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  • Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to...read?!? This year, instead of giving books to your Halloween visitors (because those get heavy!), fill your neighbor childrens' plastic pumpkins with one of these sweet book-inspired confections.

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    It was a ramshackle, seven bedroom Victorian house that clung to the side of a small hill. The front porch pitched ever so slightly to the right, and the paint flaked off the attic cupola in snow-like tufts. But it had beautiful bones, this house…both literally and metaphorically. Decades ago, as the tale went, a young boy died of tuberculosis in a first floor bedroom. His parents, heartbroken, hung themselves in the attic. 
     
    When I was in college, eight of us inhabited the Earlham House, as it came to be known. One night, the roommates and I were sitting in the parlor watching Beverly Hills 90210 (that’s right, I’m not ashamed!) when…
     
    BANG!
     
    The noise came from the first floor bedroom. Another followed: BANG! Another: BANG! As Kelly Taylor squealed, “Dylannnn!”, we raced to the bedroom to discover all of the framed photos, previously hanging on the walls, face down in the middle of the floor. 
     
    Someone actually gasped, and the terror was palpable. A week ago, the girl who inhabited the same room had told us how she woke to find a small, child-sized figure at the foot of her bed. We brushed it off to the previous evening spent with her friend Jose Cuervo, but now we believed.  There was no explanation for the pictures… or the cold spots on the back staircase… or the feeling that someone was always watching… waiting…
     
    (Insert funereal organ music here.)
     
    In honor of Earlham House, here’s a list of some of the creepiest abodes in literature - eschewing obvious contenders like 112 Ocean Avenue (aka “The Amityville house”; everyone knows that place sucked) and Hill House (because was it really the house that was haunted?)

  • Being a werewolf is no walk in the park. How do you handle changing at the full moon every month? How do you prepare? Thankfully, The Worst-Case Scenario Handbook: Paranormal Edition has this totally covered. A good thing, too, or who knows what would happen.

  • Chances are, if you're a Quirk fan, you enjoy a good scary story. I mean, here at the Quirk HQ, we publish our fair share of them. The Pride & Prejudice & Zombies series, The Resurrectionist, Horrorstor, Bedbugs, Stuff Every College Student Should Know... the list goes on. 

    Last October, we released an eBook exclusive reprint (ePrint?) of Suburban Legends by Sam Stall. A collection of creepy TRUE short stories of horror in the suburbs, it was a fun book to work on. And to promote it, we posted a number of excerpts on our Scribd page.

    Since Halloween is quickly approaching, I figured we should give these to you guys once again. So here you go, four true stories of horror from the suburbs. 

    Suburban Legends: Roadside Assistance

    Suburban Legends: The Prime Time Poltergeiest

    Suburban Legends: The Goatman Cometh

    Suburban Legends: Guess What's Coming To Dinner?

    Enjoy! 

  • Photo via Story World Central

    In October, everyone—even those of you who aren’t horror fans—is tempted to read a creepy novel. Here are five steps to follow when reading a scary story. You’ll be terrified in no time.

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    Horror, science fiction, fantasy, suspense—all these categories came from Gothic literature. I devour 18th and 19th-century Gothic literature, from Shelley and Bronte to Poe, Dickens to Lovecraft, and all the neo-Gothic works today like Susanna Clarke and Michael Cox and Diane Setterfield. Several YA authors are embracing neo-Gothic literature and sharing retellings of famous Gothic works or incorporating elements of Gothic literature—like terror, horror, transgression, and Byronic heroes—into their stories.
     
    I could go on for ages, but then I’d just recap my graduate thesis.
     
    This Halloween (this autumn and winter, really—let’s be honest, the dark months are the best months for horror!), curl up in your biggest, comfiest chair, turn out all the lights save for one, and immerse yourself in these chilling reads.

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