(Updated October 9, 2020)
Fall seems to be every reader’s favorite season. Leaves turning beautiful shades of brown and gold, hot tea, crisp air, pumpkin-spiced everything, and Halloween are just a few of the reasons we love the season. This year, rather than get wrapped up in one of the usual spooky movie marathons, try picking up one of these horrific classics instead.
Light the jack-o-lantern, lock the doors, and check out our list of classics perfect to read in the dark below!
Edgar Allan Poe was a master of tales of the mysterious and macabre. From the eerie incantations of “The Raven” to the persistent fright of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” his stories and poems are unforgettable explorations of the darker side of life.
Poe’s writings were truly original—and both our Leather-bound, Edgar Allan Poe: Collected Works, and brand-new Word Cloud Classic, Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, provide the perfect look at his uncommon genius.
The stories of H. P. Lovecraft have been a source of fascination for readers since they were published in the early twentieth century, and legions of fans continue to reinvent his dark and fantastical world to this day. H. P. Lovecraft Tales of Horror contains more than twenty of his most popular works, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and “The Dunwich Horror.” Each story will leave the reader feeling unsettled and uncertain, but also appreciative of the unique elements that Lovecraft introduced to the literary world.
Irish author Bram Stoker introduced the character of Count Dracula and provided the basis of modern vampire fiction in his 1897 novel entitled Dracula. Written as a series of letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries, and ships’ logs, the story begins with lawyer Jonathan Harker journeying to meet Dracula at his remote castle to complete a real estate transaction. Harker soon discovers that he is being held prisoner, and that Dracula has a rather disquieting nocturnal life. Touching on themes such as Victorian culture, immigration, and colonialism, among others, this timeless classic is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats!
This Gothic-style romance is among the earliest of true science fiction novels, if not the first. A young scientist named Victor Frankenstein, after going through his own near-death experience, decides to play God and create life in the form of a grotesque creature, which turns into a nightmare. Through his experience, he learns that the gift of life is precious, not disposable. The journey and personal transformation in Frankenstein has deeply affected readers for decades.
They are the stories of characters we’ve known since childhood: Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella. But the works originally collected by the Brothers Grimm in the early 1800s are not necessarily the versions told before bedtime. They’re darker and often don’t end very happily—but they’re far more interesting. We have many different versions of these stories for you to add to your collection.
Leather-bound: Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales is filled with chilling stories of ghosts and Headless Horsemen perfect for a cold fall night. The Headless Horseman faces off with Ichabod Crane in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a ghost story of enduring popularity that takes place at the time of the American Revolution. “Rip Van Winkle,” another traditional favorite from the same historic period, tells the tale of man who fell asleep for twenty years and found his small town in the Catskill Mountains much changed by the time he awakened. Both are included—along with over 30 other stories—in this classic collection by Washington Irving.
Don’t lose your head!
With dozens of stories of the macabre, fantastic, and supernatural, the Classic Horror Tales Word Cloud Classic is sure to keep readers on the edges of their seats. A wide range of cultures and classes of society are represented in this volume, reminding us that dark forces lurk all around us—for even in broad daylight, a shadow exists somewhere.
Our Leather-bound Classic Tales of Horror is filled with psychological horrors, disturbing dramas, and gruesome ghosts. From vampires and a monkey paw to an unstoppable heart and haunting apparitions, anecdotes of supernatural terror will have you turning pages long past the witching hour.