As you've probably noticed if you've been to my blog at all in the past month, I love to devote October to reading spooky, creepy books. Halloween is a favorite holiday at our house, so this helps me get in the spirit! This doesn't necessarily mean horror fiction or something truly frightening. There are a wide variety of books with just the right amount of creepiness for your tastes. Here are some that I've enjoyed over the years:
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo is historical fiction with a supernatural twist, taking place in 1890’s Malaysia and also in the Chinese afterlife, with both a murder and plenty of ghosts adding to the spooky factor.
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian is a super-creepy novel about a family who encounters some strange things in their new town – ghosts, weird rituals, and mysteries make this a supernatural, psychological thriller.
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes is a thriller about a time-traveling serial killer. His ability to move through time adds a supernatural element (and makes him harder to catch). This one is a bit gruesome but, if that doesn’t bother you, it’s also riveting suspense.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman pulls back the curtain between the real world and the supernatural one, as a man remembers some strange things that happened when he was a child. It’s a coming-of-age story with elements of fairy tales, mythology, and the age-old battle between good and evil.
The Passage by Justin Cronin is the first volume of a post-apocalyptic trilogy about what happens when a secret government experiment to create super soldiers goes horribly wrong and unleashes blood-thirsty creatures on the public. There is a lot of action and suspense, but this novel also delves deeply into its characters.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger is a gentle ghost story about twin American girls who move into their British aunt’s apartment, overlooking Highgate Cemetery, after her death.
Wicked by Gregory McGuire inspired the popular Broadway musical. What’s an October reading list without a witch or two? This fun, creative fantasy novel tells the back-story behind the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz.
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent is about an entirely different sort of witch, a historical novel set during the Salem witch trials. Nothing supernatural here, but this powerful, moving story about innocent people falsely accused is disturbing in a different way.
The Dark Half by Stephen King is a spooky, supernatural tale about a writer battling his own demons. Almost any Stephen King book will fit the bill in October, but this is one of my favorites.
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is, of course, a classic monster story, but the original novel is more about philosophy and human nature than the monsters that Hollywood has created. It is a fascinating, thoughtful book about how our experiences shape us.
What are your favorite spooky or creepy books?