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Alison Gowans
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Oct. 26, 2023 – Last week we shared spooky book recommendations from library staff. One staff member, Public Services Specialist Abby Cornelison, had so many picks we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to her favorite scary stories.

"Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, so I love doing spooky things to celebrate the season! Count me in for a trip to a haunted house, pumpkin carving, or a scary movie marathon," she said. "I suppose that branched out into a love for horror and thriller genres in general. There's just something about the anticipation, suspense, and adrenaline that makes me want to pursue the things that scare me!

"I think it's important to acknowledge that there are also different levels and variety of horror and thriller content, too – it's a wide world filled with more than just slasher titles and monsters waiting in the dark. Whether it's fantasy-fueled or based on true events (I'm looking at you, murder mystery and true crime fanatics!), there's a little something out there for everyone."

Scroll through the titles below and put them on hold in our catalog by clicking on the covers.

"Sundial," by Catriona Ward

A thriller with many twists and turns that leaves you guessing until the end. Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind. 

"Sometimes I Lie," by Alice Feeney

A thriller whose ending you won't see coming. Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can't move. She can't speak. She can't open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn't remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it.

"The Bunker Diary," by Kevin Brooks

Several people are kidnapped and put into a bunker. People are really quite simple, and they have simple needs. Food, water, light, space, privacy. Maybe a small measure of dignity. A bit of freedom. What happens when someone simply takes all that away?

"My Best Friend’s Exorcism," by Grady Hendrix

Hendrix is a literary master of the horror genre. Abby still remembers high school, but she remembers it as images, not events ... The sound of screaming on the Lawn. The owls. The stench in Margaret's room. Good Dog Max. The terrible thing that happened to Glee. But most of all, she remembers what happened to Gretchen ... back in 1988, the year her best friend was possessed by the devil.

"Horns," by Joe Hill

A man wakes up with horns sprouting from his head, and strangers start sharing their secrets with him.

"Daughters Unto Devils," by Amy Lukavics

Set in the days of the Homestead Movement and pioneers, one young girl must face her demons. It is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie.

"Pearl," by Josh Malerman

A telepathic pig with its own agenda. There's something strange about Walter Kopple's farm. At first it seems to be his grandson, who cruelly murders one of Walter's pigs in an act of seemingly senseless violence. But then the rumors begin – people in town whisper that Walter's grandson heard a voice that commanded him to kill. And that the voice belongs to a most peculiar creature: Walter's pig, Pearl. Walter is not sure what to believe. He knows that he's always been afraid of the strangely malevolent Pearl. But as madness and paranoia grip the town and the townspeople descend on Walter's farm with violent wrath, Walter begins to wonder if true evil wears a human face

"The Detour," by S.A. Bodeen

Seventeen-year-old Livvy Flynn is kidnapped by a woman and her apparently manic daughter who have no intention of letting her go.

"How to Sell a Haunted House," by Grady Hendrix

Hendrix's newest release takes on the haunted house in a hilarious and terrifying new novel that explores the way your past-and your family-can haunt you like nothing else.

"The Graveyard Book, v.1," by Neil Gaiman & Craig P. Russell (graphic novel)

A boy is raised in a cemetery and discovers secrets better left buried.

"Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers," by Mary Roach (non-fiction)

Science writer Mary Roach explores what happens to our bodies when we die.

"Twisted Fairy Tales: 20 Classic Stories With a Dark and Dangerous Heart," by Maura McHugh

Spooky re-tellings of classic fairy tales and some you may not have heard.

"The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon," by Stephen King

A young girl lost in the woods encounters strange happenings.