Saturday, October 3, 2020

Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun - Spooky Reading Recs & My October TBR

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I'm taking part (or trying to) in the Grimdragon Spooktober photo challenge on Instagram, and the prompt for today was the title of this post - Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun. I thought I'd do a round up of some of my favourite spooky reads and tell you the ones I'm most looking forward to reading this month. 

Paul Tremblay

A tale, essentially of two sisters. Marjorie and Meredith went through a very harrowing experience fifteen years ago during the filming of a reality TV show based around a possession, and now one of the sisters is telling her side of the story to a horror blogger.  I love a story about sisters anyway, but throw in Reality TV and possession and I was hooked. It also made me think about how women with mental illnesses were treated by the church and society and often labelled as being possessed or inhabited by demons.

Daphne du Maurier

What better ghost is there than the one of a former lover? In this book, the second Mrs de Winter lives so much in the shadow of her husband's first wife, Rebecca, that we aren't even told her name. The real main character in this novel after Rebecca is the house. Manderley is full of atmosphere and has just the right amount of spookiness going on to give an uneasy feeling throughout. Mrs. Danvers contributes to that too, she's a great villain. I also listened to this on audio and would recommend the Anna Massey version. 

Helen Moorhouse

After her divorce, Martha McKenzie moves to a small village in the English countryside with her baby daughter. But her dream of a quiet life is interrupted by the presence of something strange in her new home - footsteps, scratching, and a general uneasiness that soon develops into some very scary occurrences. Martha begins to unravel the awful history of the house, but will she be too late to save herself and her daughter? This was SO creepy. It's a modern-day gothic horror, and very much worth a read. 

Kate Murray-Browne

Eleanor and Richard are having trouble with their dream home, a Victorian townhouse in London. The name "Emily" begins appearing in random places, and their daughter Rosie begins to exhibit strange behaviour. They take in a lodger, Zoe, who starts to have strange dreams. Is there a spirit in the house, and what does this mean for the residents? Spooky but with a contemporary edge due to Zoe's arc, I enjoyed this one a lot, I'm a big fan of a creepy house.


Susan Hill

I read this book for the first time the night before I had my twins, in 2013. An odd choice for someone preparing for childbirth, but one that takes me right back to that cold, damp Autumn night and another creepy house. Everyone has probably seen the film version at this stage, but I'd really recommend that you give the book a go too. It's deliciously creepy. 

Alice Hoffman

The film version is one of my favourites, it reminds me so much of my sister. Thankfully, it stayed fairly true to this beautiful novel of two sisters, witches descendant from a long line of sister witches. I also highly recommend the prequel The Rules of Magic if you want to find out more about who the Aunts were when they were younger. 


I've owned two of these books for ages but just haven't gotten around to reading them, the others I really want to buy or borrow as soon as I can. 

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
A horror story about an ageing rock star who collects really weird, disturbing artefacts. He buys a box that supposedly contains a ghost - and indeed it does, one hell bent on vengeance. I've only read one other Joe Hill book (Horns) but I really enjoyed his writing. I've owned this on my Kindle for years and will read it this month.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
A prequel of a prequel, this is the third book in the Practical Magic series. I have read and loved both of the others so I can't wait to read this. I missed this one on Netgalley but will be buying/borrowing when it's released on October 6th. Shoutout to Rare Opal Reads for reminding me of this one with her recent TBR post on instagram!  

The Familiars by Stacey Hall
A fictionalized account of the Pendle witch trials in Lancashire in 1612. I bought this way back when it was released but just never got to it, so I've bumped it to the top of the list for this month. 

The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story by Kate Summerscale
The true story of a woman at the centre of a poltergeist story in London just before World War II and the team who tried to determine whether or not she really was experiencing a haunting. I've heard a bit of buzz around this book recently, so I'll be buying or borrowing this one. 

Have you read any of the above? Or are you planning on any spooky reads for October? Would you like a children's version of this post? Let me know what you think below!

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews Sharon, thank you. The Familiars is a good atmospheric read for Halloween. Nice easy read. Enjoy🎃 Lizzie


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