It’s that time of year. If you like creepy, scary books, we’ve got something for you. I’m including a variety of titles so hopefully everybody can find something that sounds spooky to them. I’ve got some newer titles and some older titles; fiction and nonfiction; short stories, haunted houses, ghosts, witches, vampires, true crime.
Check out last year’s Spooky Season Reading post for previous titles. I’ve also created a list with many more titles than I can include here. Check out the list of Creepy, Scary, Horror Books you can scan through to see if anything strikes your fancy. Click on any title to get more information about the book.
Posted by Julie – one of your Kirkwood Librarians!
The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic by Owen Davies, Call Number: 133.4 O984
This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the extensive and complex story of witchcraft and magic. Telling the story from the dawn of writing in the ancient world to the globally successful Harry Potter films, the authors explore a wide range of magical beliefs and practices, the rise of the witch trials, and the depiction of the Devil-worshipping witch. The book also focuses on the more recent history of witchcraft and magic, from the Enlightenment to the present, exploring the rise of modern magic, the anthropology of magic around the globe, and finally the cinematic portrayal of witches and magicians, from The Wizard of Oz to Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science by Sam Kean, Call Number: 174.95 K243i
Science is a force for good in the world–at least usually. But sometimes, when obsession gets the better of scientists, they twist a noble pursuit into something sinister. Under this spell, knowledge isn’t everything, it’s the only thing–no matter the cost. Bestselling author Sam Kean tells the true story of what happens when unfettered ambition pushes otherwise rational men and women to cross the line in the name of science, trampling ethical boundaries and often committing crimes in the process.
Drawing on an array of sources, from classical history to Hollywood films, Rogers traces Halloween as it emerged from the Celtic festival of Samhain (summer’s end), picked up elements of the Christian Hallowtide (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), arrived in North America as an Irish and Scottish festival, and evolved into an unofficial but large-scale holiday by the early 20th century. He examines the 1970s and ’80s phenomena of Halloween sadism (razor blades in apples) and inner-city violence (arson in Detroit), as well as the immense influence of the horror film genre on the reinvention of Halloween as a terror-fest.
Young Goodman Brown, and Other Short Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Call Number: 813.3 H399y
These are tales rich in atmosphere and suspense, with plots centering on subjects as diverse as witchcraft, revenge, the power of guilt, and a passion for the beautiful, all recounted in the distinctive voice of one of America’s great writers.
The October Country by Ray Bradbury, Call Number: 813.54 B798oc
Ray Bradbury’s second short story collection is back in print, its chilling encounters with funhouse mirrors, parasitic accident-watchers, and strange poker chips intact. Both sides of Bradbury’s vaunted childhood nostalgia are also on display, in the celebratory “Uncle Einar,” and haunting “The Lake,” the latter a fine elegy to childhood loss.
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, Call Number: 813.54 K54sa
What would a spooky list be without a little Stephen King? Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control. Some other creepy Stephen King books are It, The Shining, and Misery.
Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco, Call Number: 813.54 M311b
The Rolfes — Ben, wife Marian, son David, and Aunt Elizabeth — are a pleasant family from New York seeking to escape from the doldrums of a summer in their Queens apartment. They find a beautiful old country mansion on Long Island — restful, secluded, with pool and private beach — perfect, for the right people. But their “perfect” summer home hides terrors beyond their wildest imaginings. During that long summer the house becomes a nightmare from which there seems to be no escape.
The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch, Call Number: 833.92 P871h
Germany, 1659: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. Whispers and dark memories of witch trials and the women burned at stake just seventy years earlier still haunt the streets of Schongau. When more children disappear and an orphan boy is found dead, marked by the same tattoo, the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt into chaos.
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, Call Number: Popular Books ALA
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks, Call Number: Popular Books BRO
Freya Lyell is struggling to move on from her sister Stella’s suicide five years ago. Visiting the bewitching Byrne Hall, only a few miles from the scene of the tragedy, she discovers a portrait of Stella – a portrait she had no idea existed, in a house Stella never set foot in. Or so she thought. Driven to find out more about her sister’s secrets, Freya is drawn into the world of Byrne Hall and its owners: charismatic artist Cory and his sinister, watchful mother. But as Freya’s relationship with Cory crosses the line into obsession, the darkness behind the locked doors of Byrne Hall threatens to spill out.
Ring Shout, or Hunting Ku Kluxes in the End Times by P. Djeli Clark, Call Number: Popular Books CLA
In this dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up. Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?
The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix, Call Number: Popular Books HEN
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
From Hell: Being a Melodrama in Sixteen Parts (Graphic Novel) by Alan Moore, Pete Mullins, & Eddie Campbell, Call Number: Popular Books MOO
Legendary comics writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell have created a gripping, hallucinatory piece of crime fiction about Jack the Ripper. Detailing the events that led up to the Whitechapel murders and the cover-up that followed, From Hell has become a modern masterpiece of crime noir and historical fiction.
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe and James Howe, Call Number: Children’s Literature 813.54 H855b
Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Call Number: Children’s Literature 813.6 G141c
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
The Witches by Roald Dahl, Call Number: Children’s Literature 823.914 D131w
A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches‘ plot to destroy the world’s children by turning them into mice.