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Embrace the dark side of literature with Fully Booked’s 10 unforgettable villains

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As Halloween approaches, it’s the season for embracing the darker side of life – the thrilling, the grotesque, and the tales that haunt our nights. To fully immerse in this macabre spirit, one might choose to reacquaint oneself with some of literature’s most spine-chilling villains.

Fully Booked presents a curated list of ten literary antagonists who have consistently made horror novels compelling page-turners, providing readers with hair-raising and unforgettable experiences.

From a house with a sinister appetite, a demonic clown, a mad scientist, and a vengeful baby, to a creature that resembles your mother (except she’s not) and a secret institution that kidnaps and extracts children, there’s something for everyone’s kind of nightmare on this list.  


10. Patrick Bateman (American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis) 

Meet the undisputed villain of Wall Street. Mild-mannered, gold-trim business card-wielding investment banker by day, psychopath, sexual predator and murderer by night. Patrick Bateman goes on to commit the most depraved acts known to man. Of course, the book’s ending left readers guessing if everything just took place in his unhinged mind, but does it matter? He’s still a psychopath. So, in this list, he goes.

Side note: The book’s author, Brett Easton Ellis, just released a new book that might be worth checking out, The Shards, after a twelve-year hiatus. 

9. Aunt Lydia (The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood) 

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future where a repressive government called the Republic of Gilead forces fertile women to produce children, Aunt Lydia is the brutal religious teacher slash handmaid wrangler. With forcible cruelty, she manipulates, tortures, and brainwashes the handmaids under the auspices of “saving” them. Among her favorite methods of punishment are whipping via cattle prod, tongue and eye mutilation, and death by stoning.  

8. The Institute (The Institute by Stephen King) 

In Stephen King’s 2019 novel, The Institute is a secret organization that specializes in kidnapping children, particularly those gifted with the powers of telepathy and telekinesis. Led by Mrs. Sigby the director, The Institute subjects children to excruciating tests and torture methods and will stop at nothing to extract their gifts in their delusions of saving the world. 

7. Griffin (The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells) 

Now you see him, now you die! Written in 1897 by H.G. Wells, one of the fathers of science fiction, The Invisible Man tells the story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible. Unable to reverse the effects of the procedure, he begins his descent into madness, hurting anyone who gets in his way. Now a Netflix movie starring Elizabeth Moss.  

6. Beloved (Beloved by Toni Morrison) 

Beloved is the malevolent spirit that haunts the home of former slave Sethe and her dysfunctional family. When Sethe’s fellow slave Paul D visits and exorcises the ghost, they think Beloved is gone for good. But one day, a mysterious stranger appears – she is 20 years old, strangely unmarked, with skin as smooth and supple as a baby’s, and she smells like milk. Could she be Sethe’s daughter who was killed as a baby 20 years ago? More than a ghost story, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book is an examination of the horrors of racism and slavery. 

5. The Cannibals (Tender is the Flesh by Agustin Bazterrica) 

What could be more gruesome than humans eating human meat for sustenance? In this dystopian novel, a virus has contaminated all animal meat, and turned cannibalism into the “new normal.” As he grapples with this new reality, the inheritor of a meat-turned-human processing plant struggles with his own demons – a sick father, a wife who left him, and a child who passed away. Then one day, he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. The real horror begins.  

4. The Hill House (The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson) 

Welcome to the Hill House, a sprawling 80-year-old mansion surrounded by hills built upon an unspecified countryside. Come for the splendid view, and admire the antiques and trimmings, but please, by all means, leave before the dark comes. But of course, the book’s four main characters exactly do the opposite, renting it out for the summer to investigate the supernatural. What happens? Let’s just say the house spares no effort to make them feel welcome, especially one of the guests it particularly fancies. 

3. The Other Mother (Coraline by Neil Gaiman) 

The Other Mother is the creepy villain in Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy horror for children. She looks like Coraline’s real mother, except she’s taller and thinner, her fingernails are curved and sharp, and she has dark buttons for eyes. At first, Coraline is in heaven. Unlike her own mother, the Other Mother is sweet, and attentive, and gives in to all her whims. Little by little, though, the red flags appear, the worst of which is attempting to sew buttons into Coraline’s eyes, which will trap her in the Other World “forever and always.” 

2. The Grand High Witch (The Witches by Roald Dahl) 

Roald Dahl’s witches are hideous monsters concealing themselves as nice little ladies, who wear gloves (to hide their claws), pointy shoes (to hide their ghastly toes), and wigs (to hide their bald heads). But the worst of their bunch is their leader, The Grand High Witch, whose idea of fun is turning children into mice and crushing them with her heels. When one of her witch minions speaks out of turn, she kills her swiftly without batting an eyelash. 

1. Pennywise (IT by Stephen King) 

Among all the monsters Stephen King unleashed in his books, Pennywise takes the top spot as the scariest and purest manifestation of evil, so evil it doesn’t even have a name. An extraterrestrial and ancient shape-shifter, It prefers taking the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to lure children. because according to it, when humans get scared, “all the chemicals of fear flooded the body and salted the meat.” In short, children are tasty. No worries, though. It only appears every 27 years. Plenty of time to sleep with your lights out.  

Browse Fully Bookeds Scary Reads Collection here, and enjoy free shipping for a minimum purchase of PHP 799. For more bookish news and recommendations, visit here

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