Shadow Over Innsmouth
H.P. Lovecraft is the master of American horror short stories. “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” takes the reader through a tale that starts out as a pulpy detective story and becomes something much more intense.
If you’re not familiar with Lovecraft's work, here are a few things you can expect: outdated language, some bigotry and signs of the turn-of-the-century mentality, and a healthy dose of indescribable monsters so terrible they melt the character’s minds. If you can wade through the language and see past the author’s own history of xenophobia, his tales of ancient and cosmic horror will leave you with goosebumps.
“The Shadow Over Innsmouth” takes place in a damp New England town as the protagonist seeks to investigate strange rumors about the town of Innsmouth. For a short story, it’s a bit long, but Lovecraft is renowned for his mastery of weaving hints and clues to a grand and chilling finale. Get ready to enjoy dripping imagery, big new words, and an impending sense that something terrible is about to befall you, just in time for Halloween!
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Ray Bradbury is probably better known for his work in science fiction; however, Something Wicked This Way Comes takes a bit of a dip into the dark fantastical when a sinister carnival comes to a small American town set in the 1950s.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a short novel but a slow burn, as the main character slowly unravels that not all is as it seems with this new carnival and particularly with their leader, a man covered head to toe in vibrant tattoos.
Bradbury touches on themes including childhood and age trying to place oneself in the world in this book that will leave you marveling as the leaves change from green to their autumn colors. Ultimately, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a tale of good and evil, and the colors, sounds, and smells Bradbury evokes are a perfect precursor to Halloween.