Another year means another Friday the 13th and another excuse to read horror fiction, watching scary movies and start to break out your Halloween decorations. Here are thirteen quotes from some of our favorite horror novels by some of our favorite horror writers that might make it hard to sleep tonight!
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“We’d stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You’d think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn’t.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave
“I have seen the dark universe yawning Where the black planets roll without aim, Where they roll in their horror unheeded, Without knowledge, or lustre, or name.”
― H. P. Lovecraft, Nemesis
“[Horror fiction] shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.”
― Clive Barker
“Eddie discovered one of his childhood’s great truths. Grownups are the real monsters, he thought.”
― Stephen King, It
“It is only when a man feels himself face to face with such horrors that he can understand their true import.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula
“It was so close to October that Halloween was knocking at his heart.”
― Barry Eysman, Candles for November
“-there was something in her, something that was…pure horror. Everything you were supposed to watch out for. Heights, fire, shards of glass, snakes, Everything that his mom tried so hard to keep him safe from.”
― John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In
“Walking out in the middle of a funeral would be, of course, bad form. So attempting to walk out on one’s own was beyond the pale.”
― Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls
“What looked like morning was the beginning of endless night.”
― William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist
Don’t worry, this will be the only Stephen King adaptation on this list. There’s an ocean full of adaptations to choose from but we picked this adaptation because of its heart, its scares, and its optimistic light.
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Plus, it’s a close adaptation to the book (unlike Kubrick’s brilliant but unfaithful version of The Shining) that manages to capture both the scares and the comedic self-aware tone that King is most known for, although it does forgo some of the stranger elements.
In 1971 William Blatty brought us The Exorcist. The book goes through horrifying and skin-crawling descriptions of the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil.
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While Regan herself is fictional, the book is inspired by a terrifying case in 1949 of reported demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.
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Two years later the iconic film adaptation hit the silver screens, sending audiences everywhere in a fright. While the film plays fast-and-loose with some of the details, as well as adding its odd terrifying touch, Blatty himself was the screenwriter and producer, marking this adaptation as one of the closest to the original novel.
A sequel to the disturbing police procedure with stunning descriptions, The Silence of the Lambs follows Clarice Starling, who must speak to a confined serial killer in order to track down another serial killer. Skin crawling in more ways than one, this novel shoots through twists and turns and shows that even a confined killer can be deadly.
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Top it off with a film adaptation that won all the Academy Awards in the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay (the third film in the history of the Oscars to do so) the characters of Hannibal Lecter and Agent Starling have become cemented into the public consciousness.
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It’s horrifying, its disturbing, its uplifting, it’s everything you want in a horror film and its a masterclass in adaptation.
Possibly the scariest incarnation of the Dracula story, the 1958 movie departs from the source material only when it wishes to elevate it. At the time, Bram Stoker’s story was horrifying and shocking to readers everywhere. However, sensibilities have changed and the novel was considered tame.
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In an effort to strike fear back into the hearts of anyone who heard the name of “Dracula”, the movie displayed the brutal nature of Dracula for the first time in all his onscreen glory. A true movie monster, this adaptation proved to be the scariest depiction Dracula and has kept that title ever since.
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Plus, Christopher “His mother was a Countess and he was a real-life spy” Lee portrayed Dracula, he was basically a vampire incarnate.
Did you know this was based on a book? Most people don’t, and they should because the book is just as enticing and awe-inspiring and downright horrifying as its film adaptation.
John W Campell, Jr’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? follows a group of scientific researches isolated in Antarctica who discover an alien spaceship buried inside the ice. They encounter what can only be described as a “thing”—a shape-shifter that takes on the personality of any living thing it devours.
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The novella made such an impact that it spawned two movie adaptations, one in 1951 titled Thing from Another World and one in 1982 simply titled The Thing. While Thing from Another World is a great movie on its own, the 1982 became a cult classic and later a mainstream classic thanks due to its memorable characters and its horrifying images.
Warning! Watching this film will make you questions everything, and everyone, around you. Could the Thing be lurking behind you? Is it your loving dog or your cute cat? Or is it your best friend?
David Pinner’s 1967 novel was praised for its “opulent dialogue” but was given a warning because “it is quite likely to test your dreams of leaving the city for a shady nook by a babbling brook”.
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While the remake has its moments (not the bees!), the original 1973 starring many a cast, including Christopher Lee, entices us with this seemingly perfect cult with dark undertones. With themes of religiosity and faith, this film will reach down to your core and make you question everything you believe.
This is a horror novel. The bright colors might throw you off, but a humanoid cat breaks into the home of two innocent children and proceeds to have ‘fun’ with them through various chaotic games of growing insanity. Yes, the children take the whole thing in strides, but I think this is because they know that resistance is futile against this feline furry.
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This is what the live action film understood perfectly well about the character. It might be overly longer, but like the novel its horrifying how much they have FUN FUN FUN.
Image Thanks to Megan Bomar
I’m going to see that phrase smeared in blood when I get home, won’t I?
It’s impossible to read all the books ever written, but lucky we don’t need to. We just have to read these books coming our way!
And the books we already own but haven’t read…but book problems, am I right?
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3: Horse Museum by Dr. Seuss
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A new Dr. Seuss book is going to hit shelves on September 3, 2019, marking the second time a Dr. Seuss book has been published posthumously since 2015’s What Pet Should I Get?
The manuscript and sketches for book appear to have been discovered in the late author’s La Jolla home around the same time What Pet Should I Get? was discovered, but now illustrator Andrew Joyner is set to complete the author’s unfinished sketches.
A statement by Random House reveals that the story will take younger riders on a journey with a friendly horse touring an art museum with illustrations “combined throughout with full-color photographic reproductions of famous horse artwork by Pablo Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock…” and will features “[c]ameo appearances by classic Dr. Seuss characters (among them the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton the Elephant)…”
With a first printing of 250,000 copies, this fall many readers, both young and old, will return to a Dr. Seuss’s world as it grows just a little bit larger.
2. Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
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In the vein of In Cold Blood, Casey Cep’s Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee is about what Goodreads describes as “[t]he stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird“.
It is known that Harper Lee never wrote another book after To Kill A Mocking Bird.Go Set a Watchmen was confirmed to be the first draft of her literary classic, so this book has the potential to both dispel myths and paint a clear view on Harper Lee’s life post-publishing this May 7th, 2019.
Ironically, the novel is going to shed light on Harper Lee’s trying to write her next great American novel – a Gothic crime drama – but never succeeding.
Cari Mora by Thomas Harris
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With his last book published in December of 2006, Thomas Harris has been quiet on us. Now he returns on May 16th with Cari Mora. His second novel not featuring his infamous Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (his first novel, Black Sunday, didn’t feature the character when it debuted in 1975), Cari Mora is described by Tampa Bay as being about “Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.”
With its titular female character and themes of immigration, we can’t wait to read the sixth novel from the man whose kept us up late at night since the mid-seventies.