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7 Literary Quotes to Curdle Your Blood This Halloween

by  | October 29

Literature can do some wild things to one’s mind. The perfect combination of words and images can send tears streaming down your face or a shiver down your spine. In honor of this eerie Halloween season, we’ve scared up a few of the most chilling literary quotes from books we admire (and maybe fear a little too).

Whether it’s a creepy setting, a disturbing character, or a potential real-life scary circumstance, some spooky stories linger with you longer than you’d like. Remember to flick the night-light on tonight because these popular lines from some of our favorite scary reads were designed to haunt you. Don’t be surprised if they compel you to pick up the books from which they came…

“Some people do the world a favor when they decide to leave it early. It’s not necessarily my job or yours to stop that.”

―Nathan Ripley, Find You in the Dark

“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.”

–-Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

“At the same time a light unexpectedly sprang up, and I saw Carmilla, standing, near the foot of my bed, in her white nightdress, bathed, from her chin to her feet, in one great stain of blood.”

—Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

“There were times when John Wade wanted to open up Kathy’s belly and crawl inside and stay there forever. He wanted to swim through her blood and climb up and down her spine and drink from her ovaries and press his guns against the firm red muscle of her heart.”

—Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods

“I’m so young, and it’s all over.”

―Adam Higginbotham, Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.”

―Stephen King, Pet Sematary

“No matter how much you think you love somebody, you’ll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.”

―Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Find You in the Dark

Find You in the Dark

by Nathan Ripley

In this “fast-paced, morbidly addictive novel of chilling infatuation” (Iain Reid, bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things)—perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes’s Hidden Bodies and Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series—a family man with a habit of digging up the past catches the attention of a serial killer who is determined to keep his secrets uncovered.

For years, unbeknownst to his wife and teenage daughter, Martin Reese has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and obsessively studying them, using them as guides to find the missing bodies of victims. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees the situation differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case‑closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious source she calls the Finder, especially since he keeps leading the police right to the bodies. How can he know where all these bodies are located if he’s not the one putting them there?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his wife’s sister. But when he arrives at the site, he finds more than just bones. There’s a freshly killed body—a young and missing Seattle woman—lying there. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn left the corpses of his victims…and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work. And when a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder.

“A wickedly smart thriller that manages to be both chilling and wry” (Amy Stuart, bestselling author of Still Mine), Find You in the Dark will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

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Dark Places

Dark Places

by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben.

Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

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Carmilla

Carmilla

by J. Sheridan LeFanu

This Gothic novella tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years, and has been adapted many times for cinema. Although Carmilla is a lesser known and far shorter Gothic vampire story than the generally-considered master work of that genre, Dracula, the latter is heavily influenced by Le Fanu's short story.

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In the Lake of the Woods

In the Lake of the Woods

by Tim O'Brien

This riveting novel of love and mystery from the author of The Things They Carried examines the lasting impact of the twentieth century’s legacy of violence and warfare, both at home and abroad. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness.

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Midnight in Chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl

by Adam Higginbotham

Longlisted for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters.

Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.

Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.

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Pet Sematary (Media Tie-In)

Pet Sematary (Media Tie-In)

by Stephen King

Soon to be a major motion picture from Paramount Pictures starring John Lithgow, Jason Clarke, and Amy Seimetz!

Stephen King’s #1 New York Times bestseller Pet Sematary, a “wild, powerful, disturbing” (The Washington Post Book World) classic about evil that exists far beyond the grave—among King’s most iconic and beloved novels.

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better

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Invisible Monsters

Invisible Monsters

by Chuck Palahniuk

She’s a fashion model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden freeway "accident" leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful center of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from becoming a real woman, who will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better. And that salvation hides in the last places you’ll ever want to look.

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