This month our Did You Know posting has an obvious subject!
Did You Know…
The library has spooky books that offer perfect reading for the Halloween season?
And I’m sure everyone will have thought “Yes, I did know that,” in advance.
However, since Halloween is fun…
Here is a selection of neat and spooky titles for your perusal:
American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus:
It’s one thing to hunt for a ghost that’s an absolute stranger, but it’s another when the ghost is actually connected to you: When Nordhaus finds out that her great-great-grandmother famously haunts a Santa Fe hotel, she embarks on a quest with psychics and diviners to meet her spectral relative, find out why she died — and why she’s been sticking around.
Amityville Horror by Jay Anson:
You’ve seen the movie: Now read the book! While the veracity of some of the events in the book has been called into question, Anson’s telling still terrifies. The Lutz family moves into a steal of a home in 1975, in which a year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his family: parents, brothers, and sisters. The haunting that follows the Lutz family’s arrival is so vicious, they stay in the house less than a month.
Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849: A Classic Ghost Anthology edited by Andrew Barger:
Ghost stories became very popular in the first half of the nineteenth century and this collection by Andrew Barger contains the very scariest of them all. Some stories thought too horrific were published anonymously like “A Night in a Haunted House” and “The Deaf and Dumb Girl.” The later story is collected for the first time in any anthology since its original publication in 1839.
The other ghost stories in this fine collection are by famous authors. “The Mask of the Red Death,” by Edgar Allan Poe; “A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family,” by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu; “The Spectral Ship,” by Wilhelm Hauff ; “The Old Maid in the Winding Sheet,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne; “The Adventure of the German Student,” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” by Washington Irving; as well as “The Tapestried Chamber,” by Sir Walter Scott.
Big Book of New York Ghost Stories edited by Cheri Farnsworth:
More than 100 stories from each region of the Empire State gathered by New York’s celebrated Ghost Author, Cheri Revai (Farnsworth).
Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti:
When hundreds of starlings inexplicably fall from the sky during a high school baseball game coached by Nate Winters, things start to go wrong for the popular Mt. Oanoke, Pa., math teacher, in this intricately plotted thriller from bestseller Moretti (The Vanishing). Nate’s marriage to Alecia, already strained by the need to care for the couple’s autistic son, is further tested when a reporter for the local paper accuses him of taking advantage of a student, Lucia Hamm, during the chaos caused by the falling birds. Nate denies acting inappropriately, but the school principal puts Nate on temporary suspension until the police complete their investigation. Nate later makes a series of bad decisions that make him look guilty, such as misleading Alecia about time he spent with Lucia, purportedly to spare his wife’s feelings. His position deteriorates further after Lucia goes missing. Fortunately, a fellow teacher and friend, Bridget Peterson, may hold the key to proving Nate’s innocence. This cautionary tale keeps the reader guessing to the end. – Library Journal Review.
Burntown by Jennifer McMahon:
Fans of McMahon’s eight earlier novels (The Winter People, etc) will be intrigued by this complex and quirky mystery set in a rundown Vermont mill town, where orphaned teenage Eva (street name Necco) lives in an abandoned car with her boyfriend, Hermes. Her grandparents have been murdered, her parents also died suspiciously, and her brother is missing. Necco recalls a mysterious machine, built by her father from plans stolen from Thomas Edison, that can talk with the dead; a killer now wants those plans and thinks Necco has them. Through a series of strange events, Necco is befriended by the Fire Eaters, a group of outcast nomadic women; Theo, a female student drug dealer; and Pru, the school cafeteria worker. There might be two killers after Necco and the plans, and as her memory of earlier family deaths returns, she realizes she does know enough about her father’s strange machine to be in danger. This is a well-crafted story with plenty of suspense to keep readers engrossed. Publisher’s Weekly Review
Come Closer by Sara Gran:
Sara Gran’s 2011 novel is a haunted story for the modern age. Protagonist Amanda burns her husband with cigarettes, dreams of affairs, and insults her boss after a demon named Naamah takes over her brain, behavior, and life. The pace quickens as Amanda’s happy marriage takes dark, dark plunge.
Diviners by Libba Bray:
An occultish murder mystery will keep you up long after dark. Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker:
From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten, a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…
One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.
Bestselling author Wendy Walker returns with another winning psychological thriller, Emma in the Night.
Exorcist by William Peter Blatty:
Sure, the film version is scary, but imagine reading the actual narrative without the pea soup vomit image in your head. For the uninitiated, 12-year-old Regan MacNeil is possessed by a demon spirit, and her famous mother enlists a priest to perform an exorcism. Inspired by rumors and partially true events, The Exorcist is a classic portrayal of the demonic possession.
Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.
Get In Trouble by Kelly Link:
The short story collection Get In Trouble took Kelly Link 10 years to produce, and tells tales of fairy-like “summer people,” superhero boyfriends, and wealthy families who put microchips in their children. It’s absurdist, surrealist fantasy fiction made to creep you out.
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land:
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER AND THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW’S EDITORS’ CHOICE
HOW FAR DOES THE APPLE REALLY FALL FROM THE TREE?
Good Me Bad Me is dark, compelling, voice-driven psychological suspense by debut author Ali Land: “Could not be more unputdownable if it was slathered with superglue.” —Sunday Express
Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.
But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.
When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.
Grave Keepers by Elizabeth Byrne:
If you inherited your eventual grave now, would you decorate it? If you thought the cemetary might be haunted, what would you do? Lately, Athena Windham has been spending all her spare time in her grave. Her parents—owners of a cemetery in Upstate New York—are proud of her devoutness, but her younger sister, Laurel, would rather spend her time exploring the forest that surrounds the Windham’s’ property than in her own grave.
Haunted: One Family’s Nightmare by Robert Curran:
Written by a priest, The Haunted details the chilling haunting of the devoutly religious Smurf family’s home from all sides: They hear phantom pigs squealing in the night, smell foul odors, feel they’re being watched while in the bathroom, and see floating people. Don’t read this one at night, folks.
Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson:
Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel is one of the most celebrated haunted house fiction books of all time, and provided the basis for Robert Wise’s 1963 film The Haunting. When a paranormal investigator invites a small group of people, including a psychic and a troubled young woman, to the potentially haunted Hill House, they end up wishing they had never sought out the supernatural in the first place. You may find yourself going to sleep with the lights on after reading this one.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill:
The first novel from Stephen King’s son Joe Hill, Heart-Shaped Box follows former rock star Judas Coyne after he buys the funeral suit of a dead man to add to his collection of relics of dark magic. The suit, which arrives in a heart-shaped box, is still inhabited by its former wearer’s spirit, and it haunts Judas in this creepy tale of ghosts, black magic, and rock n roll.
House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons:
It’s not ghosts that terrorize the inhabitants of The House Next Door, but the house itself. Anne Rivers Siddons’ 1978 novel, which counts Stephen King among its devoted fans, is written from the perspective of a wealthy Atlanta suburbanite, who observes that every new resident that moves in to the big house next to her own suffers terrible tragedy. She and her husband vow to destroy the house just as its evil influence starts to spread to the rest of the neighborhood — but the house next door fights back.
House of Furies by Madeline Roux:
This gothic horror tale will have you screaming. After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests.
Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave:
A new thriller from the Edgar-nominated author of Trust No One and Joe Victim about a blind teenager who receives a corneal donation and begins to see and feel memories from their previous owner—a homicide detective who was also his father.
Joshua is convinced there is a family curse. It’s taken loved ones from him, it’s robbed him of his eyesight, and it’s the reason why his father is killed while investigating the homicide of a young woman.
Joshua is handed an opportunity he can’t refuse: an operation that will allow him to see the world through his father’s eyes. As Joshua navigates a world of sight, he gets glimpses of what these eyes might have witnessed in their previous life. What exactly was his dad up to in his role as a police officer?
There are consequences to the secret life his father was living, including the wrath of a man hell bent on killing, a man who is drawing closer and closer to Joshua.
Joshua soon discovers a world darker than the one he has emerged from…
Thriller connoisseur Paul Cleave is back with another riveting story of hidden secrets and unspeakable horrors that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Little Stranger by Sarah Waters:
Sarah Waters’ 2009 gothic novel takes place in post-WWII England, where a country doctor strikes up a friendship with the family at nearby Hundreds Hall. As he becomes more intimately acquainted with them, however, the historic estate experiences more and more strange happenings, and the family begins to unravel faster than the doctor can save them.
Mammoth Book of Vampires edited by Stephen Jones:
The masters of the macabre bring the dead to life in these never-before-collected stories and short novels of the vampire in all its frightening forms. Authors include Clive Barker, Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell, and David J. Schow. Includes the first publication of Red Reign, by Kim Newman, author of Bad Dreams and The Night Mayor.
Memory Trees by Kali Wallace:
Eight years after her sister Patience’s tragic death on her family’s remote apple orchard, Sorrow returns to the land, determined to find out what really happened the night Patience died and what other secrets may be waiting for her there. The apple orchard in Vermont was Sorrow Lovegood’s whole world– until her sister Patience’s tragic death. Sorrow was sent to Miami to live with her father, away from the only home she’d ever known. Now, eight years later, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are hazy. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her childhood and the family she left behind. But it soon becomes clear that some of her questions have difficult– even dangerous– answers. And there may be a price to pay for asking.
Night Visions 2 Edited by Charles L. Grant:
This is the second in a series devoted to showcasing the work of fantasy and horror writers. The almost arbitrary bringing together of three disparate talents in one volume may be a questionable idea, but in this case it worksGrant has produced an enjoyable collection. David Morrell, best known for creating the character Rambo in his novel First Blood, contributes three stories, of which the best, “Mumbo Jumbo,” depicts a football player whose team’s success seems to depend on the coach’s voodoo worship. Joseph Payne Brennan is represented by five tales, including “Starlock Street,” in which an antiquarian learns how unpleasant retreat into a more genteel time and place can be. Karl Edward Wagner has three stories; “Shrapnel” is a deft chiller with a vision of Hell as an auto graveyard.
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman:
The three Hempstock women (maiden, mother, and crone) would tell you they’re not witches, nor do they cast spells. But that’s just talk. Sure, these women are kind enough to shelter a scared little boy, but they can also bottle wormholes and summon inter-dimensional demon vultures.
Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert:
In James Herbert’s disturbing 2006 novel, after the tragic disappearance of one of their three children, a couple decides to leave London for Crickley Hall, on the English coast. Once there, however, the family finds that the house holds many secrets and has a dark history dating back to World War II, when it was a home for children evacuees. In 2012, The Secret of Crickley Hall was adapted into a BBC miniseries starring Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams.
Shining by Stephen King:
In one episode of Friends, Joey hides his copy of The Shining in the freezer whenever he gets too scared reading it. It’s an appropriate depository for King’s 1977 novel, which takes place at the claustrophobic and inhospitable — not to mention haunted — Overlook Hotel, where main character Jack Torrance is the winter caretaker. While Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1980 adaptation is classic Halloween viewing, the book (from which the film deviates significantly) is certainly worth reading if you’re looking for a good scare. You can always stick it in the freezer if it gets too disturbing.
Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena:
When Tom Krupp comes home from work, his wife’s car is gone, but the front door is unlocked and it’s clear that Karen has been preparing dinner in the kitchen. Most troubling of all, her purse and cell phone are still in the house. As he tries to understand what’s happening, the police arrive to announce that Karen has been in an accident. He rushes to his wife’s side in the hospital, but she can’t remember the accident, nor why she left the house or where she went. The police are suspicious, Tom struggles with his own doubts, and Karen’s best friend seems to be the only one who really believes her. Tension builds and relationships threaten to fall apart as Karen and Tom try to piece together what happened that night and what it means for their future, if they even have one. VERDICT The author of the acclaimed The Couple Next Door has written another fast-paced, engrossing psychological thriller that will have readers guessing until the very end. Cynthia Price, Francis Marion Univ. Lib., Florence, SC – Library Journal Review
Terror by Dan Simmons:
Dan Simmons’ 2007 novel takes readers through a fictionalized version of Sir John Franklin’s 1840s trip to the Arctic, and things go dark as Franklin and his crew travel further and further into the hostile climate. There’s rebellion, cannibalism, and one lingering polar bear-like monster. A non-linear narrative told from diary entries and third person exposition, The Terror shows the Northwest Passage may be more dangerous than we ever expected.
Turn of the Screw by Henry James:
James was a master of psychological complexity, and his famous 1898 novella engages the skewed perspective of a young woman, a governess to two small children at an estate in the English countryside. When she moves into the house, she begins seeing two phantom figures, a man and a woman, everywhere she goes, haunting her, going unaddressed by anyone else. Are the ghosts real or is the governess mad? Critics have debated the question since the book’s publication; decide for yourself after reading the story to its chilling, ambiguous conclusion.
Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”
Wicked the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire:
This re-creation of the land of Oz, tells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Wicked just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature
Witches of Eastwick by John Updike:
Throughout history, “witch” has often been deployed as a derogatory stereotype meant to demonize powerful women. Here, Updike’s trio of divorcees reclaim female strength by injecting some magic into a place that badly needs it: the postwar American suburbs.
Witching Hour by Anne Rice:
Well known for her vampire trilogy, Rice now turns to witches. Here she tells the story of the prominent and wealthy Mayfair family who, for five centuries, has cavorted with a supernatural entity that has brought them both great bounty as well as abject misery. Neurosurgeon Rowan Mayfair inherits the family fortune, along with the sinister attentions of this entity. When Rowan saves the life of Michael Curry their fates become entwined, and together they seek to understand and destroy the terrible force that holds her family in its power. Helping them in this dangerous task is occult investigator Aaron Lightner, introduced to readers in Rice’s The Queen of the Damned ( LJ 10/1/88). Although a bit long-winded at times, this is still a compelling novel. The author’s powerful writing and strong imagery keep the reader enthralled. — Patricia Altner, Dept. of Defense Lib., Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C – Library Journal Review
Have a great October!