The first book I’m looking at in my studies of supernatural storytelling is “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. Published in 1987, it won the “Pulitzer Prize for Fiction” in 1988. The genre is American Literature. This is not a horror novel; however, something supernatural takes place in the story. The story is about a family of former slaves living in Cincinnati after the American Civil War. Their home is haunted by a malevolent spirit. Part of the story was based on a true-life incident that happened in 1856 involving an escaped slave from Kentucky, Margaret Garner.
The spirit in their home is a character in the story. The spirit doesn’t kill anyone but does cause problems for the family. Overall, the novel is not that scary. It’s not supposed to be. There is one scene that was difficult to read. This was the scene that depicted the real-life events of Margaret Garner killing one of her children to prevent them from growing up as a slave. The scene is important because the family believes the spirit in the house is the child that was killed. This is not a novel for children because of the adult content.
I recommend this book to everyone. If you haven’t read anything by Toni Morrison, you should.
Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 1/10 spiders – 🕷️
Overall rating: 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Previously I wrote about a larger project I am working on that involves supernatural fiction in all its forms. I first discussed supernatural novels and today I am discussing supernatural television series. This does not include all supernatural television series. The criteria are similar to my selection of supernatural novels. I’m only looking at TV series from the last 35 to 40 years and they must involve supernatural events excluding science fiction. I do make some exceptions with TV series based off novels or films only because the TV series surpassed the original source material in popularity.
One can consider this list to be some of my favorite television series. Some are not but I included them on the list because they fit the criteria and were popular shows during their time or still are. I even include some cartoons and Anime. This is a short list compared to the amount of supernatural television series and please keep in mind, the list is short only for my convenience otherwise I would be overworked. The project is extensive as I’ve prepared it and opening up to all the things would make the project impossible to finish. I would like to finish this project within the next couple years.
Here is my list of the best supernatural television series’.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990–2000)
- Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999–2002) *
- Penny Dreadful (2014–2016) *
- American Horror Story (2011– )
- Grimm (2011–2017)
- Santa Clarita Diet (2017– ) *
- Being Human (2008–2013)
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (2001–2007)
- Death Note (2006-2007) *
- Charmed (1998-2006)
- Stranger Things (2016- ) *
- Twin Peaks (1990-1991) *
- iZombie (2015- )
- The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017 ) / The Originals (2013- )
- Channel Zero (2016-2018) *
- True Blood (2008)
- Hemlock Grove (2013–2015) * – Case Study (Rule Exception)
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1996-2003) / Angel (1999-2004) – Case Study (Rule Exception)
- Supernatural (2005– ) – Case Study
The titles with the asterisk are shows that only have three or less seasons. Some of them will likely have more as they are ongoing, but I wanted to differentiate between the popular shows that were short lived and the shows that continue to be popular after many seasons. As with the list of novels, the case studies are works that have transcended their original media source and have become media franchises. The television show Supernatural (2005 – ) is a case study simply because of its popularity solely as a television show. It’s the first show of this genre that continues to grow in popularity as it continues edging closer to two decades of syndication.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the data I must consume for this project and I am not entirely sure what the point of it will be. What will be my argument in this book length essay? What will be my hook for gaining new readers? How are all these shows, novels, films, games, and comics connected? Why does it matter? These are questions I’ll attempt to answer as I review all the things. All the Supernatural Things. Perhaps that will be the title of the project. Perhaps I’ll never finish this project. It’s something to do.
My exploration into supernatural fiction will be a long and tedious endeavor. I hope to validate this genre, and hopefully have it taken more seriously than it has been treated in the past. I think it has more literary merit than people are willing to suggest. I will begin with my list of novels that I intend to read and research. This is a long list and reading them alone will take a couple years at least. Unless someone will pay me to do nothing but read novels. That would be fun, but I also have films and television to research.
As I have not read many of these novels, I’m not sure how supernatural the stories are. I am confident I have compiled a brilliant list, but I will know more after I have read them all. I am only listing the novels to save time. If you would like a synopsis, you can look them up yourself or wait until I finish reading them and post a review. My reviews will focus on my argument and will not be a general review of the work. You probably think me strange for actively reading and researching things for fun.
Here is my list of novels to read. The first on my list I have started reading and will acquire the others as I go.
- Beloved (1984) Toni Morrison
- IT (1989) Stephen King
- Ring (1991) Koji Suzuki, Glynn Walley
- Good Omens (1990) Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
- The Damnation Game (1985) Clive Barker
- Carrion Comfort (1989) Dan Simmons
- Heart-Shaped Box (2007) Joe Hill
- Hammers on Bone (2016) Cassandra Khaw
- Head Full of Ghosts (2015) Paul Tremblay
- Affinity (2002) Sarah Waters
- Crota (1998) Owl Goingback
- The Devil in Silver (2013) Victor LaValle
- The Fifth Child (1989) Doris Lessing
- Fledgling (2005) Octavia Butler
- Grotesque (2003) Natsuo Kirino
- Beautiful Creatures (2009) Kami Garcia
- Goosebumps (1992) R.L. Stine – Case Study
- The Strain (2009) Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan – Case Study
- Twilight (2005) Stephanie Meyer – Case Study
- Harry Potter (1997) J.K. Rowling – Case Study
This list is subject to change as I read through the novels. The last four on the list will be case studies in which I measure the impact these works have made on other media, such as; films, comics, and television. That’s a lot of reading and I’m nerdy enough to enjoy it. I researched the best supernatural novels within the last 30 to 35 years and this is my list. I think it’s a great list.
While I will not turn away suggestions, I will likely not change this list based on other’s suggestions. Any changes will be made after reading a novel and feeling it does not work well with my argument or if I think it’s terrible, but this list is supposed to be the best of the best and I can’t wait to read them all. Some I have already read. One exception to this list is the “Twilight” series. I’m only including it because of its popularity and, to be honest, I want to find out if the writing is as bad as people say. Regardless, this will be a fun adventure for me and I hope some of you join me.