Graphic by Ethan Gullet

It’s the time of year for chills and thrills; the days are shorter, and the nights are longer. With all of the great scary reads out there, compiling a list is not easy, but here’s The Paisano’s list of spooky reads to finish off the month of October.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

Nothing is scarier than being buried alive. Edgar Allen Poe’s famous short story made the list for exactly that reason: it’s unsettling. Poe’s short story includes acts of revenge, immuration and the revelation of a person’s true nature — all unraveled in dark catacombs underneath Italy’s Carnival. Despite being a short story, “The Cask of Amontillado” is mysterious and frightening.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Morrison’s highly acclaimed novel reveals the complexities of family relationships, the constant tension between individuals and society, and the psychological ramifications of slavery. The novel follows the life of Sethe, a former slave, as she lives out her days in 1873 Cincinnati, Ohio, and it chronicles her time living in a haunted house. Although the novel has more substance than just horror for entertainment, its supernatural elements and bigger observations on the African American community, and the terrors they face in America, make it a noteworthy read.

Misery by Stephen King

Misery presents a psychological horror focused on the relationship between author Paul Sheldon and psycho superfan Annie Wilkes. Annie takes a seriously injured Paul hostage after a car accident, and Paul is forced to play a deadly game of survival with his captor. The novel parallels King’s own life and observes the relationship between fans and celebrities, showing just how dangerous fandoms can get.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

A reimagination of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook,” Victor LaValle tells this story from the perspective of street musician and hustler, Tommy Tester. Tester happens upon wealthy and mysterious Robert Suydam and is thrust into a world of monsters and the fantastic. An interesting fusion of horror and sci-fi, LaValle’s story gives audiences a complex protagonist that is both likable and terrifying.

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