All Hallows Read!


So, I was sitting in the salon today getting my hair done when I realized something. Halloween in just a few days away, and I haven’t said a damn thing about it. It’s no secret that I love scary stories. I don’t review them all that much because I consider them a guilty pleasure (aka: I don’t want to admit – publicly – when I almost pee my pants) so I use Halloween as an excuse to throw out recommendations without having to justify character development or plot. This year is no different, with the exception of the list content. In the past I have just thrown out books I thought were creepy/scary/gory…this year, I’ve narrowed this list down to my Top 5 of ALL TIME. So sit back, take it all in, agree, disagree, and discuss! xoxo – Misty


11588The Shining by Stephen King

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Any book nerd out there can tell you that you can’t think of horror without thinking of it’s matriarch Stephen King. The two are like peanut butter and jelly, they just naturally go together. But with so many King novel’s to choose from (FYI – Insomnia is my favorite, in case you were curious) which one tops the charts? Easy…”The Shining.” Hell bent on distorting every childhood fear imaginable, (and then very successfully wrapping it up in one creepy ass bow) The Shining stands out as one of the scariest stories of all time. In fact, it’s so scary (and notable) that it became a pop-culture icon after making an appearance on the TV show Friends. (In which Joey sticks the book in the ice-box.) But what EXACTLY makes it so scary? Psychotic subconsciousness. “WTF does that mean?” Who the hell knows, it just sounded good. Short and sweet, there is nothing scarier than pint sized people that can see things you can’t. Feel like calling BS? Pick up a copy and tell me I’m wrong. I guarantee you, after a few chapters you will be searching for room in your ice-box too.

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…


Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 6.35.46 PMThe Red Church by Scott Nicholson

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I have never finished a book and then felt the immediate need for prayer and repentance as I did when I finished Scott Nicholson’s “The Red Church.” (The first time.) Cracking into a Texas born fear (aka I grew up in the days of David Koresh) Nicholson takes religious fanaticism and kicks it in the face. (In the form of a half-eaten man, and a suicidal priest.) There are (when you get right down to it) two types of people in this world, the ones that believe in (a) God, and those that don’t. “The Red Church” exploits both. In technicolor. Much like King, you might think Nicholson has a few screws loose while reading this, but for some freakish reason (that I have yet to discover) it is impossible to put down. Maybe there is more to this cult thing than I originally assumed?

For 13-year-old Ronnie Day, life is full of problems: Mom and Dad have separated, his brother Tim is a constant pest, Melanie Ward either loves him or hates him, and Jesus Christ won’t stay in his heart. Plus he has to walk past the red church every day, where the Bell Monster hides with its wings and claws and livers for eyes. But the biggest problem is that Archer McFall is the new preacher at the church, and Mom wants Ronnie to attend midnight services with her.

Sheriff Frank Littlefield hates the red church for a different reason. His little brother died in a freak accident at the church twenty years ago, and now Frank is starting to see his brother’s ghost. And the ghost keeps demanding, “Free me.” People are dying in Whispering Pines, and the murders coincide with McFall’s return.

The Days, the Littlefields, and the McFalls are descendants of the original families that settled the rural Appalachian community. Those old families share a secret of betrayal and guilt, and McFall wants his congregation to prove its faith. Because he believes he is the Second Son of God, and that the cleansing of sin must be done in blood.

“Sacrifice is the currency of God,” McFall preaches, and unless Frank and Ronnie stop him, everybody pays.


24800House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

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Ok, so you remember just a few minutes ago when I implied that Scott Nicholson might be a little crazy, he’s got nothing on me. Or…at least he doesn’t when it comes to the person I morph into when reading Mark Z. Danielewski’s novel “House of Leaves.” But first, a favor…please don’t tell my husband that I am talking about this book. I have purchased 3 copies of HOL, and each has subsequently been burned, trashed or has mysteriously disappeared before I have had a chance to finish it. Why? Because this novel makes my brain explode. Literally. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this book in person, take a second and click on THIS LINK. Insane right? And for someone as OCD as myself, it’s like mixing puzzles and then screaming GO! Add an incredibly creepy story (where the inside of a house is larger than the outside) on top of that, and I was literally writing on my walls, and nailing my windows shut. (No shit…ask hubs.) This book has been banned in my household. So has it’s musical accompaniment by Poe (who happens to be Mark’s sister) which is equally as creepy and I recommend you listen to in the dark, at an ungodly hour…when you are alone. But none of this really explains why it’s scary does it, more that I’m a complete loon, so let me explain…this book makes you look at thing differently. It challenges the norms, and let’s face it, there is nothing more terrifying than reality and the way you perceive it.

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.


15729539NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

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When I was little I was terrified of Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. The whole situation just seemed slightly out of whack to me. As I got older I naturally assumed I was past that irrational fear (though I’m still terrified of Oompa Loompas, and the old lady from The Wizard of Oz.) The moment I realized I wasn’t was when I was introduced to Joe Hill’s Christmasland in “NOS4A2.” A place where Christmas is all year long and the party never ends…because you can’t leave. Ever. The fact that the narrator in this novel is unclear as to whether or not she is actually insane (and spends the entire novel trying to convince you she isn’t) is just a cherry on top of the already creeptastic Mr. Manx (aka: Peter Pan with a wicked cool car) and his child abduction ring. That’s right…I said it…Mr. Manx should wear an ankle monitor and spend some time in cell block C. But I digress…let’s just say this book may have put me off of Christmas for a few years, which means…you should totally read it!

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.


943402Let The Right One In by John Lindqvist

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And last but certainly not least Lindqvist’s “Let The Right One In” which is nothing more than a heart-warming tale of a bullied boy looking for a friend. Sounds sweet right? No…it’s a total F___ fest. (I’ll let you fill in that blank.) With the oddest mixture of sweet and psycho this vampire novel is sure to leave it’s mark. But not necessarily in the way you would assume. While it’s sure to have your knees trembling with it’s spectacular prose, (and gobs of gore) it’s the feeling you’re sure to get in the end that will freak you out. (Let’s just say you might favor the “monster” more than you would like to admit.) “Let The Right One In” might not be a traditional scare-fest like it’s predecessors on this list, but I assure you…it’s subtle stalker qualities will leave you reeling.

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….





About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.

4 thoughts on “All Hallows Read!

    1. Unfortunately no. There is no way for the crazy formatting to work in Kindle form it’s just too out there. Also, reading it involves a LOT of flipping back and forth through the book & that’s pretty hard to accomplish with an ereader.

      It’s been out for quite a while though, you should be able to find a fairly cheap copy used. 🙂 Good luck.

  1. My dearest Misty,

    You are a terrible influence. We have no used bookstores near me and I like instant gratification so I ran to the nearest bookstore to obtain my copy of this book. The formatting is definitely interesting. As soon as I finish Allegiant I will start this…just in time for Halloween 🙂

    1. Bad Influence? Me! Never! (Insert maniacal laugh) I hope you enjoy it. (Aka: I hope you are able to sleep after reading it.)


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