It's October - the time of year when the wind picks up leaves and swirls them at our heels, when the shadows grow longer as they stalk at our heels. It's time for Halloween.
As we count down to the day when ghosts and ghouls and goblins come out to play, I'm doing a rundown each day of horror books that I love over on Twitter - and I'm going to gather those tweets here too, along with replies suggested by followers.
Do join in - either in the comments here, or over on my Twitter account - just click on one of the tweets below to come through and join in the chat.
I'd love to hear your suggestions. Oh, and on Halloween itself, I'll share my favourite horror book ever - if you can guess what it is beforehand, I'll give the first person to do so a paperback copy of Tales From The Tower (available at myBook.to/Tower), including my horror story The Chickcharney.
And so, we begin...
It's October, and it's time to talk about scary things. Each day until Halloween, I'm going to recommend a book. A scary book.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 1, 2018
To start, it's Dark Harvest, by Norman Partridge, about the day the October Boy rises from the corn, a knife in his hand... and heads for town. pic.twitter.com/KHpjI6OZOO
This really is a fantastic read - with the boys of the town let loose to try to kill the October Boy, with the promise of escape from the town, a new life, a new world if they succeed. There's menace all over the place, and moments to make you cry. A great, great horror novel.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 1, 2018
Oooooh. NICE.— Jeff (my brother is no-lie named Michael) Myers (@fuzzyjefe) October 1, 2018
I'll answer with Joe Lansdale's BUMBER CROP. pic.twitter.com/1fgEmUNrTn
Day 2 of my #horror book countdown - and today I pick Vampire$, by John Steakley. You may think you know this from the John Carpenter movie, but you don't. This is a great horror about a hit team hired to take out vampires - only they don't die easy. #HorrorBooksForHalloween pic.twitter.com/pe9KAu7H89— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 2, 2018
The characters are great in this - but the best part is a mid-section of the book reveals a victim's tale, forced to do the vampires' work. And, worse, forced to enjoy it. Great novel, really invigorates the vampire myth.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 2, 2018
Well, that movie has a lesser Baldwin and James Woods + a crappy romantic plot. Anything, and I include the black plague, can be better than the movie.— 👻 Ricardo "Sort Of Frightening" Victoria 👻 (@Winged_Leo) October 2, 2018
It has James Woods. The last time he was good in something, it was on 'Casino' as a low life that appears when no one needs him to badger you with money request & brain hared ideas... just like in real life. Sorry if I have to choose a Vampire$ movie, I go with the Bon Jovi one.— 👻 Ricardo "Sort Of Frightening" Victoria 👻 (@Winged_Leo) October 2, 2018
I needed to clean my palate after a particularly po-faced classic while studying English Literature - and turned to a cheap, nasty, mean horror from Shaun Hutson. It was perfect. A small town community falls apart as a virus turns people into.. vampires?#HorrorBooksForHalloween pic.twitter.com/B6ptaJrCbs— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 3, 2018
There's part of this book that has shades of Stephen King's Salem's Lot, there's parts that resemble a movie that came out the same year, Impulse (starring Tim Matheson and Meg Tilly). But Erebus is a fast, brutal read, showing how quickly the veneer of society falls apart.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 3, 2018
Today in #HorrorBooksForHalloween, I recommend Turner by @karldrinkwater - but better yet, pick it up in his horror collection for the extra short stories. Turner is a nightmare on a Welsh island, a Wicker Man for the modern age, a bloodlust bacchanal. No one is safe. pic.twitter.com/2EA9joAFn9— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 4, 2018
In the short stories, I particularly loved Web. Better than Turner, even though that's the one I recommend picking it up. So come for the Turner drive-through movie, stay for the Web creature feature, go home happy.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 4, 2018
There's Housebroken by @TheBehrg , which I see as a great example of being able to take a book in unexpected but satisfying directions. https://t.co/SorffrbwWQ— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
This crazy book impressed me this year, despite the terrible translation. It also left me sickened. https://t.co/Ao6YcslCI2 The Tank by Nicola Lombardi (I had a chat with him by email but don't think he's on Twitter.)— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
The Sadist's Bible, by @NicoleCushing was a really satisfying horror novella. https://t.co/L1EfmhZq6f— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
Also some sci-fi horrors that stayed with me: https://t.co/cwIUNJdeLB— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
I talk about a few classics over at https://t.co/6R9kqEoXwe— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
I enjoyed the short story "Bent" in Rebecca Rowland's collection https://t.co/Gjp0jvAuAE— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
Body of Christ by @matthews_mark really impressed me too, as one of the best novellas I've read this year. https://t.co/aKeStk8w9a— Karl Drinkblood (@karldrinkwater) October 4, 2018
A new day, and a new addition to my #HorrorBooksForHalloween list - and it's a doozy. The best vampire story ever written. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. Sure, there have been movies, but the book is better. Why? Well... 1/2 #horror pic.twitter.com/jhHSkwbofo— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 5, 2018
It's the voices. The friends. The colleagues. The people that lead character Neville knew. That he drank with. That he laughed with. Now all vampires. And every night they come to his door. Calling his name. Calling for him to come and join them. To come and let them feed on him.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 5, 2018
Today for #HorrorBooksForHalloween, it's a classic. The best of Stephen King's works, the centrepiece and glittering gem. The Stand. In which the world ends, and then the horror begins. It's a thick tome of a book, and worth every page. Decent TV mini-series adaptation too. pic.twitter.com/YexEqRfPiA— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 6, 2018
I love that others are chipping in with extra suggestions - such as the one below.Today's #HorrorBooksForHalloween reaches way, way back - to one of the founding stones of horror. Dracula. If you've never read it, do. So many movies, yet so much still to discover in the pages. Poor old Quincy Morris doesn't get as much credit as he deserves, y'know. pic.twitter.com/hBJwcXLbTH— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 8, 2018
Today's #HorrorBooksForHalloween entry is a bit different - ostensibly a sci-fi, Greg Bear's Blood Music is in truth a very creepy tale, which all starts with a researcher creating cellular material smarter than rats. Cells that think... that he then smuggles into the world... pic.twitter.com/sGUSgs2iRG— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 9, 2018
I'm playing catch-up on my #HorrorBooksForHalloween today - and the first of two today is my favourite HP Lovecraft omnibus, with the story that really must become a movie one day: At The Mountains of Madness. An Antarctic exploration becomes a descent into hell. Brilliant. pic.twitter.com/ElPkgEMdIZ— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 11, 2018
One of my favorite stories and just today I found my copy is missing. Damn you Old Ones! Also if you like the concept, Ararat by @ChristophGolden works around it. I really recommend that book.— 👻 Ricardo "Sort Of Frightening" Victoria 👻 (@Winged_Leo) October 11, 2018
For my second #HorrorBooksForHalloween today, I turn to a favourite modern writer, and the darkling delights within Dark Flash 2, a collection of flash pieces by @MariaHaskins. I particularly love The Weight of the Sea, Wolves and Girls, and especially A Song For Hugo. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/svk1ItDmX3— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 11, 2018
Tonight's #HorrorBooksForHalloween could have been any James Herbert novel. But The Rats was the first of his I read. I've always feared multitudes, faceless, motiveless multitudes. And that's The Rats. Coming for you. Relentless. Gnawing. Deadly. An ordinary terror. pic.twitter.com/qDZTFQsofD— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 12, 2018
I'd like to mention @AlteredInstinct that my new short story collection SOULS AND HALLOWS has a Halloween theme, encompassing spiritual, horror and B-movie monster themes. #HorrorBooksForHalloween with a #scifi slant. #indieauthor #IATRGhttps://t.co/TfURIJnj5Y— S. R. Algernon (@s_r_algernon) October 12, 2018
I had this scheduled for later in my #HorrorBooksForHalloween rundown but... well. Blackbirds is great. The lead character is a screw-up. She's running away from the world. From herself. She can see the future - but she can't escape it. Brutal, funny, bleak, brilliant. pic.twitter.com/xYzTrK0SAM— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 13, 2018
Today is catch-up day on #HorrorBooksForHalloween after a family day yesterday - so if you're looking for a scare before sleep, I suggest World War Z, by Max Brooks. Don't think of the movie, this is a series of excerpts from across the war. Most terrifying? Zombies under water. pic.twitter.com/aCJvysVxlZ— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 14, 2018
Today's #HorrorBooksForHalloween choice might as easily be considered sci-fi, and other titles by John Wyndham might fit better - but The Chrysalids unnerved me as a kid. It's about the out of place, those who are made to feel they don't belong. As a kid, I felt that. #horror pic.twitter.com/zyipqbqHWI— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 14, 2018
By the way, I don't remember the cover on the one I first read - I think it was one of those all yellow plain covers at the library. The cover didn't sell the book to me, but every word of it lingered with me. Don't judge a book by its cover? Well, that could be the plot too.— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 14, 2018
Today in #HorrorBooksForHalloween, I recommend a book that's not always horror, but contains some of the most haunting stories I've read in a long time. Godfall is the title tale in @WriterOdell's collection but The Home For Broken is harrowing. Others shine too. A great read. pic.twitter.com/OMBCIdsHyI— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 15, 2018
I'm zigzagging in my #HorrorBooksForHalloween - something old, something new, something borrowed... which could of course double up as the recipe for the creature in Frankenstein. Mary Shelley's tale belongs in every #horror list, every #sci-fi list. A creation of genius. pic.twitter.com/P6hASQW1jy— Altered Instinct (@AlteredInstinct) October 17, 2018