Old Favorites: Horror


Now that we’re well into October, it’s that time of year where reading or watching something terrifying just seems . . . right.

I’m not necessarily an avid horror reader or watcher ordinarily, though I do like being scared. My taste veers more toward psychological horror and the horror classics, but I am certainly willing to try other sub-genres.

Some of my favorites?

I’ve actually blogged a fair amount about my favorite horror reads in the past few years on here.

Edgar Alan Poe‘s work was probably the first horror I remember reading when I was a child. And though his writing in some ways can still seem a bit old-fashioned to a modern reader, even 170 years after his death, his terrifying short stories and poems are still wonderfully atmospheric and eerie. My favorite Poe poem will always be “The Raven” (“Nevermore!”), and my favorite short story of his is “The Tell-Tale Heart,” with “The Black Cat” a close second. Check out one of our Poe poetry/story collections to read them.

When I was a teen, I discovered Daphne Du Maurier. And I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s not really horror.” And you’re not wrong, per se–but a lot of her work is so marvelously eerie. (And she wrote the incredibly disturbing short story that Alfred Hitchcock’s infamous move The Birds is based on.) And the more you think about her work, the creepier and freakier it gets. Though I’ve read and enjoyed several of Du Maurier’s novels, my favorite will always be the chilling Rebecca.

When I was in grad school, I took a class on gothic literature, and the professor told us you’re either a Frankenstein person or a Dracula person. I like both books, but I’m definitely a Dracula person. I reread Dracula every few years in October, just as a matter of habit. I’m a big fan of urging people to read the original book–simply because it is so different from pretty much any film adaptation of it that has been made. Oh, and of course I have very strong opinions about Dracula movies. . . .

In recent years, I am actually more likely to watch horror than read it. For me, a favorite category of horror is “Arctic horror TV, starring actors from Game of Thrones.” Fortitude was my gateway into this peculiar blend of genres, though my all-time favorite example of it is last year’s The Terror. It’s been over a year since I first watched The Terror, and it still creeps me out every time I think about it.

That’s a small but hardly exhaustive list of some of my favorites. What are some of yours?

Like reading and watching horror? Love reading and watching horror? Terrified of reading and watching horror? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any items or to place holds.


Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

2 thoughts on “Old Favorites: Horror”

  1. Love your recommendations! I, too, am definitely a Dracula person; the book is magnificent! And you couldn’t be more right about Daphne du Maurier’s power for the psychological thriller; Jamaica Inn is another HIGHLY recommended (and early) thriller of hers that I’m terribly tempted to pick up right now and start all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

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