This hallowe’en (2012) we culled twenty horror fiction works from our science fiction and fantasy collection, aiming for variety and delicious oddity.

Of course we included classics such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and one of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle Novels, The Queen of the Damned.

But mostly we cherry-picked works that are not as well-known. For example, there’s a sequel to Dracula called Dracula: The un-dead, written by Stoker’s great grand-nephew Dacre Stoker (with Ian Holt). There’s also the light pulp fiction read Zoltan: hound of Dracula, a novelisation of the camp movie of the same name, about a California family named Drake (formerly Dracula!).

Another enjoyably horrible pulp fiction read: Rest in agony, first published in “Fantastic adventures” and then expanded into a Monarch Books original novel.

The hunted by Kathryn Ptacek is a dark fantasy that combines a classic suspense formula with twentieth-century images of the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

The Time-Life book The Enchanted World: Tales of Terror was selected as much for its marvellous illustrations (a sampling of which appears below) as for its ghastly folktales and myths from around the globe.

      

Devils & demons: a treasury of fiendish tales old & new includes stories by fantasy masters Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Robert Louis Stevenson. It also includes stories by writers not primarily known for horror and fantasy: mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell, novelist of manners William Makepeace Thackery, detective fiction writer Leslie Charteris, and writers William Somerset Maugham and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

At almost 1,ooo pages, the Dark Descent ambitiously attempts to cover “The entire spectrum of horror fiction, from the psychological investigations of Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Flannery O’connor, … through the colorful supernatural allegories of … Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison, to the disturbing and dreadful stories of … Edith Wharton … stories that leave the reader in doubt of the very nature of reality.”

Happy hallowe’en reading!