The Student News Site of State University of New York at Brockport

The Stylus

The Stylus

The Stylus

13 spooktacular movies and books to entertain you this October 

Photo credit: Google open source

It’s that time of year again. Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way is there to celebrate the season than with some of the most frightening fictions of all time?  

After examining countless movies and books, I’ve curated a list of 12 delightful dives into the uncanny. To round our list up to lucky number 13, I included my all-time favorite horror film at the end! 


  1. “Halloween” (directed by John Carpenter, 1978) 

This one had to be on the list. Carpenter’s film is iconic, not only for its villain, Michael Myers, but also for its main character, Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis). From the opening credits to the final cliffhanger, “Halloween” is a masterclass in slasher and suspense horror. 

  1. “Train to Busan” (directed by Yeon Sang-ho, 2016) 

If Carpenter’s slow-burn, (mostly) bloodless film isn’t your style, then I recommend director Yeon Sang-ho’s “Train to Busan.” This film does zombies right! By blending high-stakes action, suspense and body horror, Yeon Sang-ho delivers the perfect modern update to the classic zombie movie. 

  1. “Coraline” (directed by Henry Selick, 2009) 

Animated films can be scary, too! Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s novel, Henry Selick’s “Coraline” is a vibrant, stop-motion nightmare. Try not to watch this one alone. Be warned: you will never look at buttons the same way again. 

  1. “ParaNorman” (directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, 2012) 

This is not strictly a horror movie—it’s more like a wholesome supernatural comedy. That said, “ParaNorman” is a stop-motion film with some perfectly spooky elements (including ghosts, zombies and even a curse!). If you’re in the mood for a double feature, then it’s the perfect film to follow “Coraline.” 

  1. “Get Out” (directed by Jordan Peele, 2017) 

If you’ve seen any of Jordan Peele’s films, then you know he is a master of unveiling the terror in truth. This psychological horror movie deals with the disturbing reality of racism in modern society. It will remind you that not all is as it seems… and that the in-laws are the scariest thing in the world. 

Page Break 

  1. “The Witch” (directed by Robert Eggers, 2015) 

If you have ever claimed to be immune to horror movies, then you obviously haven’t seen  
“The Witch.” With its exceptional cast, understated visual effects and isolated New England setting (and that damn goat!), witchcraft has never felt more visceral. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you disturbed long after the credits have rolled. 


  1. “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury (1962) 

Ray Bradbury is, perhaps, best known for science fiction novels like “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles.” But he also dabbled in writing magical realism, dark fantasy and horror. “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is the perfect book to ring in the season of the witch. 

  1. “Fledgling” by Octavia E. Butler (2005) 

Octavia E. Butler is beyond reproach. In “Fledgling,” Butler blends science fiction and vampires, while crafting a brilliant allegory about racism and sexuality in modern society. You cannot get any better than that! Octavia E. Butler is one of the best, most influential POC science fiction writers of the last century, and you would be missing out if you didn’t read this novel. 

  1. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker (1897) 

There are so many adaptations and retellings of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” but the original novel remains the best. Yes, it’s old—very old, but it’s timeless. Written in an epistolary format, “Dracula” comes across as true accounts of a supernatural horror. The antiquated language only assists in this illusion, blanketing the story in the fog of history. Of all the horror stories on this list, this one is immortal. 

  1. “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty (1971) 

Did you know that “The Exorcist” was based on a novel? Well, if you didn’t, you do now.  
It’s hard to believe that the novel could match the quality of William Friedkin’s picture—except, it does (and it doesn’t hurt that the novel and the film were both written by William Peter Blatty). If you’re looking for more demonic possession in your life, then this book is worth the read. What an excellent day for an exorcism, wouldn’t you say? 

  1. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman (2013) 

Neil Gaiman has a beautifully twisted imagination. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” plays out like a childhood nightmare. Gaiman spins a vivid and haunting coming-of-age story that features eldritch terrors, cats and a family of friendly, enigmatic witches. This is a must-read—especially around Halloween. 

Page Break 

  1. “The Suffering” by Rin Chupeco (2015) 

Rin Chupeco combines feudal Japanese culture with a bone chilling ghost story. But this isn’t your typical haunting. This ghost can manipulate the physical world. Not only that, she’s also a vengeful feminist out for revenge, killing as many people as she can—especially those who get in the way. 


“Alien” (directed by Ridley Scott, 1979) 

There is nothing quite like Ridley Scott’s original “Alien.” Although James Cameron’s action-packed sequel is arguably more popular, it was Scott’s original picture that redefined science fiction horror. Even 43 years later, the movie packs a punch. With designs by  
H. R. Geiger, a restrained, creeping score by Jerry Goldsmith and Scott’s razor-sharp direction—oh, and the blood-thirsty monster— “Alien” makes space scary. If you’re feeling brave, go ahead and watch this one with the lights off. Just remember, in space, no one can hear you scream. 

That’s all folks! Go ahead and curl up with a glass of warm apple cider, your favorite autumnal treat and let the celebrations begin! 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Stylus

Your donation will support the student journalists of State University of New York at Brockport. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Stylus

Comments (0)

All The Stylus Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *