5 Spine-Tingling Reads For Halloween

Mummies, urban legends, and immortal souls — oh my! What scary stories top your list?

There is one thing all people — regardless of race or nationality, age or gender identification — enjoy: a good story. Even better? One that keeps them hanging on to the edge of their seats until the very end. Spooky tales have long been told by the campfire, and as technology has progressed, writers and filmmakers have continued to spin frightening narratives for successive generations.

As the weather cools and the nights grow longer, many people will be snuggling up with a good book or introducing younger readers to some of their childhood favorites. Whatever your pleasure, here are five chilling stories to add to your list.


R.L. Stine’s classic series has been scaring grade schoolers like my son since “Welcome to Dead House,” the first “Goosebumps” novel, premiered in 1992. A prolific horror author, Stine rolled out the series to the elementary school crowd to follow up his “Fear Street” books for teens. With more than 400 million books sold, Stine’s scary tales have been frightening fans of all ages for years, and with a Marvel collaboration and new “Goosebumps” spinoff in the works, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

“Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark”

During a completely unscientific survey of my friends and colleagues about which books scared the crap out of them growing up, Alvin Schwartz’s collection “Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark” topped the list. First released in 1981, the book “offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time.” Schwartz draws on folklore, urban legends, and his extensive research for the book, which has frequently shown up in the American Library Association’s most challenged books list.


Publishers Weekly called Dean Koontz’s novel, “Watchers” a cross between “Lassie” and “‘E.T.” with “a touch of ‘The Wolfen’ and a dash of ‘The Godfather.’” The supernatural thriller follows a man out for a hike who encounters a golden retriever that prevents him from venturing further into the forest. With more than 450 million copies of his books sold, it’s easy to see why Rolling Stone dubbed Koontz “America’s most popular suspense novelist.”

“Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story”

Writer Mary Downing Hahn knows what kids like to read. The former librarian has been writing for over 30 years across several genres, from historical fiction to fantasy. While Hahn is a versatile storyteller, most readers know her for her spooky tales, including her best-selling book “Wait Till Helen Comes.” According to Kirkus Reviews, Hahn “has mastered the art of the not-too-creepy ghost story,” so it’s no surprise she’s a favorite for tweens who love a good mystery.

“My Soul to Keep”

Tananarive Due isn’t a household name like Stephen King, but she should be. The novelist and screenwriter is a master of black speculative fiction, often weaving historical elements into her work. In “My Soul to Keep,” the main character, Jessica, seems to have everything going for her — until the people around her start to meet their end. King called the book “an eerie epic that bears favorable comparison to ‘Interview With A Vampire,’” and Publishers Weekly said it was “populated with vivid, emotional characters ... a chilling journey to another world.”

Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

Keep Reading Show less

It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less