As the days get shorter and the nights colder, the idea of sinking into the
settee with a steaming cuppa and a good book gets better and better. The
bare branches and dark skies are the perfect backdrop for gothic novels full of
decaying castles, locked doors and things that go bump in the night.
Uncle Silas (1864) is about a naive teen terrified and suspicious of her sinister
governess, Madame de la Rougierre. When Maud is sent to live with her
shady and estranged uncle Silas, she thinks she’s seen the last of Cruella
de Ville’s chilling doppelgänger, but her ordeal has just begun. Written by J.
Sheridan Le Fanu, Uncle Silas is a gripping classic that’ll have you guessing
from start to finish.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
(1886) is the classic Victorian novella about a man who stumbles upon a
potion that transforms him into his evil alter-ego, the violent and murderous Mr
Hyde. The foggy cobbled side streets populated by Stevenson’s characters
are just two years away from becoming Jack the Ripper’s territory and every
page oozes with that spooky Halloween atmosphere that makes your toes
Not many people know that the famous Hitchcock movie Psycho is based
on a 1959 novel by Robert Bloch. There’s nothing supernatural about this
pulpy slasher, but it’s the perfect read for horror fans, crammed with split
personalities, hidden bodies, stuffed birds and a bucketful of blood.
The Woman in Black (1989) was committed to the big screen this year in a
film adaptation starring Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe. As a young lawyer
works on cataloging the estate of a recently deceased client, he is haunted
by the apparition of a gaunt spectre in a lonely manner house. Who is the
woman in black? Genuinely chilling, you’ll be sleeping with the lights on by the
time you reach the last page.