It’s October, and you know what that means… It’s spooky season, and it just so happens to be Book Week as well! To get you ready for the Halloween festivities, here are some Horror story recommendations.
WARNING: SOME OF THE RECOMMENDED MATERIAL MAY CONTAIN PROFANITY, BLOOD AND GORE, DEPICTIONS OF THE SUPERNATURAL, TRAUMA AND OTHER CONTENT THAT MAY BE DISTURBING FOR SOME AUDIENCES. READER DISCRETION IS HIGHLY ADVISED.
Coraline, Neil Gaiman
This classic tale is a must-read for Halloween. The book follows the story of a young girl, Coraline Jones, who had just moved into a new house. As she was exploring, she discovers a secret door, and past this door lies a parallel otherworld of her life. Seemingly a perfect version of her boring and negligent parents, the Other Mother and Father love and cherish Coraline. However, this is all just a scheme to hide the sinister and foul plans they have prepared for her and her real family.
Creepy, eerie, and exciting; three words to describe this twisted tale that was the stuff of my nightmares as a child. Reading it back now, it’s not as scary, but just as good as I remembered it. It’s the perfect read for anyone looking for a loopy adventure; this book is perfect for a lighthearted Halloween.
Ghost Teller, QTT
Ghost Teller (귀전구담) is a Horror Webtoon originally created by Korean Naver Webtoon artist QTT. It currently has two seasons, with each season containing a good five stories.
“This story I am about to tell you… is scarier than any ghost story. It is a story about humans.”
Ghost Teller’s frightful charm is in its very interesting concept of horror. Ghost Teller is about a group of ghosts who each share their own scary stories about humans. When we think about it, humans are driven by desire, chained by greed, manipulated by sin, and imprisoned in guilt and shame. This series of events is the reason behind all the pain and suffering in the world. Some episodes tear at your heartstrings, some episodes make you wish revenge was served piping hot, and some episodes make you think about how you act.
Ghost Teller is a wonderful work of art. Each story gets you emotionally attached to the main character, and then you see it coming, their downfall, the moment they succumb to sin. Then like some twisted turn of fate, QTT drops the bomb of realization on you out of nowhere! If you love plot twists, trust me, you are in for a treat.
The stories in Ghost Teller also reflect deeply on our morals, and aside from being a horror story, it is a story about humanity. Not all tales told have happy endings. People aren’t always as they seem. And, after reading, you’d ask yourself: “Are ghosts really any scarier than humans?”
The Promised Neverland, Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu
The Promised Neverland is an action-packed horror manga, following Emma, and her friends Ray and Norman. Raised in a quaint orphanage in the countryside, our main character loves her life. She has Mama, the sweet lady who runs the orphanage, as well as all of her friends, who she considers family. Everything is great for Emma, but one fateful day changes everything. Mama is not who she seems to be, and the strange rules surrounding the orphanage are not there to protect the children; they are there to keep them from learning the horrifying truth of their world.
This manga honestly terrified me at first, I had to put it down several times before I could continue. It’s gruesome, and the antagonists were just plain frightening, but this manga will seriously get you hooked. No matter how many times I stopped, I had to pick it back up just to know what was going to happen next. The art is great, and the writer does a great job of fleshing out the characters and their emotions, which gets one invested in the story. It’s a great read to start your spooky Halloween with.
Sweet Home, Kim Carnby & Hwang Young-chan
If you want that utter feeling of thrill, suspense, and chills being sent down your spine, you’d be sure to enjoy Sweet Home by author Kim Carnby and illustrator Hwang Young-chan.
Sweet Home (스위트 홈) is a webtoon that ran from October 12, 2017 to July 2 of 2020 with a total of 140 chapters. It is about a rapid, apocalyptic event that the characters coined “monsterization”. The story centers around the protagonist Cha Hyun-soo in his struggle to survive the apocalypse in an apartment complex with a group of other survivors.
Sweet Home is a continuous storyline with a diverse set of characters you might fall in love with. The monsters here are downright unsettling as much as they are horrifying. It’s as if the artist figured out the formula to creepiness and carefully stuffed it into the design of each monster.
Before the apocalypse, Cha Hyun-soo was in a dark place in his life. Because of all the misfortunes that weighed down on him, he wanted to end it all. But he refused, and the reason why is something you’ll learn once you read it. (Not spoiling anything here, it’s good, trust me.)
Did you know? Sweet Home became so popular that Netflix created a whole TV Series that was released on December 18 of 2020. It became the first South Korean series to enter the US Netflix Top 10, and was in the Netflix Top 10 for 70 other countries, garnering a whopping 2.1 billion net views! So if you’re more of a watcher than a reader, this may be the next horror film to spook you.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magica Quartet & Hanokage
Do not be fooled by this manga. While it may look cute and like any other magical shoujo anime, this series is far from innocent. Our main character, Madoka Kaname, is an ordinary girl with a big heart. After a strange transfer student appears, Madoka is thrust into a world of magic and witches, where she discovers the ramifications of being a magical girl, and fights evil with her life on the line.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a great read and a good start to a dark and eerie Halloween. Based on the anime Madoka Magica, Hanogake does a wonderful job of putting the anime to paper. It still retains the flow and movement of the anime, and the expressions have a much more raw and impactful feel. This series is sure to get you ready for this year’s spooky festivities.
Uzumaki, Junji Ito
Last but definitely not the least, this dark and graphic manga is just one of the many horror masterpieces Junji Ito has created. This story revolves around Kirie, a high school girl, and the town of Kurozu-cho, a small town by the seaside. There is nothing special about this town except for one strange thing… The town is contaminated by spirals; from snails to shells to even the people themselves. This sleepy seaside town spirals into a mad mess filled with grotesque scenarios and body horror sure to keep you up at night.
To those who have read previous Dragon’s Print articles, you might have recognized Junji Ito’s name. The Junji Ito Kyoufu Manga collection was recommended in the 2019 Japanese Friday article (Go check that article out as well ;D Totally not a shameless plug..) and rightfully so. This not so frightening, but very much disturbing manga is sure to get you into that Halloween spirit.
And that’s all for our list of finely compiled tales for Halloween! Tell us if you recognized any of the stories we listed or if any of our recommendations stood out to you! And if you’re planning to read any of those, then… we wish you a quiet, sleepless night. Sweet nightmares!
Article by Rhett, T. (Grade 11) & Karen, Y. (Grade 11); Feature image by Chewon, Y. (Grade 11)
Reviews are uncommissioned, unpaid, and represent the personal views of the authors. They should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.