

    Also, Wieland (pretty weird and scary). Oh, and also, stick in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey for some not-scary-yet-still-fitting-in-with-the-theme fun.

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