Hello, beautiful people!
Halloween is less than a week away and I couldn’t be more excited! It also means that I only have one day left before my week of holidays and I really need it. We don’t celebrate Halloween that much in France, but I love it anyway and reading/watching/listening to content that remind me of this spooky and dark atmosphere during the month of October is always so much fun. Because of that, I thought that today, I would share with you some of my Halloween recommendations! Last year, I already recommended historical fantasy novels that are perfect for Halloween, so I won’t mention them again in this post, it would get quite repetitive, so feel free to (re)read it. Anyhow, time for Halloween recommendations!
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell – This Gothic novel is set during the Victorian era, in a crumbling country mansion, where a young widow is sent to see out her pregnancy. While her new servants as resentful and the villagers hostile, Elsie thinks she only has her husband’s cousin for company… Or so she thinks, for behind a locked door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a creepy wooded figure that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. Its chilling atmosphere and the constant doubts of the characters makes it a gripping read that’s perfect for the season!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – What a shocker, I am trying to make you all read Daphne du Maurier again… Well, she’s my favourite author, so it’s not *entirely* my fault. Rebecca is the fascinating story of a timid girl working as a paid companion to an old lady, until she falls in love and marries the widowed Maxim de Winter. After that, she moves to his Cornish country estate, Manderley, where the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, seems to haunt the whole place. This novel is absolutely brilliant, with an intoxicating atmosphere and you’ll want to keep reading, until you know the whole truth. By the way, if you’ve already read Rebecca, you can always give My Cousin Rachel a try, it’s perfect for the season as well and I adored the 2017 movie adaptation with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin!
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio – This mystery novel, which has been compared (with reason!) to The Secret History, follows Oliver, who has just been released from jail after ten years, and is finally ready to tell the truth about the events that led to his incarceration. Ten years ago, Oliver was one of the young Shakespearean actors at a conversatory, where roles were played on and off stage, but in their last year, the balance of power shifted, which led to violence on opening night, until the students have to face their own tragedy. Those characters are all so morally grey and reading about their passionate relationships, with a thin limit between hate and love, as well as their fascination for Shakespeare, was amazing and it’s perfect for Fall in my opinion!
♡ We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House has been all the rage lately (I can’t wait to read it for Halloween), because of the Netflix adaptation that was recently released, but Shirley Jackson’s works are full of perfect Halloween reads, from what I’ve gathered. I have already read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which follows Merricat Blackwood, who lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. There used to be seven Blackwoods… until they all died from a fatal dose of arsenic. This one is set in a small town, has a Gothic murder mystery and you never know who to trust, which is all you need!
chilling Gothic tales blend the real and the supernatural to eerie, compelling effect: you will find a story inspired by the Salem witch hunts, another with an evil doppelganger, or one
with a mysterious child roaming the freezing Northumberland moors, to name a few. Those were my first Victorian spooky short stories, my personal favourites being The Poor Clare, Lois the Witch, The Old Nurse’s Story and The Grey Woman. This is also your reminder to read Elizabeth Gaskell, she’s a wonderful author!
♡ Crooked House by Agatha Christie – I’ve spent 2018 reading one of Agatha Christie’s novels per month, so I’m starting to know her works quite well; my favourite I’ve read this year was Crooked House and what is better than a crime novel, surrounding a family in a big mansion, to spend Halloween with? It follows the Leonides family, that were a seemingly happy family, until the head of the household was murdered. I adore reading about imperfect families in crime novels, where everyone is suspect, when the limit between hate and love can be very thin, and Crooked House was perfect for that!
Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) – I don’t think I really need to introduce Stranger Things to anyone now, don’t I? This TV show, sets in 1983 Hawkins, Indiana, and is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. Even if almost everyone has watched Stranger Things, I think that Halloween would be a perfect time for a rewatch for all of us, while we’re still waiting for season 3 to be released… *sigh*
Corpse Bride (2005) – I have to admit that I’ve always been easily scared, so I don’t watch a lot of spooky movies (even though I’m trying to change that) and I’m not really the best at recommending them. However, I rewatch the animated movie Corpse Bride every year, because it’s a huge part of my childhood. In a fictional Victorian town, Victor and Victoria, who haven’t even met yet, are set to be married, until Victor ends up putting a ring on a forest root while practicing his vows… Which happens to be the finger of a murdered woman. He then goes to the Land of the Dead, meeting Emily, said woman in a bridal gown who claims to be his wife. Ensues all kinds of mayhem, while Victor tries to go back to the surface, but also to do the right thing. I adore the songs of this movie so much and it’s so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Halloween really is the best time to rewatch Tim Burton’s animated movies in general, tbh. *starts singing This is Halloween*
Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera (1986) – I might have developed a *slight* obsession for the musical version of The Phantom of the Opera earlier this year (the book isn’t that great, if you were considering reading it, though) and it’s definitely a perfect Halloween musical! I mean, a mysterious phantom running around an opera in Paris? Yes, please. Can you believe that it’s been created in 1986 and it’s still running? That’s how great it is! So please go listen to it, it’s so dramatic and spooky at times! The Music of the Night is my favourite song of it all
and it’s giving me major Kylo Ren vibes. I so want to watch the musical live in London at some point, it must be so spectacular.
Oh, how I cannot wait for Halloween to come around. I have *finally* figured out my potential Halloween costume and I’m planning to have a little celebration with my best friend. We’ll try to make Halloween-themed food and drinks like last year, and we’ll watch Crimson Peak, hopefully we won’t be too scared, haha.