You know, 2021 hasn’t been all that much better than 2020. Which is why I’ve been waiting for Horrortober to arrive to I can just burrow down deeper into the genre and world I love and ignore the horse dookie around me. Along with watching at least a horror movie a day (last year’s record breaker was 70 movies in 31 days – hmmm, let’s see if I can top that), I’ll be reading lots o scary books. Here is my 2021 lineup. Hopefully you find something you’d like to add to your list. Better yet, what are you planning on reading?
I couldn’t wait to get this book in my hot little hands. I mean, it’s Elvira, the queen of horror. I’ve met her several times and she has always been a pleasure to be around. A book that is 70 years in the making, which seems impossible to believe.
The woman behind the icon known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the undisputed Queen of Halloween, reveals her full story, filled with intimate bombshells, told by the bombshell herself.
The latest by the prolific Armand Rosamilia, Trapped has the best returning character in literary history, TV cryptozoologist, Hunter Shaya!! Yeah, I may be biased.
Forget the conspiracy theories about Denver International Airport… this just got real.
When a massive snowstorm shuts down the airport and forces a plane carrying exotic and deadly cargo, those trapped inside the terminal have no idea what’s in store for them.
Can a group of passengers and airport workers band together to face the onslaught, or will they be ripped apart?
Jeff Strand signed my copy of Allison at Scares that Care and I squirreled it away just for Horrortober. Strand never, ever disappoints, so I know this will rock.
Allison can break your bones with her mind, and she can’t control her power.
Now forty-five years old, she’s spent her life trying to stay away from other people. But a random encounter with a couple on the street leaves her believing that she may have done something horrible. Something unforgivable.
Killer-for-hire Daxton and his girlfriend Maggie know the truth. Instead of easing Allison’s anguish, they come up with a cruel plan to take advantage of it. But with Allison’s abilities exposed, there may be a grisly body count very soon…
From its shocking opening to its sinister conclusion, ALLISON is Jeff Strand at his over-the-top best!
I’ve had this on my shelf for months! I hear nothing but great things about Dear Laura.
Every year, on her birthday, Laura gets a letter from a stranger. That stranger claims to know the whereabouts of her missing friend Bobby, but there’s a catch: he’ll only tell her what he knows in exchange for something…personal.So begins Laura’s sordid relationship with her new penpal, built on a foundation of quid pro quo. Her quest for closure will push her to bizarre acts of humiliation and harm, yet no matter how hard she tries, she cannot escape her correspondent’s demands. The letters keep coming, and as time passes, they have a profound effect on Laura.From the author of Cruel Works of Nature comes a dark and twisted tale about obsession, guilt, and how far a person will go to put her ghosts to bed.
It’s no secret that Chad Lutzke is one of my favorite authors (and human beings for that matter). Just working my way through all of his books. I already know I’ll dig it.
“My name is Levi. I’m 16. I’ve got a skull for a face. And here’s how shit went down.”
Having never been outside the walls of Gramm Jones Foster Care Facility, sixteen-year-old Levi leaves in the middle of the night with an empty backpack and a newfound lust for life. A journey that leads him into the arms of delusional newlyweds, drunkards, polygamists, the dangerous, and the batshit crazy. His destination? Hermosa Beach, California where he’s told there is another like him, with the face of a skull.
A coming-of-age road trip filled with surreal Lynch-ian encounters exploring the dark, the disturbing, and the lonely in a 1980s world—an epic venture for one disfigured boy struggling to find his place in the world.
I recently met Daniel Volpe and grabbed a couple of his books. This one looks insane, so count me in!
In the early 1990s the rising popularity of the video cassette gave birth to a seedy, underground world of illicit pornography.
Talia, a Midwest dreamer, leaves home in search of fame under the blinding Broadway lights. But nothing could have prepared her for what she finds instead. Savage violence, bottomless depravity, and no way out.
Talia will unapologetically drag you into the foul underbelly of society. A sanity straining journey, full of hot bloodshed and betrayal.
Well, howdy Hellions! We’re just a few flips on our Dilbert desk calendars from the greatest day of the year. Sure, the fates have tried their best to destroy what we love most, but I say we spit in their bleary eyes! I have a couple of things to help get you in the mood (and no, it’s not me singing Let’s Get It On in the shower. I’m saving that for when I start an Only Fans account).
First up, the Monster Men practiced social distancing like good little ghouls for our 10th annual Halloween special. Hard to believe we’ve been at this for a decade. While we discuss the various things you all can do in quarantine (one is quite saucy, I must say), we also look at the great and not so great horror movies that hit the silver screen in 1978.
Now, choosing the movie to end Horrortober on Halloween night is no easy task. You can dip into the same old well with Carpenter’s Halloween or maybe Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Or, you can read my latest Video Visions column and discover what I’m sure will be a new classic in your lair!
Now get your costumes ready, your beers chilled and candy corns….well, candy corning. Happy Halloween!
October – I mean, Horrortober – is my month long Mardi Gras, and I know I’m not alone. As usual, I’ve been saving special books and movies to keep me immersed in all things horror for the 31 days and nights of terror-fueled delight. And I was smart enough this year not to take on any writing projects so I have all the time I need.
First up, the Monster Men got our furry mitts on the newest edition of 31 Days of Terror. It’s a damn fun game where you roll the dice and then consult the book to see what movie you should watch. This is our fourth year playing it on Monster Men and it was pretty funny how we bent the rules to get a good movie for Halloween night. It’s a cool way to discover new movies or revisit ones you may have forgotten. Check it out right below. For my part, I want to see if I can top my Horrortober movie total of 55 this time around. We shall see…
Now, on to my reading list. Here are the books I’ve been smuggling away, saving them for my favorite month. Have you read them? What did you think? I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to be very happy with them.
How far would you go to bring back someone you love?
When Chris’s son dies in a tragic car crash, her world is devastated. The walls of grief close in on Chris’s life until, one day, a small cut on her finger changes everything.
A drop of blood falls from Chris’s hand onto her son’s roadside memorial and, later that night, Chris thinks she sees his ghost outside her window. Only, is it really her son’s ghost, or is it something else—something evil?
Soon Chris is playing a dangerous game with forces beyond her control in a bid to see her son, Trey, alive once again.
Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half.
On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
Antarctica. A mining base at the edge of the world.
Anders Nordvelt, last-minute replacement as head of security, has no time to integrate himself into the crew before an act of sabotage threatens the project. He must untangle a complex web of relationships from his position as prime suspect.
Then a body is found in the ice. Systems fail as the long night falls. Now Anders must do more than find a murderer: he must find a way to survive.
Will anyone endure the night shift, or will ice and frozen corpses be all that remains?
Alex: A hardened goth-punk who’s convinced she’s a vampire with a penchant for blood.
Stacia: A seventeen-year-old raised by an alcoholic mother, her fellow captives the only family she’s ever truly had.
Kammie: The youngest of the three—a mute who finds solace in a houseplant.
But does life outside the house offer the freedom they’d envisioned? Or is it too late, the scars too deep?
A coming-of-age tale of revenge and survival that explores a friendship and the desperate measures taken to ensure they stay united, held together by the scars that bind them.
The end of summer, 1986. With only a few days left until the new school year, twins Jeremy and Jack Schaffer are on very different paths. Jeremy is the geek, playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends Kathleen and Randy, while Jack is the jock, getting into trouble with his buddies.
And then everything changes when neighbor Mister Higgins is killed by a wild animal in his yard. Was it a bear? There’s something big lurking in the woods behind their New Jersey home.
Will the police be able to solve the murder before more Middletown residents are ripped apart?
It’s finally here! Seems like it’s been a year since the last Horrortober. 😉 Welcome to 31 days of Halloween.
If you’re like me and my Monster Men buddy, Jack, this is the month where you binge on scary movies. I personally shoot for at least one movie a day. One of the fun tools I use to find horror movies is the 31 Days of Terror book/game. Volume 3 just dropped and Jack and I already created a watch list. Check out the new episode below.
The game always introduces us to movies we’d forgotten or never heard of. Try it for yourself and see, or you can pick some movies from the list that we rolled. Here it is in all its gory glory.
10/1 – Interview with the Vampire 1994
10/2 – The Hole 2001
10/3 – The First Purge 2018
10/4 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 2018
10/5 – Session 9 2001
10/6 – Predator 2 1990
10/7 – The Sixth Sense – 1999
10/8 – Dracula – 1979
10/9 – Ginger Snaps Unleashed 2004
10/10 – Re-Animator 1985
10/11 – Saturday the 14th 1981
10/12 – Willard 2003
10/13 – The Willies 2003
10/14 – Psycho III 1986
10/15 – Knock Knock 2015
10/16 – Krampus 2015
10/17 – Cabin Fever 2002
10/18 – Attack of the Puppet People 1956
10/19 – Little Shop of Horrors 1986
10/20 – Detention 2011
10/21 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
10/22 – Prometheus 2012
10/23 – Death Becomes Her 1992
10/24 – House of Wax 2005
10/25 – An American Werewolf in London
10/26 – The Blair Witch Project 1999
10/27 – Dawn of the Dead 2004
10/28 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
10/29 – In the Mouth of Madness
10/30 – Misery 1990
10/31 – Dead Alive 1992
What are some of the essentials for your watch list? I know for me, I always pop in Halloween, The Funhouse, The Haunting, House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Motel Hell and a slew of others.
Yes Hellions, it’s that time of year again. Horrotober is fast approaching and it’s time to pull out all of the books and movies I plan to devour like a hungry Critter. What’s on your list?
DECAYED by JASON BRANT
I’m going to start Horrortober right by reading my buddy Jason Brant’s latest, Decayed. It’s book 5 of what I kiddingly call his Hunger trilogy. If you like witty, sarcastic banter, action and gore, and post-apocalyptic terror, you’ll love every book in The Hunger series. Can’t wait to see what he cooked up for this one.
AIN’T WORTH A SHIT by JACK BANTRY & ROBERT ESSIG
These authors are new to me but I couldn’t resist a book with a title and cover like this. Seems there’s some weird stuff going on under the streets of London. Poor Issy and Matt are about to find out just what. Bring on the mole people!
BLACK MAD WHEEL by JOSH MALERMAN
Look, Josh Malerman is one of the best horror writers around. I loved Bird Box and Unbury Carol and can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one. A rock group is tasked by the government to find the source of a mysterious sound that is very much a weapon. Josh is a musician, too (his band did the theme song for Shameless), so I know this is going to be black mad intriguing.
ZOMBIE BIGFOOT by NICK SULLIVAN
Did you think I wasn’t going to read a cryptid book during Horrortober? Not a chance. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Nick, an established audiobook narrator with a penchant for all things squatchy. We are long overdue for some undead Bigfoot. So excited to read this.
I also have my October issue of Rue Morgue magazine sitting on my bedside table, waiting for the calendar page to flip. For my hard earned dough, this is the tops of all the current horror mags, especially because they review books!
There are so many other books I want to read, but alas, there’s just so much time in the day. Any suggestions on what I should read if I get through these early?
Hey there, Hellions. The starter pistol has gone off and it’s time for a month long deep dive into horror! I’m not only going to rock Horrortober with a horror movie each and every day. When my eyeballs aren’t on the screen, they’ll be on the page. So, what’s on Uncle Hunter’s Horrortober reading list this year? Let’s peruse the old to-be-read pile. And please give me suggestions, especially graphic novels. I know I’ll breeze through these and be on the prowl for more.
I’ve been saving The Cabin at the End of the World just for this. Tremblay knocked my socks off with A Head Full of Ghosts. I’ve heard nothing but high praise for his latest.
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”
Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.
Guy N. Smith is the master of monster horror and I don’t know how the hell I haven’t read this one. Night of the Crabs is a classic. Best part is, this is book one of an ass kicking series.
The Welsh coast basks in summer tranquility. Then the ‘drownings’ begin. But not until the monstrous crustaceans crawl ashore, their pincers poised for destruction, does the world understand the threat it faces. A seafood cocktail for the strongest stomachs.
Robert McCammon is a freaking legend. I’d read a tampon box if I knew he wrote the copy. I Travel by Night is a no brainer.
For Lawson, the horrors that stalked the Civil War battlefield at Shiloh were more than just those of war. After being forcibly given the gift of undeath by the mysterious vampire queen LaRouge, Lawson chose to cling to what remained of his humanity and fought his way free of the Dark Society’s clutches. In the decades since, he has roamed late nineteenth century America, doing what good he can as he travels by night, combating evils mundane and supernatural, and always seeking the key to regaining a mortal life.
That key lies with his maker, and now Lawson hopes to find LaRouge at the heart of a Louisiana swamp with the aid of a haunted priest and an unexpected ally. In the tornado-wracked ghost town of Nocturne, Lawson must face down monstrous enemies, the rising sun, and his own nature.
Cryptid…Zoo. I mean, holy cow, is there another book out there more geared toward my warped sensibilities? I bought this the second I saw it. Cannot wait to tuck into this one.
As a child, rare and unusual animals, especially cryptid creatures, always fascinated Carter Wilde.
Now that he’s an eccentric billionaire and runs the largest conglomerate of high-tech companies all over the world, he can finally achieve his wildest dream of building the most incredible theme park ever conceived on the planet…CRYPTID ZOO.
Even though there have been apparent problems with the project, Wilde still decides to send some of his marketing employees and their families on a forced vacation to assess the theme park in preparation for Opening Day.
Nick Wells and his family are some of those chosen and are about to embark on what will become the most terror-filled weekend of their lives—praying they survive.
STEP RIGHT UP AND GET YOUR FREE PASS…
TO CRYPTID ZOO
Sarah Pinborough is a great writer. The moment I saw this book at Barnes & Noble, I grabbed it and hustled to the register. Behind Her Eyes has the seal of approval from Stephen King and Joe Hill. ‘Nuff said.
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.
When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before.
David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong—and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
So, what’s on your Horrortober reading list? Share with the class and I’ll add some books to your TBR pile!
Every time I look at the calendar lately, I get giddy. October – uh, I mean HORRORTOBER, is almost here! That means one month of complete horror immersion, from books to movies and things to do.
I’m looking forward to Horrortober more than ever this year because the slate of horror flicks that have come out in 2018 have left a lot to be desired. I feel as though I’ve been bombarded by duds like Unfriended : Dark Web, The Nun and Winchester. Yep, time in the local movie has has not been time well spent, although A Quiet Place and Hereditary are a couple of bright spots. Hell, Puppet Master : The Littles Reich is now in my top 10 for 2018! That’s all that needs to be said.
For me, Horrortober means going back to revisit the movies that are the reason for the season. My goal, that I’ve been able to surpass most years, is to watch at least one horror movie a day. Every year, I rewatch Halloween (natch), It Follows, Motel Hell and The Funhouse and several other staples. But each year, I also add a bunch I haven’t seen in a while. So, what’s on this year’s to-watch list?
2018 is the year of Fred Dekker for me. I’ve added House and The Monster Squad to the old queue. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the top 10 rat movies to see. On that list is Of Unknown Origin, which is now on my Horrortober list. I’m a HUGE John Carpenter fan, but it’s been too long since I revisited They Live. I’m rectifying that this year. The Changeling was just restored in what I hear is a wonderful Blu Ray, which I may buy to give us nightmares in the Shea lair. Or I’ll just watch my old, grainy DVD. Oh, gotta have vampires, so Near Dark is in the rotation.
Now, I have two questions – are you here to chew bubblegum or kick ass? No, that’s not it. What movies do you think I should add to my list? We can watch them ‘together’ and discuss on Twitter. Also, what’s on your Horrortober list? Let’s make this a month long party and swap movie ideas. Those who comment here and share are in the drawing to win free ebooks of Rattus New Yorkus, Jurassic Florida and more. So come on you hellion horror hounds, let’s get pumped for Horrortober!
Okay, you’ve answered the door a thousand times and have run out of candy. Time to shut out the lights, crack open a beer or wine (blood red, of course) and watch a scary movie, something to haunt your dreams. Sure, you could stick with the tried and true like Halloween or Night of the Living Dead. But why not explore new dark territory this year? Here are 5 movies guaranteed to give you shivers…
5. THE SENTINEL
3. THE DESCENT
2. THE ORPHANGE
- THE NIGHT STALKER
For my money, ghost/haunted house movies are by far the creepiest. Luckily for us, there have been a ton of spine tingling ghost flicks over the years. This Horrortober, if you’re looking to scare yourself before heading off to bed, why not give one (or all ten) of these movies a try?
What are some of your favorites?
10. LADY IN WHITE
9. THE ENTITY
8. THE INNOCENTS
6. THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
5. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
4. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
3. THE CHANGELING
2. THE SHINING
- THE HAUNTING
For more movie and book recommendations, free books, and all the latest horror news, sign up for my Dark Hunter Newsletter today!
Is there any month finer than October? I don’t have to list all the reasons why October…ahem, Horrortober…kicks ass to my Hellions. I’m pretty sure we’re all in agreement here.
Now begins the quest to once again watch at least 1 horror movie a day, read only horror books, and attend only horror parties and functions. Naturally, I’m also in the midst of writing a new horror novel, so I literally cannot escape the genre I love during Horrortober.
Every year, I set aside books and movies just for Horrortober, a bit o’ curation for the season of dark terror. Typically, I read about 6 books or more (some of them novellas). This year, I’ve decided to tackle 2 BIG books and 1 graphic comic.
I prefer the uncut version Stephen King’s THE STAND, reveling in all 1,156 pages. I’ve come to realize that reading this book is a young man’s game. It’s literally too heavy for me to hold for any length of time. Looks like it’ll be a lap book this go around. I’m also looking forward to reading CRAB MONSTERS, TEENAGE CAVEMEN, AND CANDY STRIPE NURSES, a beautiful book crammed with glossy pages of Roger Corman’s oddball, incredible film career. Somewhere in between those two massive books, I hope to sneak in the Howling Commandos graphic comic. Any book with Man-Thing is a must have for me.
For your own TBR pile, click here to get a free copy of my ghost novella, THE GRAVEYARD SPEAKS. Nothing better on Horrortober than a haunted cemetery!
As for the movies I’ve set aside, here’s a few sitting on my queue…
THE DARK HALF
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
THE CRAZIES (GEORGE ROMERO’S ORIGINAL)
THE LOVED ONES
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOO TRILOGY
HALLOWEEN (1, 3, 4 & 5)
And sooo many more. Last year, I watched 50 movies in Horrortober. I’m not sure I can top that, but dammit, I’m going to try!
As always, I’ll tweet the movies I watch with the hashtag, #Horrortober, along with my rating system of 1 through 9 tana leaves. The Mummy is always proud. I encourage you to do the same thing so we can all see what we’re watching, loving and hating.
I’ll also be at Chiller Theatre at the end of the month (milling around and having fun) along with several other spooky events.
So, what are your plans for Horrortober? Share your to-read and watch lists. There just may be some special surprises for those Hellions who want to get in on the fun.