Halloween time is here—and with that comes plenty of spooky stories to delve into. No matter what type of horror you like, we’ve got something for everyone. From possession to horror with whiplash comic relief, this book list is here to celebrate all things spooky during one of our favorite months of the year.
by Andy Marino
Sydney's spent years burying her past and building a better life for herself and her young son. A respectable marketing job, a house with reclaimed and sustainable furniture, and a boyfriend who loves her son and accepts her, flaws and all.
But when she opens her front door, and a masked intruder knocks her briefly unconscious, everything begins to unravel.
She wakes in the hospital and tells a harrowing story of escape. Of dashing out a broken window. Of running into her neighbors' yard and calling the police.
The cops tell her a different story. Because the intruder is now lying dead in her guest room—murdered in a way that looks intimately personal.
Sydney can't remember killing the man. No one believes her.
Back home, as horrific memories surface, an unnatural darkness begins whispering in her ear. Urging her back to old addictions and a past she's buried to build a better life for herself and her son.
As Sydney searches for truth among the wreckage of a past that won't stay buried for long, the unquiet darkness begins to grow. To change into something unimaginable.
To reveal terrible cravings of its own.
by Chase Novak
Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.
Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.
Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.
Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.
At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six long days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.
Jamie Angelo is part artist and part alchemist. His plastic surgery techniques are light-years beyond modern medicine. He can transform a haggard face into a masterpiece of ageless beauty. He is not God. But he is close.
To ambitious models like Jaishree Manglani, Jamie is the ultimate fantasy-a master illusionist who can turn her dream of eternal youth into reality. Until the truth about Jami’s “art” and “science” is revealed, and a nightmare ensues. Because if there’s no such thing as perfect beauty, Manhattan’s king of beauty might just be the gatekeeper of something other than human.
Summer, 1976. Jesse and his brother, Edgar, are on the road in search of victims. They’re rovers, nearly indestructible nocturnal beings who must consume human blood in order to survive. For seventy years they’ve lurked on the fringes of society, roaming from town to town, dingy motel to dingy motel, stalking the transients, addicts, and prostitutes they feed on.
This hard-boiled supernatural hell ride kicks off when the brothers encounter a young woman who disrupts their grim routine, forcing Jesse to confront his past and plunging his present into deadly chaos as he finds himself scrambling to save her life. The story plays out through the eyes of the brothers, a grieving father searching for his son’s murderer, and a violent gang of rover bikers, coming to a shattering conclusion in Las Vegas on the eve of America’s Bicentennial.
This panoramic fictional oral history begins with one small mystery: the body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, disappears from the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult with the local police, it’s an impossibility that threatens her understanding of medicine.
Then, more bodies, dead from an inexplicable disease that solidified their blood, are brought to the morgue, only to also vanish. Soon, the U.S. government — and eventually biomedical researchers, disgruntled lawmakers, and even an insurgent faction of the Catholic Church — must come to terms with what they’re too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.
With heightened strength and beauty and a stead diet of fresh blood, these changed people, or “Gloamings,” rapidly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society. Soon people are beginning to be “re-created,” willingly accepting the risk of death if their bodies can’t handle the transformation. As new communities of Gloamings arise, society is divided, and popular Gloaming sites come under threat from a secret terrorist organization. But when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, runs for political office—well, all hell breaks loose.
Gates Foster lost his daughter, Lucy, seventeen years ago. He’s never stopped searching. Suddenly, a shocking new development provides Foster with his first major lead in over a decade, and he may finally be on the verge of discovering the awful truth.
Meanwhile, Mitzi Ives has carved out a space among the Foley artists creating the immersive sounds giving Hollywood films their authenticity. Using the same secret techniques as her father before her, she’s become an industry-leading expert in the sound of violence and horror, creating screams so bone-chilling, they may as well be real.
Soon Foster and Ives find themselves on a collision course that threatens to expose the violence hidden beneath Hollywood’s glamorous façade.
David Young, Deacon Price, and Beth Harris live with a dark secret. As children, they survived a religious group's horrific last days at the isolated mountain Red Peak. Years later, the trauma of what they experienced never feels far behind.
When a fellow survivor commits suicide, they finally reunite and share their stories. Long-repressed memories surface, defying understanding and belief. Why did their families go down such a dark road? What really happened on that final night?
The answers lie buried at Red Peak. But truth has a price, and escaping a second time may demand the ultimate sacrifice.
by Jason Arnopp
Kate Collins has been ghosted.
She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty apartment. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.
Except for his mobile phone.
Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.
That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognize. Scratch marks on the walls that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched.
Kate refuses to leave the apartment—she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realizes just how little she really knows about the man she loves.
There’s a lot from Tess’s childhood that she would rather forget. The family who moved next door and brought chaos to their quiet lives. The two girls who were murdered, their killer never found. But the only thing she can’t remember is the one thing she wishes she could.
Ten years ago, Tess’s older sister died. Ruled a tragic accident, the only witness was Tess herself, but she has never been able to remember what happened that night in the woods.
Now living in London, Tess has resolved to put the trauma behind her. But an emergency call from her father forces her back to the family home, back to where her sister’s body was found, and to the memories she thought were lost forever…
by Zoje Stage
After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York's Adirondack mountains—or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor.
But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family—from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds—Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them . . . if she can find out what this force wants before it's too late.
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
by Mike Carey
Old ghosts are coming back to haunt Felix.
Names and faces he thought he’d left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Felix far more trouble than he’d anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something like hell. . ..These are just some of the sticks life uses to beat Felix Castor with, as things go from bad to worse for London’s favorite freelance exorcist.
See, Castor’s stepped over the line this time, and he knows he’ll have to pay. The only question is: how much? Not the best of times, then, for an unwelcome confrontation with his holier-than-thou brother, Matthew. And just when he thinks things can’t possibly get any worse, along comes Father Gwilliam and the Anathema.
by M. R. Carey
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.
It’s a place where even the walls whisper.
And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.
Will she listen?
by Laird Hunt
“Once upon a time there was and there wasn’t a woman who went to the woods.” In this horror story set in colonial New England, a law-abiding Puritan woman goes missing. Or perhaps she has fled or abandoned her family. Or perhaps she’s been kidnapped, and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north. Alone and possibly lost, she meets another woman in the forest. Then everything changes.
On a journey that will take her through dark woods full of almost-human wolves, through a deep well wet with the screams of men, and on a living ship made of human bones, our heroine may find that the evil she flees has been inside her all along.
by Mira Grant
"Alive or dead, the truth won't rest. My name is Georgia Mason, and I am begging you. Rise up while you can."
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.
Now, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.
NonFiction for October
by Becky Cooper
1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious twenty-three-year-old graduate student in Harvard's Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.
Forty years later, Becky Cooper a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she'd threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a 'cowboy culture' among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.
by Amy Bruni
With Julie Tremaine
Amy Bruni, co-star of Kindred Spirits and one of the world's leading paranormal investigators, has learned a lot about ghosts over her years of research and first-hand experience. Now, in Life with the Afterlife, she shares the insight she has gleaned and how it has shaped her unique approach to interacting with the spirits of the dead and those who encounter them.
From her earliest supernatural encounters as a child, through her years appearing on Ghost Hunters and the creation of her company Strange Escapes, which offers paranormal excursions to some of America's most notoriously haunted destinations, and into her current work on The Travel Channel's Kindred Spirits, this book is full of astonishing and deeply moving stories of Amy's efforts to better understand the dead but not yet departed. With Amy's bright humor and fierce compassion for both those who are haunted and those who are haunting, Life with the Afterlife is an eye-opening look at what connects us as people, in life and beyond.
On Good Friday in 1953, at only 18 months old, 25 miles from the nearest hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, Cassandra Peterson reached for a pot on the stove and doused herself in boiling water. Third-degree burns covered 35% of her body, and the prognosis wasn't good. But she survived. Burned and scarred, the impact stayed with her and became an obstacle she was determined to overcome. Feeling like a misfit led to her love of horror. While her sisters played with Barbie dolls, Cassandra built model kits of Frankenstein and Dracula, and idolized Vincent Price.
Due to a complicated relationship with her mother, Cassandra left home at 14, and by age 17 she was performing at the famed Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Run-ins with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones helped her grow up fast. Then a chance encounter with her idol Elvis Presley, changed the course of her life forever, and led her to Europe where she worked in film and traveled Italy as lead singer of an Italian pop band. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles, where she joined the famed comedy improv group, The Groundlings, and worked alongside Phil Hartman and Paul "Pee-wee" Reubens, honing her comedic skills.
David J. Skal; Turner Classic Movies
Fright Favorites spotlights 31 essential Halloween-time films, their associated sequels and remakes, and recommendations to expand your seasonal repertoire based on your favorites. Featured titles include Nosferatu (1922), Dracula (1931), Cat People (1942), Them (1953), House on Haunted Hill (1959), Black Sunday (1960), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Young Frankenstein (1976), Beetlejuice (1988), Get Out (2017), and many more.
Suruthi Bala; Hannah Maguire
How do we responsibly consume these kinds of stories as entertainment, and more importantly, what can we learn from them? RedHanded rejects the narrative of killers as monsters and that a victim "was in the wrong place at the wrong time," and instead tells the stories we want to hear in a way that challenges perceptions and asks the hard questions about society, gender, poverty, culture, and even our politics.
After meeting at a party in London where they both discovered they listened to the same murder podcasts, Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala drunkenly promised to one day start their own true crime podcast together and the rest is history. From the hosts of the hit true crime podcast RedHanded (dubbed by Rick & Morty creator Dan Harmon as the "best true crime podcast I've heard, ever"), Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala have amassed a cult following of "spooky bitches" amounting to an incredibly strong 63k downloads per episode and 728k backlist downloads every month in the US alone.
With candor, humor, interviews with experts, research on real-life cases, and an unflinching dissection of what makes a killer tick, Bala and Maguire take us through the societal, behavioral, and cultural phenomena that make victims—and their murderers—our collective responsibility and to find out once and for all: what makes a killer tick?
K. E. Flann
Did you know human attacks account for a staggering 100 percent of premature deaths for witches, swamp monsters, cyborgs, and other supernatural, mutant, and exceptionally large beings?
The past millennia or so has seen not only an uptick in human attacks, but also increasingly indiscriminate victim selection. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed. From renowned preternaturalist K. E. Flann, How to Survive a Human Attack provides critical information at a critical time with chapters specifically tailored to their target audience, including:
· A Zombie’s Guide to Filling the Emptiness and Moving Forward
· First-Time Haunter’s Guide for Ghosts, Spirits, Poltergeists, Specters, and Wraiths
· Self-Training 101 for Werewolves: Sit, Don’t Speak, Stay Alive!
· What’s Happening to My Body?: Radioactive Mutants and the Safety of the Nuclear Family
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