Spooky Reads for Halloween Weekend

The meme I keep seeing on Facebook says, “Why do we need Halloween this year when we’ve been wearing masks and eating candy since March?”

I can’t say I totally disagree. The thought of large costume parties, hayrides and haunted houses — many of the customs we usually associate with the Halloween season — just hasn’t excited me this year. We aren’t totally ditching Halloween traditions though. Our neighborhood seems to still be on board with trick-or-treating, albeit at a safe distance with some extra precautions in place. I don’t want to rob my kids of this experience if it can be done safely. How are you approaching Halloween this year?

Because Halloween is on Saturday, there is also college football to contend with. Don’t ring our doorbell when Alabama has the ball, you little goblins! Yes, I’ll be tuning into see Alabama take on Mississippi State. Trick-or-treat and Roll Tide!

Whether you are football-inclined or not, there are many good spooky entertainment options if you are staying in. My recommendations are of the literary variety…except for Haunted Mansion, now available on Disney+.

Haunted Mansion (2003)

If you love the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World — my personal favorite — you might like this fun comedy adaptation starring Eddie Murphy. I watched it with one of my daughters this week and I have to give it a quick plug. It will entertain the whole family.

Now back to the boos…I mean the books.

Books have been my favorite escape this year, and rightly so since we have been home more than ever before with ample time to read. A silver lining of the pandemic, I guess. Two of my recent reads are perfect for the Halloween weekend.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

All roadside motels are a little creepy, right? At least anyone who has ever seen Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 movie Psycho might think so. There is no Norman Bates in The Sun Down Motel but there are plenty of haunting spirits encountered by the two main characters, Carly Kirk and her aunt, Viv Delaney, who — 35 years apart — each moved to a small town in New York and took a job at the same motel. Will their curiosity about the motel guests get the best of them? Read my full review on Goodreads.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

I generally shy away from horror stories, so this was an unusual pick for me. But anything having to do with book clubs interests me, and the setting of 1990s Charleston, South Carolina, helped to draw me in, too. I managed to read through the handful of gory scenes without slamming the book shut and never looking back. It is a wildly entertaining vampire story that ultimately celebrates strong women. I actually look forward to reading this one again some day. Here is my full review on Goodreads.

Whether you are going out or staying in, I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

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