My favourite Halloween reads

This week’s Tell Me Something Tuesday question asks “What are some of the scariest books you’ve ever read?”. Although I do like horror, I’m yet to read a book that truly scared me (apart from Goosebumps as a kid!) I do however have some horror books that I want to recommend.

The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson

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I really enjoyed The Amityville Horror when I read it. As long as you ignore the fact they try to say it’s a real story (!) it’s a great haunted house story.

Bird Box – Josh Malerman

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I read this recently and really enjoyed the creepy style. It’s a bit slow, but the ending really makes up for that.

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

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This is the quintessential haunted house novel and it’s where all the genre tropes originated. I definitely recommend it if you like literary horror.

The Shining – Stephen King

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This is one of my favourite Stephen King novels. I love the idea of The Shining being a “gift” and the characters are all so interesting.

The Woman in Black – Susan Hill

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Finally, this is one of my favourite ghost stories. If you have only seen the Daniel Radcliffe film, you definitely need to read this book because the story is very different. I also love the stage show, which I think might be one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen.

My favourite ghost stories


This week’s Tell Me Something Tuesday asks “What are some of your favourite ghost story books?” There is nothing more perfect than a ghost story at this time of year, as the dark nights are coming and Halloween is fast approaching.

Here are 5 ghost stories to creep you out this holiday season.

A Christmas Carol

Perhaps an odd choice for Halloween, but I love the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come and the lessons they teach Scrooge. It’s a perfect story if you want a ghost story without the creepiness.

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The Haunting of Hill House

I recently finished this novel. It’s such a classic haunted house story, and is a need-to-read as the forerunner of tropes like writing on the wall, running from unseen forces and loud, inexplicable banging.

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The Monkey’s Paw

This is one of my favourite ghostly short stories, and at well over 100 years old it’s another classic. It tells the story of a couple whose son dies in the war after they are given a mummified monkey’s paw. The couple has three wishes from the paw, but of course their wishes don’t go the way they think.

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The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black is a creepy story about a lawyer who is sent to sort out his client’s finances after she dies. It has the essential elements of a ghostly “woman in black”, haunted house and tragic ending. Perfect for Halloween evening.


The Shining

You can’t have a horror book list without a Stephen King novel, and this is one of my favourites. It’s about a family who move into a haunted hotel, and their son starts seeing visions as he possesses “the shining.”


Have you read any of these ghostly stories? What’s your favourite ghost story?

Tell Me Something Tuesday #3

This week’s Tell Me Something Tuesday asks “What horror movies would you recommend for the Halloween season?”

I don’t often watch horror movies. I do enjoy them but none of my friends like horror, so I end up watching them on my own (not a good idea!). Here are 5 movies perfect for Halloween!

It (2017)

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I loved watching this in the cinema, as it’s such a great big screen movie. The kids in the cast were great actors (I especially loved Beverley and Eddie), and I thought Pennywise was terrifying. I can’t wait for the sequel that shows that happens when the kids next meet It. I really want to read the book too, although I’ve heard mixed reviews!

The Others

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If there was only 1 horror movie I could recommend it would be The Others. I love Nicole Kidman in this creepy movie set after the World War, where a family are tormented by some ghostly goings on! It’s so creepy and the ending is the perfect twist.

The Sixth Sense

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Another great twist ending film is The Sixth Sense. This film terrified me when I first watched it, as so many of the ghosts are so scary and the soundtrack captures the scenes perfectly. As I’ve watched it a few times since, what strikes me is actually how sad this film is. Toni Colette is perfect as Cole’s mother who is still grieving for her own mother and struggling with her son’s issues (of course, she has no idea he can see dead people.)


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One of my favourite classic horror films is Halloween. It’s not particularly scary by today’s standards but it is an inspiration for so many of the slasher films we see today, and often it’s much better produced.


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Coraline is my favourite Halloween movie to watch, and it’s great for kids or people who don’t like horror. The button-eyed people are so creepy, I find it more unsettling than a lot of proper horror films.

Tell me something Tuesday #1: Back to School


This month I have decided to start doing the Tell me something Tuesday meme as run by Rainy Day Ramblings. It’s a weekly discussion where there are a wide range of topics from blogging to books, and each week a new question is added.

This week the question is about being back to school “What were some of your favourite required reading books in school?”

For most of my time in school English was my favourite subject (hence my degree in Linguistics!) and I usually loved the books we read in class. In fact I can only remember a few occasions where I didn’t like the book. Today I wanted to show the books that I not only loved but I also think were important for us to read in school:

Two Weeks with the Queen – Morris Gleitzman

I think this is one of only two books we read in my whole school life that had any mention of homosexuality. This book is about a young Australian boy whose brother has cancer, and their parents send him to live with family in England while his brother has cancer treatment. In England the boy meets a young gay couple, one of them suffering from AIDS, and it’s a story about their friendship. I definitely remember crying at this book (to be expected) but I think it was a great, and ultimately important, book for us to read in middle school.

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Tennessee Williams

This is the only other book with homosexuality I remember reading at school (sensing a theme?) It’s a play set in Southern USA set over one evening at a family gathering. The main characters are alcoholic Brick and his wife Maggie. Maggie believes that Brick is gay and was in a relationship with his friend Skipper, who has committed suicide. It’s basically about a lot of secrets coming out over the course of the evening, and I’d love to see the play.

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Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Lord of the Flies is about a group of school age boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their attempt to govern themselves. This was such an interesting book to me at the time because our teacher was great at asking questions life what we thought about the allegory compared to the government we actually had, and whether things would have been different if there had been girls on the island too (or instead). I think as bookdragons we are used to reading books about allegory and deeper issues, but as a 15 year old I tended to read lighter books so this was an interesting book that’s stayed with me.

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Did you read any books at school that looking back you realise were quite important? Let me know in the comments!