Celebrate October with a Good Horror Book

By Franco Zacharzewski

By Melinda Casilli

The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of October is Halloween. In my opinion, October is so much more. I think it epitomizes fall. The air is cool and crisp. The trees display their gorgeous leaves in hues of red and yellow. It’s the perfect month for pumpkin picking, finding your way out of a corn maze, or if you’re courageous enough, exploring a haunted house. Let’s not forget about all the delicious food and drinks available in pumpkin spice. All these things make October awesome, but my favorite is the beginning of cooler weather. I love curling up with a fuzzy blanket and a good book.

This year, to fully celebrate fall and get into the spirit of Halloween, I decided to step out of my book comfort zone and read something from the horror genre. I thought it would be fun to try something new. But what constitutes a book as horror? Literaryterms.net defines horror as “a genre of fiction whose purpose is to create feelings of fear, dread, repulsion, and terror in the audience—in other words, it develops an atmosphere of horror.” That’s not something I typically want to experience just for fun. But it is October, so in honor of the upcoming, ghoulish holiday, I’ll give a horror book a try. It’s only a book. I think I can handle a book.

I’m not familiar with authors in this genre, besides Stephan King and Anne Rice. To help me find more authors, I pulled up the Prince William County Library System online card catalog at pwcgov.org/library. To get to the catalog:

  1.       Click on the third green square labeled “Books, Catalogs, and More.”
  2.       On the next page, click on the large blue rectangle labeled “Catalog Search” and type the word “horror” into the keyword search.
  3.       In the “Search By” field, click on the down arrow and select “Genre.”
  4.       The next field, “Limit By” can be left as-is to produce more results.
  5.       Finally, click “Go!” and more than 200 search results will come up along with a section on the side of the screen labeled “Narrow your search.” Here, you can narrow your selection by the type of material, subject, authors, publication date, popularity, target audience, language, or assigned branch. 

I narrowed my search by choosing a book for “Type of Material.” I thought ghost stories sounded interesting for “Subject” and then I picked Adult as the “Target Audience.” Narrowing my search gave me three books to choose from. I picked The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan. It was available immediately as an ebook through hoopla digital which I can use for free because I have a library card. 

So far, I’m really enjoying it. Who knows? I might discover I really like horror… even if I have to read with all the lights on!  

If you’re not too scared to venture out of the house after reading some scary stories, we have some great Halloween-themed programs happening at our libraries. Join us for a Costume Swap at Haymarket Gainesville Community Library on Saturday, October 19 and a Howl-o-Week program on Monday, October 21 at 4:00 p.m. 

We’ll also  have Halloween Story Times and Parades for the little ones on the following dates and times:

  • Potomac Community Library: Monday, October 28, 10:30 a.m. (ages 3 – 6); Wednesday, October 30, 10:30 a.m. (ages 18 – 36 months); Thursday, October 31, 6:30 p.m. (all ages/families)
  • Montclair Community Library: Wednesday, October 30, 10:30 a.m.
  • Bull Run Regional Library: Thursday, October 31, 10:30 a.m.
  • Central Community Library: Thursday, October 31, 10:30 a.m.
  • Chinn Park Regional Library: Thursday, October 31, 10:30 a.m. or 2:00 p.m.
  • Nokesville Neighborhood Library: Thursday, October 31, 4:30 p.m.
Prince William Public Library Staff
About Prince William Public Library Staff 28 Articles
For more information on the Prince William County Public Library, please visit their website or call 703-792-6000.

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