Chilling Book Recommendations for Halloween… Part 2

As we crawl closer to all Hallows eve the leaves are turning and the weather is drawing colder. Shadows begin to cast over what was once light and in that darkness you’ll find the unknown. To compliment the season here are some more chilling book recommendations…

hallows

What more could want other than a chilling story that contains some truth? Of course I am talking about ‘Building 51’ by Jennifer L. Place. 

51

Building 51 follows the events of seven friends as they embark on an exploration excursion of an abandoned former hospital for the insane. In terms of specific genre this one is literally right up my ‘alley’ and I loved every word. This is while being on the edge of terrified throughout.

Fusing elements of real history and the paranormal make this story and the characters in it feel like something is lurking and watching them. Something is and this gradually becomes apparent manifesting itself in a range of unique and creepy ways. Without giving any further spoilers I urge you to check it out, trust me you won’t regret reading this one!

 

‘While some monsters are born, others are created..’

the 4

It’s the late 80’s in small town america where some young women have gone missing, one of them happens to look like the main character. What unfolds is a premise that fuses a guess who concept with a sophisticated slasher that delivers.

The Four Before Me by E.H. Night is book I found hard to put down with the many twists and turns along with elements of crime, mystery, suspense and of course some chilling horror. You could compare this book with the early works of Stephen King although the voice in this story is fresh and new trust me.

 

‘Sometimes you don’t get to choose where you are placed in the collective ecosystem of a High School…’

dfw-lh-oe-cover-ebook

Every reader collectively rolls their eyes as I plug my own work… Let’s face it without Open Evening and it’s ‘success’ I would have shut up shop a long time ago and yes it’s my debut novel, yes my writing has moved on a lot since and yes it might be ‘tween’ level lame – but I still like it and what it has become.

‘OE’ is a high school horror with a twist that points towards the ‘Body Snatchers’ meets ‘Blade’ which then meets ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and the truth is, I poured a lot of my own high school experiences into this book, so the stuff without the blood thirsty monsters of holy hell contains mostly truth. It’s going to be free to download on the 21st of this month along with it’s sequel ‘Cemetery House’. Both of these books share the same universe as Darke Blood also! 

There’s something lurking in the shadows of Druid Wood and it’s terrifying…

within dark places

Without taking anything away from any of the other books mentioned I have possibly left the most terrifying to last because ‘Within the Dark Places’ by Duncan Thompson sacred the shit out of me! And I mean that in the most sincere of senses because not only was I scared but I enjoyed this book, a lot!

This story follows a small group who decide to spend their weekend in a woods with chilling results. From the very beginning there’s a stack of mystery and intrigue as to what exactly is lurking in the shadows which starts to play on the readers imagination more than anything; something which is text book horror and also very effective in a book like this.

 That wraps up part two of my chilling book recommendations for Halloween. Have you got any? Hit me up and I’ll check them out, my list is always looking for new reads! 

 

‘The Door’ – a paranormal account

The events relayed in this account are true.

 

There have only been a handful of times in my life when something has happened that cannot be explained. Many of us have experienced the same; from the cliche odd bump in the night or the feeling of being watched to even something lurking in the corner of your eye. I’m a sceptic and even after this encounter and another after that, I still am. But to this day it still remains unexplained, so let me take you back to the summer of 2013…

Like the year previous I had joined my significant other and her family on the annual summer trip to the south of France; a beautiful place all year around; in the summer the weather is a hot as Spain and this is accompanied with the forest backdrop that could be England but way more rural.

Our road journey was around 10 hours plus and on this year my S.O and I were joined by some close friends. The accommodation and our home for two weeks would be on a former farm converted into ‘gite’s’ – barns which now serve as self catering holiday homes. Of course with our larger party we were in the 12 berth gite. Located on forest surrounded hills and farms, this place truly is picturesque and remote. All roads leading there are single track and you can even hear how quiet it is; bliss. This is without mentioning the stunning Jurassic Park like views.

gite

Our rooms were decided upon arrival and so myself and my S.O took the top left area. You can see from the pic above the window in which our bedroom was and this was the left hand wing of the gite. Up wooden stairs and a left hand turn into an alcove half way up would bring you to a narrow corridor which then faces another corridor leading left and right with a bathroom between a pair of rooms. If you were to go further up the stairs instead of turning left it would take you up to a living room area and then moving right would take you to the higher section of the gite and to more bedrooms on the right wing – this is where a pair of our friends took a room each. It is worth noting the stairs which were varnished wood had been installed by way of slotting into the wall; you would have to literally tip toe not to be heard and they made a distinctive ‘drumming’ when anyone walked on them.

After what was a long travelling day, we had eaten dinner and the general mood amongst our camp was good and fun; we were in the usual spirits of exchanging stories, jokes and generally messed around like we always did in each others company. We were on holiday and things were good.

Eventually it was bed time and so myself and my S.O went back to our room and began to unpack our stuff. At this time everyone else was probably doing the same or going to sleep and so silence ruled over the gite for the night.

Whilst I decided not to fully unpack I got myself into bed and as my S.O was considering joining me our bedroom door softly opened. The door was previously closed with a handle that requires pulling to open.

At that moment neither of us were startled and I thought about perhaps yelling an expletive at probably a prankster in the night. Instead I walked up to the door and behind it was nothing but the darkness. Now there was probably enough distance for whoever decided to play this prank to be easily discovered and still I didn’t see a soul in sight. Upon walking out and even getting to the stairs I expected the culprit to be huddling somewhere but there was nothing. Being one of rationale I shrugged my shoulders and returned to bed, this time locking the door.

The next day I quizzed those who I consider to be behind such activities to no avail. To this day nobody has admitted to opening that door. It’s worth mentioning on that night the window in our room was not open and as far as I can remember there was no strong winds or even a breeze outside.

My answer wouldn’t point towards the paranormal until the owner of the place mentioned in passing to one of our party about this particular gite being ‘haunted’; not a lot of sleep was lost as this was mentioned on our final day. The story even developed to be one of a little girl who can be seen around the extensive forest surrounded site.

Because there are so many variables, I spent some time being very sceptical on the matter. We had even returned the next year to the same place and nothing had happened for the whole duration of that trip.

Even though I was slightly wary that next year it wouldn’t be until 2017 when something else happened involving ‘The Stairs’...

 

 

Annabelle: one creepy looking fu**ing doll!

Seeing as the leafs are turning and the darkness of winter is approaching, that means one thing! Halloween and horror movies. We in the UK don’t treat Halloween as big as the US but that doesn’t stop us from getting their movies. So the next few weeks shall be dedicated to all things horror, including an account of my up and coming trip to to UK theme park Alton Towers and their seasonal scare fest!

hallowseve

 

The current state of Horror Films

In this age we are exposed to more gruesome and more ‘real’ style horror flicks, Notably the Saw series and of course the many ‘Blair witch’ style found footage films. But for some reason so many films of this genre fail to pack the final punch in their presentation. It gets to the last half hour and there’s nothing more to show, the creature/ghost/murderer/thing has been revealed and the ideas are wearing thin. There are no more shock moments or the shocks are so over the top they seem desperate.

A struggle is apparent in the world of telling scary stories and the cinema is the perfect setting for such things. It’s dark and theres an unavoidable screen in front of you, plus your surrounded by complete strangers. Cinemas can be eerie sometimes, playing into the hands of the genre. But the films themselves do lack in somewhat scary quality. Now I like a good scare, makes the heart beat faster, gives you a cold sweat and all that but these days that’s a rare thing.

Creepy Doll 

anabelle

Told ya it was creepy

This past weekend I went to see a new release about a possessed doll. Now many of you will think about that small red haired thing running around with a knife. But I am talking about Anabelle, a doll that comes to be possessed and causes all kinds of hell for the viewer and owner. To me this film simply delivered in all tick boxes available for the genre. It was jumpy, dark, not too gruesome and somewhat original. Creepy is a massive understatement in terms of this doll, they certainly designed this thing well. And they used it well, there are many instances when the camera is focused on the vacant yet transfixed eyes of the doll Annabelle with the viewer expecting them to move at any moment.

We have seen on many occasions an unbalance in a film whereas the killer is way to scary for the film or the concept is just too cool for the environment. But in this film they got it all right, the balance from a small cast worked wonderfully well with scary possessive concepts that coincided with the all-important matter that this could be a true story.

 

If you like your horror good and somewhat original then go and see Annabelle. Especially if you have seen the conjuring, they are kind of related in sideways kind of way.

Having purchased a ticket and being sat in the cinema I had no choice but to be exposed to some up and coming trailers and Halloween is looking good this year, with Ghostbusters being re released and Alien/Aliens in some cinemas.The Pyramid with Jay from the inbetweeners is looking good and that’s what we want to see, some choice in our modern scare films!

 

Next week I look at the potential of another Harry Potter book, stay tuned!