Halloween is already fading from our minds as the holiday season sneaks up, but you still may want a spine-tingling tale or two. Check out one of these audio books.
- “Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews
Four children enjoy perfect lives in a happy, golden family. Suddenly their father dies and the children are forced to live alone in an airless attic, forgotten by the mother who left them there.
- “Blaze” by Richard Bachman
Clayton Blaisdell Jr., nicknamed Blaze, is a mentally-disabled giant living in a decrepit old house. Blaze’s best, and only, friend’s name is George, and hes a bad influence. It is George who goads Blaze into kidnapping the baby for a million-dollar ransom. As a pitch-black sequence of events unfolds, the true sickness of Blaze’s condition comes into focus through painful flashbacks of abuse.
- “Coldheart Canyon”by Clive Barker
Film’s most popular action hero needs a place to heal after his surgery has gone terribly wrong. His fiercely loyal agent finds him just such a place in a luxurious forgotten mansion high in the Hollywood Hills. But the original owner of the mansion was a beautiful woman devoted to pleasure at any cost, and the terrible legacy of her deeds has not yet died. There are ghosts and monsters haunting Coldheart Canyon, where nothing is forbidden…
- “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury
The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween. The shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Ill., to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmare.
- “Phantom Nights” by John Farris
Teenage Alex Gambier, outcast and scarred from a childhood tragedy and mute from an early bout of diphtheria, conceives daredevil stunts that threaten his life and place him in the care of young nurse Mally Shaw. An unlikely friendship results, which is ended by an unspeakable crime that costs Mally her life…or not quite ended, for Mally finds herself trapped in a nether world by the force of Alex’s will and his need to exact a terrifying revenge on the man responsible for Mally’s death.
- “Dead Until Dark” by Charlaine Harris
Being telepathic, Miss Sookie has no luck dating the living. It’s just too awkward for her to become intimate with a man, let alone sleep with him when she can hear everything he’s thinking about her. But then the alluring vampire Bill stops into her bar, and his mind reads silent as a tomb. Finally, the match she’s longed for! There are those, however, who wish to destroy Sookie’s undead beau and soon realize they picked the wrong vampire to aggravate. Also try “Living Dead in Dallas.”
- “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King
Lisey’s husband, award-winning author Scott Landon, has been dead for two years at the book’s start, but his presence is felt on every page. Lisey hears him so often in her head that when her catatonic sister, Amanda, begins speaking to her with Scott’s voice, she finds it not so much unbelievable as inevitable. Soon she’s following a trail of clues that lead her to Scott’s horrifying childhood and the eerie world called Boo’ya Moon, all while trying to help Amanda and avoid a murderous stalker.
- “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” by Stephen King
One of the best-selling authors ever to set pen to paper, Stephen King crafts macabre tales of the highest order. In his third collection of short stories, King displays the range and fecundity of imagination that his readers savor. The celebrity narrators for this collection include Tim Curry, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Bates, Matthew Broderick, Gary Sinese, Joe Mantegna and Stephen King himself.
- “Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz
Dead people talk to Odd Thomas and sometimes want justice, like helping solve a crime, or preventing one, but this one’s different. A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world’s worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for Aug. 15. Today is Aug. 14. Also try “Dragon Tears” and Dean Koontz’s “Frankenstein.”
- “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux
They say that a ghost haunts the labyrinthine chambers beneath of the Paris Opera House. While there are those who laugh off such superstitions, they always do so nervously, in the bright light of day. But beautiful, talented young singer Christine Daae will soon experience a terror far more acute than any vague feeling of unease. For she is about to learn the secret of why the man who has made the tunnels beneath Paris his private domain must forever hide his face behind a mask.
- “Haunted” by Chuck Palahniuk
Palahniuk’s amalgam fiction begins with a Dantesque ad invitation: “Artists’ Retreat: Abandon Your Life for Three Months.” Then, like a macabre, twisted reality TV version of “The Canterbury Tales” or “The Decameron,” the tale spins out of control. In 23 stories, the willing participants in this increasingly diabolical communal experiment share sadistic particulars of their loathsome lives. Also try “Diary.”
- “Tales of Terror” by Edgar Allan Poe
With these stories, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Poe’s title of Master of Terror is solidified.
- “Interview With the Vampire” by Anne Rice
Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing forcea story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write. Also try “The Vampire Lestat.”
- “Frankenstein” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Shelley’s timeless gothic novel presents the epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris and horror.
- “Dracula” by Bram Stoker
Dracula is a quintessential tale of horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and who preys upon the innocent, helpless and beautiful. A bleak saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the moralistic age in which it was originally written, and the corrupt desires that plague modern man. Also try “Dracula: The Undead” by Bram’s direct descendant Dacre Stoker.
- “A Dark Matter” by Peter Straub
The charismatic Spenser Mallon is a campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his acolytes. After a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body and the shattered souls of all who were present. Years later, one man attempts to understand what happened to his wife and friends by writing a book about this horrible night, and through this process they begin to examine the unspeakable events that haunted every one of them through their lives. Also try “The Talisman” co-written with Stephen King.
- “The Strain” by Guillermo del Toro
A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.