Chances are if you read haunted histories and tales of ghosts and strange phenomena, you also like horror novels. That's how it is in my case, anyway. So what I want to know is this: Do you have a favorite horror novel? If so, what is it? It's always difficult for me to just pick one favorite, so I picked five. I thought I's share them with you:
_You've heard of the phenomenal play by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera, but have you read the classic tale from which the play is based? Sorry Webber, but as much as I like your play and its fantastic music, Leroux's novel is still my favorite. In fact, not Webber's version nor any of the movies allegedly based on the classic story even come close to being a true adaptation of Leroux's masterpiece. It's not a perfect book, but I love the atmosphere, characters, scenes and sense of journalistic realism in this tale of love and loss. It's a true classic well worth your time reading it.
_There have been a lot of movies based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, but not any of them are true adaptations of this masterpiece, either. They all have elements, and perhaps Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" is closest, but you can't get any better than the novel. It contains some very creepy parts, which are best read before bed but with all the lights turned on in the house.
_Stephen King has been scaring generations of readers with his tales of the macabre, and one of his best is also one of his earliest novels. 'Salem's Lot, another vampires' tale inspired by Stoker's count, was King's second book. Again, the two movies based on the story -- one theatrical, the other TV-based -- do not do the book justice. The first movie made in the 1970s is more in line with the novel than the latter version, but the book is best because of King's character development, atmosphere, and the creepy descriptions of the town known as Jerusalem's Lot. A creepy prequel to the story, which interestingly lacks any mention of vampires, can be found in King's story collection, Night Shift.
_You can't judge a King book by its movie. The books are always better. King makes my list again with a much longer novel called It. Again, it's the author's character development that make his books so worthwhile, even if you are reading a spook story. I found this novel very spooky, but there's also a high level of expert writing in it from a guy who honed his craft over a number of years and numerous books, many of them lengthy tomes. If you're up for a good but long read, you should give It a try.
_Scott Nicholson became one of my favorite thriller writers after I read his first novel, The Red Church, back in the late 1990s. It's an Appalachian tale of great sin, the evil of a small town and, of course, its mysterious Red Church. It's a must-read for horror fans by a journalist-turned-novelist who has written numerous creepy yarns over the past two decades or so. Check out Nicholson at Barnes & Noble and Amazon to learn more about his books. The Red Church will get you hooked.
Now it's your turn? Tell me some of your favorite horror novels.