Winter Reading – Horror

winter reading

Winter Reading Recommendations

for the horror fan…

Winter is a great time to read. There’s more down time in your life because the weather limits you from outdoor activities. The isolated feel of the weather and the early sundown also set the ideal mood for a good horror tale. Here are some great horror fiction stories and books to read during the winter months. They all have winter themes running through them, cold, snow, holidays, and isolation.

Winter Reading List

Short stories:

The Windego – Algernon Blackwood
Christmas Eve at Aunt Elsie’s – Thomas Ligotti
The Chimney – Ramsey Campbell
The Vending Machine – Mark Lukens
The Glamour of the Snow – Algernon Blackwood
At the Mountains of Madness – HP Lovecraft
The Yattering and Jack – Clive Barker

Books:

Who Goes There – John W. Campbell
Storm of the Century – Stephen King
The Shining- Stephen King
Winter Wake – Rick Hatula
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Dead of Winter – Brian Moreland
Snow – Ronald Malfi 
NOS4A2 – Joe Hill

winter pic

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If you have any more suggestions, leave them in the comments.
I would love to know your favorite winter theme horror stories…and I’ll add them to the list.

 

What are your favorite winter reads?

A Dark Collection: 12 Scary Stories By Mark Lukens – book review

A Dark Collection: 12 Scary Stories
By Mark Lukens

I downloaded this for a random read. Despite the generic title I liked the cover art. It reminded me of an old style collection of Halloween tales I once had as a youngster. Much like Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf, there is a tale for each month of the year in this collection. Many of the stories demonstrate the kind of horror that men can inflict upon each other, be it for jealousy, sport, ritual or power.

In the first story, Crow Manor, the longest (and strongest) tale in the collection, a young couple is hired to house-sit over the a dark collection - mark lukenswinter months. Despite some strange rules, the couple agree because the pay is more than they would make in a full year of working. They soon discover they are being hunted by a master hunter and trophy-man. The story was very tense and had me rooting for the young couple’s escape.

The psychological implications of oppression are demonstrated in the story Tank, where the captive becomes ultra-reliant on the captor. In Welcome to Paradise, a small desert town becomes a prison when some young couples are lost and can’t find their way back to civilization. I also enjoyed the humorous Halloween poem/ limerick for the October entry, Halloween Spirit. And the Western horror of Skinwalkers was a paranormal tale, a creepy entry based upon Native American folklore. I find the last two stories in the collection to be the most original and creative. Rat Trap starts with a familiar struggle and ends the way I love short stories to end, with a terrifying twist. And the December story, The Vending Machine, is more like a weird tale that encompasses Christmas themes, childhood memories and family struggles wrapped in horror. It’s a perfect story to end the book

Although the stories are good, there’s nothing wholly original about most of them. Crow Manor has shades of You’re Next and The Osterman Weekend. Welcome to Paradise has the feel of The Hills Have Eyes. You’ll find familiarity in most of these tales. However, they are well written and quickly paced, making them enjoyable to read. Whether you want to read one story a month or plow through all the stories in a month is your choice, but it will certainly entertain.

A Dark Collection: 12 Scary Stories – By Mark Lukens