Here in Australia, we don't celebrate Halloween very much, but try telling that to my daughter, who has been planning her costume since last Halloween. Of course I like to celebrate every occasion by reading - but maybe I'll make my books just a wee bit spookier than usual. Here's a little list of three scarily wonderful books that readers who don't want to tip over into the horror genre can still enjoy when everything else is too light and upbeat.
First off the bat is Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Take your pick - they're all good and all spooky, but I'm going to recommend The Prince of Mist just because it's his YA book, quick and easy to read, and spine tingling, even at the end.
Coraline is the more disturbing because more like a universal nightmare. Those button eyes and mother-not-mother still haunt me when I think about it.
Finally, from the archives, there's Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I'm going through a little Stevenson revival at the moment, and as with The Prince of Mist and Coraline, what works so well in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the universal chord that the book touches. We all have a touch of Hyde in us (though hopefully not to the same extent) - that evil twin (the not-mother, the spurned clown) who takes us near the edge. We can almost understand, empathise with, and even see ourselves slipping into that bad guy role. Bwahahaha. Happy Halloween.