Mystery and Horror: Novels To Haunt You

by: Marina Lucic

October 17, 2012

Halloween is approaching and in the spirit of the spooky, supernatural and the mysterious, here is a list of novels to get you in the mood. From true horror to subtle mysterious happenings, everyone is bound to find something that is capable of making them run for the lights.

 1. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein   

This will forever be the story that tears my emotions in two, because, although the clumsy monster of the novel is horrendous and scary, he is also one that you cannot help but to pity as he becomes a truly evil monster figure as a result of everyone treating him that way from the start. It teaches us that there is a chain reaction and that how we treat others will eventually lead back to us–treat someone as a monster and perhaps he will be a monster to you. The messages of this novel are simple and beautiful but also highly political.


2. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

This is one of my personal favorite novels—of all time. It is both plot-orientated, so that you are almost tearing at the pages to know what will happen next, and gorgeously written. The images that Bronte creates truly embody the genre of the classic, gothic novel, and will strike you with their beauty and gloominess. There are illusions to witches, ghosts, demons and the supernatural, and yet none of them are literal.  A truly timeless work of literary genius that everyone should eventually make some time for.


3. Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland

Wieland is known to be America’s first gothic novel. The novel introduces us to a home that resembles a paradise and to a family that is full of happiness, knowledge and love, until everything begins to falls to pieces. The paradise turns into a wild horror of murderers, ghosts, strangers and lies. There are not many novels that Wieland can be compared to and a good word to describe it would be “weird.” What is also interesting is that it was written just before America’s independence and critics have said that the messages of a paradise being destroyed was partly a political one.


4. Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping

A more contemporary one, this novel is about a house in a small lake town and the family—particularly the women—that live in it. The protagonists of the novel are two sisters whose mother has committed suicide and who have been brought to her childhood house to be raised by their grandmother. She eventually dies and various caretakers move into the house to care for the girls– one of them being their insane, transient aunt. This novel doesn’t have actual monsters, and the horror of it very subtle, but it is there in the form of insanity, loneliness, depression and death. It will haunt you and give you chills for many years after you have read it. 

Mystery and Horror WILD mag lit


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