Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Dave McKean.
Okay, this one is a Batman comic that definitely falls under the Horror heading. I know nothing about Batman, not a lifelong fan, The Long Halloween was the first Batman comic I ever read. So then I picked up Arkham Asylum. Goodreads told me that lots of readers have lots of problems with this comic, and I can see why. It’s not so much a Batman story as it is a set-piece, an experiment in art and storytelling, an exploration of madness. At least that’s how I, a non-fan, approached it. At any rate, with its disturbing, nightmarish visuals and content to match, Arkham Asylum is a good choice to pick up at Halloween.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Gary Hendrix
What’s really terrifying about this is how well Hendrix describes what being a teenage girl is like. I had wicked scary high school flashbacks. But seriously, this is a perfect creepy read. What would you do, how far would you go, if your best friend was possessed and no one believed you? And can deep, abiding love beat the devil?
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
Creepy, atmospheric, and compelling, this story about a boy who goes missing in a state park is all about how we create our own demons.
Every House is Haunted by Ian Rogers
A collection of chilling short stories. Atmospheric and strange, each story is a little different than the others. Some have sci-fi elements, a few could be classified more as “fantastic” fiction, and then there are straight-up ghost stories. A great mix!
Revival: A Rural Noir by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton
For one day in rural Wisconsin, the dead come back to life. Now this small town has been quarantined by the government, the so-called “revivers” try to go back to some kind of “life,” and Officer Dana Cypress is put in charge of dealing with those who came back from the dead and the media attention that came with them. Haunting, compelling, and gruesome where it needs to be,Revival works as a police procedural, as a horror story, and as the story of an isolated and struggling small town.
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
Weird, creepy, and full of secrets, this book is the first in Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. I read it as a stand-alone, though, and it totally works–in fact, it’s even more unsettling for the ambiguous ending. The story concerns an expedition of four women–an anthropologist, a psychiatrist, a surveyor, and a biologist (our narrator)–who go to a contaminated area called Area X in order to investigate it. They are the twelfth such expedition–none of the others came back.