Project Haunted House Presents: the Guide to Books for the Discerning Scholar

Old book bindings at the Merton College library; August 25, 2005.

Most impressive! You've stumbled across our library of literary lurkings and the lively dead! Whether you fancy yourself a Watcher or a Willow, this guide will help to provide reference to older and more specific guides (we call them "books") which can further serve to enable you, dear White Hat Warrior, to vanquish (or run away screaming from) your foes (and ours) in this constant struggle between the forces of light and dark that we call "living." As always, you are invited to join our research — two heads are better than one, in this case, provided neither head has a taste for human flesh.

The table below lists the title of a book/article/wall hanging, its year of publication (if we can dig that up), and each troublesomely tricky situation that the book/article/cave painting addresses, as well as the author of the piece (so you know to whom you need to send flowers or a troll, depending upon the value of what's been written). Additionally, each title also serves as a link to the most appropriate or relevant page for the literature in question. Each piece's title also lists the publisher, if their work is, on the whole, relevant to our attempts to become smarter, wiser, and more effective dark-sparring vigilantes in the ceaseless battle between the good, the bad, and the run-on sentence.

Title Author(s) Year Published Horror Baddie(s) Concerned
Anything you can get your hands onEdgar Allan Poe, a Master of Horror1827-1849Wow ... just ... well, check him out! (more detailed entries in this guide to follow)
The Body SnatcherRobert Louis Stevenson1884Systematic murder, grave looting
Carmilla Joseph Sheridan le Fanu 1872 Vampire — namely, a female vampire named Carmilla
Dracula Bram Stoker 1897Vampires — Count Dracula
Frankenstein; or, The Modern PrometheusMary Shelley1818Frankenstein's monster, science and industry vs. morality, the monster's half-finished mate
The Haunting of Hill HouseShirley Jackson1959Ghosts, haunted house, possible neurotic narrator
House of LeavesMark Z. Danielewski2000Just absolutely crazy "haunted" house, and even that is a horrific simplification; also possibly haunted book(s)/film(s)/photo(s) and definitely haunted people
I Am LegendRichard Matheson1954Surviving (alone) an apocalypse, vampirism(ish), complete dissolution of "normal" life
MiseryStephen King1987Crazed fan (as in fanatic), prolonged sadistic violence, inability to escape
The Old Nurse's StoryElizabeth Gaskell1852Women threatened, tyrannical males, omens, portents, visions, overwrought emotions (terrifying beastie indeed!)
Rosemary's BabyIra Levin1967Shifty neighbors, possible Satanic links
The Stepford WivesIra Levin1972Gynoids, mass conspiracy to create mindless, docile citizens (in this case, the "perfect" hosuewives)
The Talented Mr. RipleyPatricia Highsmith1955Murder for profit, identity theft
The Turn of the ScrewHenry James1898Ghosts, "evil" children, old & mysterious buildings, possibly neurotic narrator (and isn't that always a good time?)
Wuthering HeightsEmily Brontë (or pseudonym Ellis Bell)1847"Gothic moments"; try it on as horror and see what you get.

Questions, comments, criticism, praise — make a suggestion or contact the author at: meghan[dot]armes[at]gmail[dot]com.