Must-Read Horror Classics

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is not a big thing over here. Somehow it just doesn’t catch on. Even though the shops sell Halloween costumes and decorations, even though the TV channels show spooky movies, the people seem reluctant to really get into the spirit. Strange, usually the Germans are always more than willing to adopt foreign customs.


Image Vintage Halloween postcard by riptheskull on flickr

Still, I had a look around for horror classics and found a list at Techland. According to them these are the 15 must-read horror classics. I’m no big fan of horror, so let’s see how many I have read (in italics).

  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, 1764
  • Vathek by William Beckford, 1786
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, 1794
  • The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis, 1796
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1818
  • Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin, 1820
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, 1890
  • The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, 1894
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker, 1897
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, 1898
  • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft, 1927
  • At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft, 1936
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, 1938
  • Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber, 1943

5 out of 15, not so great. I always wanted to read Castle of Otranto and, as an Austen lover, The Mysteries of Udolpho, but never got around to doing so. I have to put them on my to-read-list on Goodreads, so I won’t forget. Apart from those two I’m not very interested. Except maybe for Conjure Wife. That sounds interesting. Lovecraft I will definitely give a pass. I tried to read some short stories by him once and found them too weird for me.

Are you a horror lover? How many have you read?

4 Comments Write a comment

  1. I’ve only read two off the list. Just Frankenstein and Dracula. It’s too bad that Halloween doesn’t catch on there because it’s so much fun for kids! That’s funny that they sell costumes and stuff though. I wouldn’t even think they would do that.

    I LOVE that card by the way. It’s amazing!


    • We do have kids walking around trick or treating in the evenings, but strangely enough it got rather less than more in the last few years. They even create masks in school, so it sounds as if it was becming more popular, but it still has no impact on people’s lives. I have never seen a home decorated for Halloween (maybe with pumpkins for fall etc. but nothing gruesome). It is weird.
      Oh, btw, maybe you are interested to know. The German equivalent for “trick or treat” is “Süsses oder Saures” which is actually a nice little pun.


    • Three is not too bad, isit? Given that some of them are really obsucre (to me, at least). I’ll keep the Turn of the Screw in my as a future read….Thanks!


Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

CommentLuv badge