5 Spooky Stories to Get You in the Halloween Mood

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Best Horror Books Best Of Featured

For many of us, the Halloween countdown starts as soon as fall rolls around. When the leaves turn orange and the darkness creeps in, it’s the perfect time to cozy up with a scary story or a nail-biting horror movie. Now, with All Hallows’ Eve just around the corner, I’ve put together this list of five bone-chilling stories to prepare you for the spookiest day of the year!

1. Pet Sematery by Stephen King

Stephen King Pet Sematary book cover with cat and graveyard

Stephen King has become one of the modern world’s most celebrated authors, publishing over 60 novels in his lifetime. He can terrify even the hardiest of horror readers with his hauntingly vivid settings, convincing characters, and unexpected twists — and the 1983 novel Pet Sematary is hailed by fans as one of his best.

It begins innocently enough, with the Creed family moving to a quiet town in Maine. Little do they know, their new house sits near an ancient animal burial ground — where the bite is much worse than the bark. When the family cat gets run over, only to return the next day acting strangely, the Creed family and the reader know that things are about to get very freaky.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

One of the most famous horror books of all time, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the source of many a bolt-necked costume — but how many know the original tale? When Shelley wrote this novel, her goal was to “speak to the mysterious fears of our nature… to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.”

Two centuries later, she’s clearly succeeded: just about everyone recognizes the name Frankenstein. While it’s commonly associated with the half-dead, half-alive humanoid monster, Frankenstein carries the name of the scientist behind the creation, Dr. Victor Frankenstein — who must choose between his life’s work and the safety of humanity. That said, to really appreciate the nuanced terrors of this classic Gothic novel, one simply has to read it.

3. 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

30 days of night book cover with man screaming

30 Days of Night is a three-issue horror comic by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith that’s guaranteed to keep you awake… and petrified. When the small town of Barrow, Alaska is plunged into a midwinter month of darkness, the area becomes a hunting ground for a group of bloodthirsty vampires — and its residents must fight like hell to survive.

Templesmith’s illustrations bring Niles’ words to visceral life, a no-holds-barred portrayal of the graphic violence and gore throughout the story. Though none of the stories on this list are exactly easy reading, take heed that 30 Days of Night is not for the faint of heart.

4. Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Fledgling scary novel cover with legs coming out of a white wall

Though best known as a sci-fi author, Octavia Butler has also conjured up many multi-layered horror stories to make your skin crawl. Fledgling is a perfect example — this thrilling novel tackles issues of race and identity under the guise of a sinister vampire plot.

The story kicks off with immediate suspense, as a young girl named Shori wakes up with no knowledge of who or where she is. It only gets more disturbing as she discovers that she’s actually a 53-year-old vampire, wanted dead by an unknown figure. Though aware it could lead to her own demise, Shori is desperate to find out more about her past and identity — and as she goes from fledgling to full-on vamp, she finds that the only one she can trust is herself.

5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book cover with a skeleton head over a graveyard

For anyone who loved sitting ’round a campfire as a kid and sharing urban legends passed down through generations, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is just the chill-inducing companion you’ll need for Halloween. Compiled by editor Alvin Schwartz, this book includes some of the most harrowing short stories ever told.

Many have questioned its classification as a children’s book — and rightly so. From haunted houses to people getting eaten by worms, the descriptions and illustrations may leave you a little queasy. However, if you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia with your Halloween reading, then this is the book for you.

Whether you’re planning to spend your night trick-or-treating or under the blankets with hot cocoa and a scary movie, I hope that these spooky stories have gotten you into the Halloween spirit. Have a hauntingly good one!

Guest post by Savannah Cordova from Reedsy – Twitter / Instagram

Would You Survive Michael Myers If You Were In a Movie?

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Featured Scary Movies and Series

How to Escape and Survive a Real Life Michael Myers

Michael Myers is one of the scariest figures in the horror slasher genre…and has claimed one of the highest horror movie killer body counts of them all! He is ominous, seemingly immortal and possesses terrifying presence! What if Michael Myers were chasing you throughout his childhood home?  What if you found yourself at a hospital late at night alongside Laurie Strode? What if you found yourself in Haddonfield on Halloween?

Would You Survive Michael Myers In Real Life?

Horror Enthusiast has created the Michael Myers Survival Points system in order to track your progress during a real life Michael Myers escape.  Making favorable decisions earns you positive points, while making mistakes may cost you your points (or much worse!).

You start out with Zero (0) points, unless your last name is “Myers” or “Strode,” in which case you start out with negative five (-5) points!

After you complete the quiz and tally up your score, you will be able to determine whether you would be likely to survive a real life Michael Myers chase or be the next resident of the Haddonfield cemetery!

Weapon to Use Against Michael Myers

Most survivors are not strong enough by themselves, thus a weapon in a horror movie is an invaluable asset. Michael Myers almost always has a large kitchen knife which can be seen gleaming in the background as he stalks his a victim. Having a weapon has sometimes helped a Michael Myers survivor find their way to safety. You may choose one (1) weapon to use against Michael Myers to aid your survival!

  • If you would attempt to inject Michael with a powerful sedative that would knock him out instantly, add 8 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to use a knife or piece of broken glass against Michael, add 10 points to your score.
  • If you would attempt to hit Michael with a car or other vehicle, add 12 points to your score.
  • If you would attempt to knock Michael out with a piece of furniture or other heavy object, add 15 points to your score.
  • If you would attempt to shoot Michael with a pistol or a shotgun, add 8 points to your score.
  • If you would attempt to wrestle Michael’s knife out of his hands to use against him, add 6 point to your score.
  • If you choose to avoid an encounter, do not modify your score.

Hiding Place When Running From Michael Myers

michael myers Halloween movie seen of girl being grabbed by a man in a ghost costume

It is impossible for nearly all survivors to run indefinitely…although the slashers seem to have endless streams of energy.  Hiding is therefore essential to a good survival plan, and where you hide against Michael Myers matters.  Michael is an expert at hide and go seek, so choose carefully! You may choose one (1) hiding place to help you survive a real life Michael Myers chase!

  • If you would choose to hide in an inoperable vehicle, add 9 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to hide in a barn, add 12 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to hide under a desk or table, add 15 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to hide in a dumbwaiter, add 5 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to hide in a closet, add 9 points to your score.
  • If you would never choose to hide, do not modify your score.

Escape Routes to Escape Michael Myers

Although Michael’s total body count is rather high, some survivors still slip through to the end and go on to live for a sequel! Most of the victims have tried to escape, but their escape route turns out to be a poor choice against “The Shape.” Those who get away typically have to run for a while and require a collaboration of creative escape routes to survive. You may choose two (2) escape routes in order to create your preferred combination for survival!

  • If you would attempt to get into a car, knowing the keys are inside, and drive away from Michael, add 10 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to call 911 and wait it out in hiding within a building (hospital, school, etc), add 7 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to jump from a two story window, without knowing what was below, add 10 points to your score.
  • If you would attempt to seriously incapacitate or kill Michael Myers in order to escape, add 15 points to your score.
  • If you would choose to trap Michel Myers in any way (with a car, with a heavy object, with a noose trap, etc), add 15 points to your score.

Ways to Die Against Michael Myers

michael myers attacking a man with a garden tool from Halloween horror movie.

There are a lot of mistakes to be made when a horror movie slasher is chasing you. Michael Myers is a lot less tolerant of mistakes and will typically seize these opportunities to slay his victims. Unfortunately, these common mistakes will diminish the chance of survival!

Assuming He Is Dead

Many characters make the mistake of assuming Michael Myers is dead at one point or another.  This is a recurring theme, and one that winds up being fatal for many characters.  Whether it is hell reincarnated in human form, simple supernatural powers, Michael Myers does not seem to die.

If you would approach Michael Myers while he lay still in front of you, seemingly dead, with any reason other than to do him immediate harm, subtract 25 points from your score!

Celebrating Halloween

Almost all of Michael’s victims celebrated to some extent. Some victims even went trick or treating! Michael only seems to be interested in killing on Samhain (Halloween day itself), and thus, those out and about celebrating Halloween are at greater risk!

If you are a Halloween lover, subtract 25 points from your score!

Having Intercourse

Like many other horror slashers of his generation, Michael loves to kill those who are in a …compromising position!  People who become intimate in the Halloween movies are at an increased risk for becoming part of Michael’s never ending body count.

If you would find yourself in an intimate, ‘compromising position’ on Halloween day, subtract 20 points from your score!

Protecting a Potential Victim

There are a lot of kills that did not have to happen! Michael Myers oftentimes has to tear through a few unnecessary deaths in order to reach his true intended victim.  Because Michael is seeking out his family, those who stand in the way to protect or defend the targets, usually die themselves.

If you feel you would stand up for one of Michael’s families, a Strode or a Myers, subtract 15 points from your score!

Curse of the Working Man

Michael Myers is a very mobile slasher, and finds his way around in order to reach his targets.  Unfortunately, this means killing a lot of innocent people along the way who are key in him working his way to his victims.  He will kill doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, attendants, mechanics, and more.

If you have a job that involves helping others in any way (in person), you might come into contact with Michael Myers by sheer chance (bad luck), so subtract 10 points from your score!

Did You Survive Michael Myers?

michael myers in chains from Halloween horror movie

Tallying up your Michael Myers Survival Points will indicate your likelihood of surviving a real life encounter with Michael Myers. 

+10 points…………… HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF SURVIVAL

4 to 9 points………… POSSIBLE CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

0 to 3 points………… SLIM CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

-9 to -1 points……… PROBABLY DEAD ON ARRIVAL

-19 to -10 points……DEFINITE DEATH

Below -20 points…. DIED BEFORE EVEN SEEING HIM

Remember, Michael has killed a lot of people and not all of them have realized what was happening until it was too late.  Many people mistake him for a peer, and many people believe he can be tamed. Michael’s kill count continues to go up, although nearly every kill has been spectacular.

Doug Bradley and Robert Englund live on Twitch.. Freddy vs Pinhead?

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Featured Lifestyle

Thursday October 14th, 2021 Horror Hub Presents Down to Hell with two of horrors biggest stars: host Doug Bradley and special guest Robert Englund.

Robert Englund, who is most famous for playing one of horror’s most famous monsters, Freddy Krueger, in Nightmare on Elm Street. The genius and horrible invention of Wes Craven has haunted our dream world for more than twenty years now.

Freddy Krueger

Doug Bradley, known for his brilliant role in the Hellraiser movie series as Pinhead, arguably one of the most intelligent inter dimensional demons, has also tortured us for more than 20 years now.

Pinhead from Hellraiser

These two superstars of horror are getting together on Twitch Thursday October 14th, 2021 to talk about life, love, horror and anything else that comes to mind. Fans can ask questions in the live chat and interact with one another during the show.

Fun fact are these two actors are 2 of 3 horror actors who played the same role 8 consecutive times. The third being Tobin Bell from the Saw franchise.

Down to Hell is in its premiere season, produced by Horror Hub Marketplace the show is a casual conversation between host Doug Bradley, co-host Steph Sciullo and some of horror’s most interesting creators, actors, musicians, and personalities.

Follow the show on Twitch or tune in live Thursday to catch Pinhead and Freddy hanging out.

What Was the Inspiration for the Scream Movies & Ghostface Killer?

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Featured Scary Movies and Series

Is Scream Based On a Real Story?

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Ghostface can be heard around the world by countless fans mimicking his famous catchphrase. Ghostface taunts his victims by telephone and with a voice changing device to help hide his identity (which ultimately changes every movie).  He then stalks and chases them with a scary looking dagger to ensure a violent death.  Ghostface is certainly one of the horror genre’s favorite slashers.

The Scream franchise did very well, with the first movie raking in more than $103 million in the United States alone (that’s great for an estimated budget of only $14,000,000)!  But where did the story get its start? What is the Scream movie origin and is Ghostface based upon a real life killer? Horror Enthusiast has dove deep to untangle some wires and figure the true origin of the Ghostface killer and Scream movies.

The Real Story that Inspired Ghostface & Scream

The Real Life Unnerving Murders

The writer of Scream, Kevin Williamson, created the story line surrounding his fascination with the Gainesville Ripper.  While watching a news story about the terror, he realized his very own window was open, and that he could be susceptible to the same horrible fate that had already befallen a number of people.  The horror script was born that very day as Kevin completed the first 18 page draft of what would be Scream. 

The initial script featured a young woman who was alone at home (where she should be safe), being taunted by a killer over the phone.  The woman would then be chased by the slasher, who would be a scary-masked villain with a knife. Shortly, Kevin had completed a full-length script for the movie. He even planned the concept of Scream becoming a franchise right away.  In addition to his full-length script, Kevin provided suggestions that outlined two possible sequels. 

The Gainesville Ripper

Danny Harold Rolling is the Gainesville Ripper, a serial killer responsible for murdering 5 students in the Gainesville, Florida area, as well as 3 others in Louisiana.  Rolling is the initial inspiration  (although somewhat loosely fit) for the plot horror enthusiasts all know as the Scream movie today.  Rolling was a gruesome killer, mutilating his victims after raping them and even decapitating one body. He would also pose his victims in sexually provocative positions before leaving the scene. Hardly Ghostface, however, nonetheless the Gainesville Ripper would scare Kevin Williamson so bad he’d come up with the basis for a truly scary plot with a real-life feel. 

Rolling was put to death by legal injection in 2006.

Where Did the Ghostface Mask Come From?

ghostface masked killed from the movie scream

The Ghostface mask was discovered by Wes Craven himself as he were hunting for filming locations.  He noticed the mask hanging on the wall of one of the rooms within a possible film house and knew it was a perfect fit.  The mask could not be exactly similar as he could not obtain the rights and so he had one made to resemble the mask as closely as possible based upon a photo he took.

Where Did the Ghostface Cloak Come From?

Ghostface was designed, originally, to be cloaked in a white robe, not a black robe.  The costume only changed to a black robe after the crew realized he resembled a member of the Ku Klux Klan when wearing white.

Where Did the Title “Scream” Come From?

Scream was originally going to be called “Scary Movie.” This is super ironic, as that title would later be used for a parody that pretty much featured the Scream franchise. The (now more famous than ever before in light of their sexual harassment scandles) Weinstein Brothers decided to rename the film to Scream towards the end of filming.

What Made Scream More Interesting?

Scream was (basically) the first horror movie that featured characters who understood horror movies existed and even referenced real-life horror movies throughout the film.  With characters that understood how people die in horror movies and the common mistakes to avoid…it made the audience feel as though anything could happen.

Additional Inspirations

There is a lot of inspiration behind Scream that appears under the surface, as well.  Scream script writer, Kevin Williamson, had been a huge horror movie fan his entire life before beginning the Scream script. He loved popular horror franchises Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Prom Night, and many others.  His passion for these films is evident via a number of references and obvious homage throughout the Scream movies.

Scream Still Scares Even Today

painting of ghostface from scream

Ghostface today is still a very popular slasher horror icon.  He makes several appearances throughout popular media (other movies included, even comedies like ‘Scary Movie’).  And almost everyone knows who Ghostface is, or has seen at least one Scream movie.  He is even a very popular Halloween mask choice more than 20 years after his first cinematic appearance (the original Scream being released in 1996).  And very recently, more interest slasher favorite, Ghostface, has spawned a rebooted Scream franchise in form of a TV series. The TV series first aired in June of 2015, but is currently three seasons strong.  The third season has yet to air (begins in March of 2018). 

Whether on the big screen or on TV, one thing is clear: Ghostface is here to stay and wants to know what is your favorite scary movie?

Horror Hub Marketplace Releases 4 Limited Edition Masks in Collaborations with Zagone Studios

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Featured Lifestyle

Horror Hub Marketplace is the biggest horror marketplace on the planet with vendors ranging from custom halloween masks to original small run horror collectibles, horror books, oddities, haunt supplies, and even horror coffee. Zagone Studios creates Halloween Masks and Costumes. Family owned and managed for over 40 years Zagone Masks and Costumes continues to design, innovate and manufacture right here in the U.S.A. Featuring the sculpts of Bill Ystrom (known as BY B.Y.) Zagone Studios has developed and originated multi lines of super soft latex, ultra-comfortable head sock and moving mouth harness masks. Their masks are great fitting while maintaining true to life, beautiful and intricate sculpts.  

Each of the 4 masks are available exclusively on horrorhubmarketplace.com.

Balthazar Demon Mask

Balthazar halloween mask

Balthazar is a vain and manipulative demon with a predilection for ugly ties. He enjoys bottled water, looking like a smug, impeccable bastard, and toying with people.The Balthazar Demon mask is an over the head mask with fur hair and huge horns. Perfect for theater, Halloween or haunted houses. It’s dark and it’s terrifying 

Mohawk Skull Mask

Skeleton Mask with moveable mouth

Moving mouth mask! What is more terrifying than a skull mask? One that has a moveable mouth. The sock mask design with the latex on top of the sock allows the wearer the capacity to make the mask move simply by making facial expressions. The sock acts as the buffer for the actor’s skin to the latex adding to the comfort. Very comfortable to wear with excellent visibility.

Pink Alien Mask

This mask utilizes a foam insert to help keep the wearer comfortable and prevent the mask from shifting on the wearer’s head. The plastic eyes snap fit into the eye sockets. Hand poured, painted and assembled in the US.

The Halloween mask can be used comfortably and safely for a Trick or Treating costume, actor mask in theater, tv shows & movies, horror costume, haunted house masks, cosplay, advertising model, window display and costuming prop.

This pink alien variation is a limited run HorrorHub brand exclusive.

Pink Alien Mask

Dread Head Shrunken Head

Hang this shrunken head to keep the evil spirits from clogging up your mojo. This ghastly decoration is meant for indoor use, but can be placed outside to add creepy fun to your haunted house, graveyard scene, or Halloween home decor.

shrunken head halloween prop