A Host of Halloween Horrors

When the lights are dimmed and the cold outside nips and pinches at you until you retreat to the haven of the heated apartments maybe it's time to curl up on the couch underneath some throws and pillows with a good novel in your hands.

Now, I don't mean just any old novel. As most of you have noticed the temperature has already begun to drop and the time of ghosts, and pumpkins, and cutesy 'scary' stuff has descended upon the valleys of Utah. Sooner than we realize the Provo children will be knocking at our apartment doors demanding sugar highs and the small thrills from men and women disguised as gruesome creatures. We will open our doors, and depending on personality types, either greet them with wide grins on our faces and bowls full of candy or give them a small scare to entertain our own exam riddled brains.

Until then, however, it's just getting colder and we still have work, and school, and church to bring little anxieties into our minds. Jackets and scarves have already begun to layer up in preparation for the autumn to come. Your neighbor is eating something with cinnamon (perhaps the over zealous are already playing Christmas songs) and you are sitting in your apartment/dorm/house with a textbook on your lap and a highlighter laying limp in your hand.

Whether you prefer something tamer or you enjoy a good horror, October is the month to break out that haunted house music, plug in your headphones and settle into your reading nest with the perfect novel to give your heart that extra quick beat.

Here's what the BYU Bookstore has to offer:

We have the classics such as:

  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
    • You all know the gist of the story, right? Has to do with a green monster-man with a really large forehead and bolts in his neck. Sure but no, not really.
      Victor Frankenstein, an avid science student, wants to discover the method of bringing the dead back to life. Obsessed, he begins stealing body parts which eventually help him to create another, perfectly harmless, human being. However, Frankenstein is disgusted by his creation and condemns it to isolation. Eventually the loneliness and rejection the creature experiences ebbs away at its brain until he is overcome with evil and endeavors on a murderous rampage seeking out his creator.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula
    • Despite the illusion that surrounds vampires in contemporary literature, the true vampire is a villain. Written in epistolary form, Stoker's Dracula, tells the classic tale of good vs. evil. Or in this case, Van Helsing vs. Count Dracula. Dracula, with the intention of moving from Transylvania to England, leaves behind body after body drained of blood. Van Helsing brought into the story to examine the diminishing health of Lucy Westenra quickly picks up on the trail and begins his hunt of the hunter in order to prevent any more deaths.

Some relatively new stuff:

  • Neil Gaiman's American Gods
    • If any of you have either seen or read Coraline then this newly popular novel might entice you. The protagonist, Shadow, has just been released from prison and has also just been notified of his wife's death. Numb to feeling, he comes across the character of Mr.Wednesday who claims to be a former god and the American king. Together, they take a trip across the country, unveiling America piece by piece.

And for brownie points, give it a gander:

  • Henry James' The Turn of the Screw
    • The Turn of the Screw was written in 1898 and the English is very convoluted so give yourself some time with this one. However, definitely give it a go. Miss Jessel has just been hired as a governess for the two most adorable and lovable children anyone could ever create. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to be the only person, or entity, who thinks this. Little siblings, Miles and Flora, have attracted the spirits of dead former workers. This couple are determined to entice Miles and Flora away from the safety of their governess and into the embrace of death. The Turn of the Screw isn't just a classic ghost story, it is the ghost story.

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