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Spooky Ghost Stories for the Halloween Season

By Sarah Lundy, Kelly Stone, Lucy Lillystone, Ellie Brady, Ana Matute, Amy Wright

As Spooky Season quietly approaches, get in the Halloween spirit with ghost stories that will make your skin tingle and your pulse race...

Gothic Tales by Arthur Conan Doyle

Many people associate Arthur Conan Doyle with his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. However, Conan Doyle was a huge fan of the Gothic genre. He has been quoted as speculating that if he had never created Holmes, he would have a more commanding position in literature, and even tried to kill the great detective off in The Final Problem.

This decision may have been for good reason; his Gothic Tales are wonderful, spooky and entrancing, yet few have heard of them. The collection has many tales that are perfect to curl up with this Halloween, including the haunting spectres of a polar wasteland in The Captain of the Polestar or the spine-chilling story of The Brazilian Cat.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

This haunting young adult series takes place in 1920s New York City with a supernatural twist. Evie O’Neill is a plucky young woman who’s ousted from her small town and excited to experience all that Manhattan in the height of its jazz age has to offer. However, the glitz and glamour of the city quickly takes a turn for the mysterious as her uncle Will’s obsession with the occult may just help solve a murder. This investigation awakens powers in Evie that she never understood before, placing a deadly target on her and her new friends. A unique mix of historical fiction and paranormal fantasy with elements of horror and a dynamic cast of characters, this enchanting series is chilling, yet upbeat.

Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy

The Halloween period is the perfect time to get cosy under some blankets with a warm cup of tea and a good ghost story. This year, if you’re looking for some frights and chills, look no further than Lucie McKnight Hardy’s new release, Dead Relatives. A collection of short stories with an underlying Gothic atmosphere, Lucie McKnight Hardy is not afraid to disturb her reader in this new assembly. Her beautiful language and vivid imagery successfully offsets readers’ comfort levels. Rich with a wide variety of creepy narrators and situations, this collection touches on issues of the female body, familial relationships and class. Dead Relatives is a book that will stay in your mind long after you’ve finished it.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Many things come to mind when we think of some classic Halloween tropes: the haunted house, the sinister clown, the mad scientist and their monsters, the downright spooky travelling carnivals and freakshows, the ghosts and goblins, witches and demons. Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes encapsulates the uncanny fright of a carnival where something is not quite right. Best friends Jim and Will, barely into their teens, experience a nightmare of strange, terror-filled twists and turns as the malevolent Mr. Dark and his creepy carnival rolls into their sleepy and happily uninteresting hometown in Illinois. This deeply autumnal horror-fantasy plays with the concepts of eternal life, time and trying your hardest to overcome some particularly nasty evil to serve up a vivid and rapturous Halloween read.

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo

In this novel, we follow Juan Preciado to Comala to find his father, Pedro Páramo. As the days go by, Pedro starts to find out that the city is deserted and everyone living there is a ghost. Every street is empty, and we only hear the shadow, as echoes faraway. In this novel, Juan Rulfo shows how all hopes can die while we are trying to make them real. Juan Preciado will die like this, finding his father in Comala. Pedro Páramo is a very special novel that, in a scary way, shows how in the last years of the 19th century, a lot of towns in Mexico were deserted because of migration. What makes this novel special is its narration and its ability to convey complex emotions, such as emptiness.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is the first in a series of London-based ghost stories. Featuring an American teenager who moves to England to start a boarding school, this young adult novel delves into a world containing murders and crimes that imitate those of the serial killer, Jack the Ripper. As the story develops, suspense builds as more supernatural elements are combined with historical information on Jack the Ripper. While it may start off somewhat like a Malory Towers book, The Name of the Star is the perfect ghost story if you are searching for an exciting and tense thriller offering a moderate amount of creepiness.


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