Looking for some scary book adaptations to binge? I’ve got you covered. It doesn’t have to be Halloween for you to take in some fun, spooky shows. These 10 scary book adaptations will leave you screaming –with happiness–any month of the year, not just October. Here are the best scary book adaptations you should be watching right now:
1. The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural drama television series based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The show takes place in Mystic Falls, Virginia, a fictional small town haunted and surrounded by supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves and witches. The series follows teen Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) as she falls in love with vampire brothers Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). Perfect soapy romance and light chills.
2. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is an American horror drama television series based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. Andrew Lincoln plays the show’s lead character, sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a months-long coma to confront an post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. Grimes becomes the leader of a survivor group that struggle to survive in and adapt to a world filled with zombies and humans who are even more dangerous than the zombies themselves. Dark and gritty with just the right amount of scare.
3. R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps
R.L. Stine –master of 90’s teen horror series Fear Street — is at the helm of this kid-friendly tv series that draws on both the popular Goosebumps book series as well as original stories. Halloween fun appropriate for the whole family.
4. Let the Right One in
Let the Right One In is a Swedish romantic horror film based on the 2004 novel of the same title by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay. The film tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire child in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm, in the early 1980s. Dark, twisty, and strangely romantic. You need to read subtitles but it’s worth it.
5. Stephen King’s The Children of the Corn
Children of the Corn is a movie based off a short story by Stephen King, first published in the March 1977 issue of Penthouse, and later collected in King’s 1978 collection Night Shift. Set in the fictitious rural town of Gatlin, Nebraska, the film tells the story of a malevolent entity referred to as “He Who Walks Behind The Rows” which entices the children of the town to ritually murder all the adults to ensure a successful corn harvest, and a couple driving cross-country that get caught up in it. The film spawned a horror franchise beginning in 1984. A seriously creepy classic.
6. Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow is an American horror film inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. It stars Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village of Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman.
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Technically the movie and tv show came first before the novelization but who cares? It’s Buffy and it’s a must-watch! Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series created by the amazing writer-director Joss Whedon. The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as “Vampire Slayers” or simply “Slayers.” Slayers are “called” (chosen by fate) to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides, teaches, and trains her. One of the best tv shows ever. Seriously. Mild on the spooks and heavy on the snark.
8. American Psycho
American Psycho is an American-Canadian black comedy psychological horror film based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel of the same name. The film follows actor Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a wealthy New York investment banking executive who hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies. If you’re a fan of dark humor you’ll love this one.
9. Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is an American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott Glenn, the film is based on Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel of the same name, his second to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. In the film, Clarice Starling, a young U.S. FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Lecter to apprehend another serial killer, known only as “Buffalo Bill.” One of the greatest thrillers ever — it even has the Oscar to prove it.
10. Monster High
Though also not technically an adaption because the books and the movies came after the dolls, the Monster High tv show is still a lot of fun for all ages. Monster High features a variety of fictional characters, many of whom are students at the titular high school. The female characters are classified as Ghouls and the male characters are classified as Mansters. The characters are generally the sons and daughters, or related to monsters that have been popularized in fiction. If you want to check out the books, the Monster High young adult novels are written by Lisi Harrison, who previously wrote the book series The Clique and The Alphas. The books take place in a different fictional universe than the webisodes and deal with the Regular Attribute Dodgers (RADs) and their struggles with love, social life, school and not be outed as monsters to humans.
For more spooky bookish entertainment, check out my list of top 90’s YA horror books for The Examiner.com here.