Time to read some spooky stuff …

It’s October, my wife has the Halloween decorations throughout our house and that means it is time to peruse the bookshelves for tales of ghosts and monsters.

I’ll read such material at other times of the year, of course, when the mood strikes. But it’s a tradition for me to grab some spooky stories this time of year.

To start, I’ve chosen “One Thousand and One Ghosts,” by Alexandre Dumas.

I doubt it will be horrific, but I am certain it will be good read. I always enjoy Dumas for his charm and his sense of adventure. This book throws together a collection of people telling of supernatural experiences. I am only a few pages in and we’ve got a murder … and a severed head that talks.

I can hardly wait to see what comes next.

Once I finish Dumas, I think I will give “The Mysteries of Udolpho” a go. This novel by Ann Radcliffe has been on my radar screen ever since I read Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey,” where it is mentioned prominently. It is touted as a classic castle-bound Gothic tale.

After that? Who knows? I enjoy classic stuff like Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, pulpy stuff like Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber, more contemporary books by Stephen King and Peter Straub, ghostly wordsmiths such as J. Sheridan Le Fanu and M.R. James. I’d love to add some newer authors to the mix. I enjoyed Paul Tremblay’s “A Head Full Of Ghosts,” for instance, so I need to read more of his work.

Who else should I read? Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.

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