October 17, 2017 | Arts / Entertainment

Boo! Scary gay reads for October

Autumn has arrived. The nights are getting longer. There is a growing chill in the air, and Halloween is just around the corner.

It's the perfect time of year to grab a good horror novel, settle back in your favorite chair, and give yourself a scare. But be warned: you may never be able to sleep again! Muhahahahahahaha!

Let The Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let The Right One In

Before Let The Right One In was an award-winning movie, it was a scary novel by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist.

The story takes place in 1981 in Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood; the murder is rumored to be part of a ritual killing.

Twelve-year-old Oskar isn't particularly troubled by the news, as the dead teen was one of his bullies. He's more interested in the odd girl who has moved in next door ... a girl who only comes out of her house at night.

"Not only does this novel confront the taboo of pederasty with a 'monster queer' character named Hakan (the vampire’s caretaker), but the book also tells the touching story of a relationship between an adolescent boy and a vampire who was once a boy, but now is somewhere in-between gender categories," explained Chad Helder, author of The Vampire Bridegroom.

He added: "For translating societal anxieties about gender identity, adolescent sexuality, and pederasty into a terrifying horror story, Let the Right One In gets my vote for boldest and scariest work of Queer Horror in recent memory."

 

Dust of Wonderland, Lee Thomas

Dust of Wonderland

In The Dust of Wonderland, Ken Nicholson -- now openly gay with a partner -- is summoned back to New Orleans after receiving a frantic call from his ex-wife. Their son was attacked and left for dead.

By returning to the city, he is reminded of his own dark past when young men were being targeted by his former benefactor, Travis Brugier. Brugier later killed himself, but someone wants to bring up the past. At the center of it all: the gay club Wonderland, and a corrupt and powerful being that believes every life is a story to be rewritten. Sadly, this being that doesn't believe in happy endings. 

"Blending mystery, horror and a coming-of-age story is tricky business, but Lee pulls it off beautifully, adding ghost story, psychological drama and heart-pounding thriller to the mix as well," wrote reviewer Melanie Jones.

 

Silent Woods, Ofelia Gränd

Silent Woods, Ofelia Gränd

Daniel reluctantly agrees to take the family on a camping trip. His husband, Anders, loves being out in the woods and thinks it would be good for the family to take a break from the city. What could possibly go wrong?

When their son goes missing, they quickly discover that there is something else is in the woods with them and it isn't very friendly.

According to Rainbow Gold Reviews: "This book is suspenseful, fast paced, terrifying and chilling all wrapped into wonderfully written book. This is one that when it ends you are left feeling just as scared as you do at the beginning and middle. I won't lie to you, when I got to the epilogue and read the final sentence I had chills."

 

A Demon Inside, Rick R. Reed

A Demon Inside

Hunter Beaumont promises his dying grandmother that he will "destroy Beaumont House." But, after she passes away, Hunter discovers his boyfriend is being unfaithful, so he decides to escape to the old homestead tucked away in the Wisconsin woods. Soon after moving in, Hunter discovers he might not really be alone as strange things start happening in the house. Luckily, there's a hunky neighbor to distract him ... but is this man his saviour or the source of his terror.

The website Joyfully Jay gave the book five stars, writing that "once again Rick R. Reed demonstrates how he is much more than just a simple romance writer. This hair-raising tale of horror and folklore will most assuredly leave you loathe to turn off the lights at bedtime and find you starting at every telltale noise your house makes as it settles every night."

 

Books of Blood (Volumes One to Three), Clive Barker

Books of Blood

Like something with a little more variety? Queer author Clive Barker's Books of Blood might be right up your alley.

Nightmare Magazine rated this collection of short stories as its number one horror book. That might be a little misleading as not all sixteen stories in the collection are created equal, but most will certainly entertain you and a few will leave you feeling very unnerved.

"These enthusiastic tales are not ashamed of visceral horror, of blood splashing freely across the page," explained reviewer Fiona Webster. "'The Midnight Meat Train,' a grisly subway tale that surprises you with one twist after another; 'The Yattering and Jack,' about a hilarious demon who possesses a Christmas turkey; "Dread," a harrowing non-supernatural tale about being forced to realize your worst nightmare. [...] Some of the tales are more successful than others, but all are distinguished by strikingly beautiful images of evil and destruction. No horror library is complete without them."

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