Feature Image Credit: @lifemeetsliterature
It’s the perfect time of year to grab a scary book and settle in under a cozy blanket. Whether you like historical fiction, ghost stories, or supernatural stories, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up 10 picks that will make you want to sleep with the lights on.
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell
Agnes is a struggling silhouette artist trying to make ends meet. She not only must support herself, but her nephew and mother as well, and it’s proven to be an enormous financial burden. As she continues to dredge along the best she can, she is hit with the shocking news that one of her clients has been murdered. Unfortunately, the list continues to grow as customer after customer ends up being killed. Desperate to find out why the murderer is going after her business, she consults with Pearl, a spirit medium, hoping to solve this mystery. However, what they uncover might put both in harm’s way.
The Quickening by Rhiannon Ward
Louisa Drew has had a string of bad luck. She lost her husband during the First World War and her children to the Spanish Flu. However, things were starting to look up when she remarried and was now seven months pregnant. Also happily employed, her boss asked her to travel to Clewer Hall to take pictures of a home’s interior for an upcoming auction. When a mysterious child shows up at the property, Louisa is intrigued and feels compelled to uncover the history of the house. But as she starts to peel back the layers, she uncovers information that links her life with the secrets of Clewer Hall.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Domingo is doing his best to survive on the mean streets of Mexico City. On what seemed like another ordinary day, something unimaginable happened. Atl, an angry vampire, arrives on the scene and Domingo is hypnotized by her presence. Although Atl was just planning on passing through, Domingo begins to grow on her. Desperate to escape her enemies, including the narco-vampire clan, she lets Domingo be part of her plan as a much-needed ally. As the police heavily patrol the streets while other criminals collide with the chasing vampires, Atl and Domingo must find a way to survive.
To Break a Covenant by Alison Ames
Moon Basin has been known for being haunted ever since a mine explosion killed sixteen workers. With the mine closed, the residents rely on tourism to keep this ghost town thriving. Although the stories of spirits may seem supernatural, there is more fact than fiction when it comes to strange encounters. As a small circle of girlfriends starts to deep dive into the town’s history, they start to experience unexplained phenomena, like night terrors, voices and sleepwalking. Even with ghost hunters on the scene, the girls aren’t satisfied and take tempt fate by taking matters into their own hands.
Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron
In the South where Evvie lives, racism is very real, and every day is a struggle for her as a young Black woman. Beyond that, she helps care for her two little sisters as well as her single mom, who is overworked and exhausted. Although things seem somewhat bleak, Evvie’s spirits start to lift when her crush starts to come around, giving her some hope in a cruel world. However, there are other spirits at play when she starts to notice that she has magical abilities that are growing stronger with each day. Will her newfound power cause chaos, or allow her to create a new life for her and her family?
The Cottage by Lisa Stone
Not only has Janet recently lost her job, but she’s also newly single. Looking for an escape from reality, Jam Hamlin decides to rent a remote cottage just outside of Coleshaw Woods. Ready for a change and a new beginning, Jan starts to settle into her new space looking for a fresh perspective. But one night, she hears a tap at the window and gets a sinking feeling that something, or someone, is out there. As the noises intensify to stranger tones and increasing taps, she realizes that whatever it is won’t go away—and begins to wonder if her new start might actually be an unhappy ending instead.
Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura
In a quaint neighborhood nestled in Tokyo, a group of seven teenagers wake up to find that their bedroom mirrors have a different shine to them. With curiosity, each and every one of them touches the strange surface to inspect and as they do this, the mirror acts as a portal and transports them into an elaborate castle, filled with clues that lead them to a secret room where only one of them will be granted a wish. In order for this to happen though, each person must reveal their deepest darkest secrets, and if they don’t finish by the time the clock strikes five, they will all suffer consequences.
Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry
Everybody knows the legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Horseman. For most people, it’s just that; a legend, a folktale that’s been passed on through generations. Thirty years later residents still refer to it, but nobody takes it seriously—even fourteen-year-old Ben and his friends turn the old story into a game, re-enacting the tall tale. But out in the woods one day, Ben and a friend make the horrific discovery of a beheaded child. Shocked and terrified, the townspeople are in an uproar, left wondering if the Horseman is more than just a figment of the imagination.
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Marigold is more than happy to trade California beach life for a new beginning in the Midwestern city of Cedarville. Making the move with her family will give her a clean slate to wipe away the past and begin again. Luckily, her mom’s new job includes housing but unfortunately, that means Mari has to share a room with her little sister Piper. It doesn’t take long to realize that this house is haunted, with doors closing on their own, things disappearing, and unexplained shadows. When Piper reveals that someone wants Mari gone, she is petrified that the ghosts from the past have followed her into the future.
The Secrets of Thistle Cottage by Kerry Barrett
The year was 1661, and healer Honor Seton, along with her daughter Alice, had been called to help the wife of the town’s lord, who was desperately clinging on to life. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it in time, and she suffered an untimely death. Rumors started to circulate all over Scotland that this was the work of witchcraft, and dangerous accusations start to fly. Fast forward to present day as Tess Blyth hopes to bury her secrets by starting a new life for herself in the historic Thistle Cottage. She quickly starts to realize that present-day witch hunts can be just as sinister as black magic from the past.