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Oct. 19, 2023 – Spooky season is upon us, so we asked library staff for their scary story recommendations. From gothic horror to vampires to zombies, these books are sure to give you a fright. Scroll through the titles below and put them on hold in our catalog by clicking on the covers.

"The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova

I made the mistake of reading this book while I was touring Europe in college. So, here are a bunch of creepy cathedrals and castles. Now read about vampires on the bus ... NIGHTMARE FUEL in the best way. Murder, suspense, history, romance. Its VERY good.

"Ninth House" and "Hell Bent" by Leigh Bardugo

There's an underground demon-hunting society at Yale. The protagonist is there on scholarship watching all the rich influential people mess around with blood magic and gets swept up in the crossfire. It's classism commentary, sarcastically funny and genuinely suspenseful. ALSO it's a horror/thriller with LGBTQ+ main characters and NONE OF THEM DIE :) 

- Kami, Event Specialist


"The Vampire Lestat" by Anne Rice

This is the second book in Rice’s "Vampire Chronicles." Rice probably did more for the vampire genre than any author besides Stoker himself. Lestat, Rice’s Brat Prince and the story’s protagonist, becomes a force in the vampire world Rice creates. And that world is certainly a rich sacrament! Given the book was released in the 1980s, having a vampire become an '80s rock god, you couldn’t ask for more! I certainly will miss seeing her latest on shelves given her passing a few short years ago.

- Kristine, Materials Librarian


"World War Z" by Max Brooks

IT'S NOTHING LIKE THE MOVIE! The oral history narrative style in "WWZ" is both unique and compelling. Sometimes the horror is the zombies, and sometimes it's ourselves.

"Mexican Gothic" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Addictive Gothic horror set in 1950s Mexico follows Noemi Taboada as she leaves Mexico City to the High Place after receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for help. Soon Noemi finds herself in danger not just from her cousin's new husband and father-in-law, but from the house itself. You'll never look at mushrooms the same way again. 

"Something is Killing the Children" by James Tynion IV (graphic novel series)

Monsters are real. Erica Slaughter kills monsters. Trained by the ancient secret society The Order of St. George, Erica arrives in rural Archer's Peak where children are going missing – or worse. The Order demands secrecy, but Erica follows her own code, even though it might be the death of her, and the unsuspecting people of Archer's Peak. (I also recommend "The Nice House on the Lake" by James Tynion IV.)

"Monstress" by Marjorie M. Liu (graphic novel series)

A sweeping fantasy-horror epic set in an alternate matriarchal 1900s Asia follows teenage Maika Halfwolf in the aftermath of a horrific war. Maika has a terrible secret - an otherworldly connection to a monster of great power, a power many would like to possess for themselves. Seeking answers about the monster and the death of her mother, Maika is soon on the run from those who would use and destroy her, but those forces might soon regret crossing the Halfwolf. The art in this series, drawn by Sana Takeda, is exceptionally rich and detailed.

- Allison, Materials Librarian


"The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson

This book is perfect to get you in the cozy, spooky autumn mood. An unlikely group sets out to discover what makes Hill House so ominous. It differs from the Netflix series by the same name, but involves the same house with its strange history. Is the house haunted? Or do its guests and housekeepers create their own fears surrounding it? The writing style creates lots of suspense without anything overtly descriptive or gory, leaving the reader to imagine and fill in the blanks in their own mind. A quick read, but definitely worth it. 

"The Grownup" by Gillian Flynn

This is a short, ghosty story that involves a psychic, a woman, and a mysterious and concerning teenager in an old Victorian home. It is very succinct, but has twists and surprises that keep you engaged through all 64 pages.

"The Old Willis Place" by Mary Downing Hahn

This is a children's novel, but enjoyable for all ages. A brother and sister who live on the grounds of the Old Willis Place explore the woods and spy on the new caretaker and his daughter. In hopes of simply making a friend, the children set in motion a series of spooky events that will keep readers turning pages to discover what is really going on at the Old Willis Place.

- Alyssa, Patron Services Specialist


"The Last House on Needless Street" by Catriona Ward

This book is intense and not for the faint of heart. Full of dark twists and turns, you'll want to leave the lights on and lock your doors.  

- Tricia, Patron Services Specialist


"Home Before Dard" by Riley Sager

Home Before Dark" is a horror/thriller book full of twists and turns. The main character, Maggie, returns to her childhood home in Vermont to renovate the Victorian house she inherited. The house is famous after her dad wrote a book detailing some disturbing acts in the house that ultimately resulted in the family fleeing the house. As Maggie begins the renovations, she makes a number of creepy and troubling discoveries that will keep the reader guessing until the very end!.  

- Melanie, Patron Services Specialist