Spooky Season is upon us, which means one thing — it’s the perfect time to grab a hot chocolate, a handful of Halloween candy, and get cosy with a good book. And as much as I love a good scare, sometimes I want to get into the Halloween spirit with a treat instead of a trick.
If you’re feeling the same, get your cosiest blanket, light some candles, and get ready for some scarily good books!
If you want Poetry …
I Am Not Your Final Girl is a mesmerising collection of poetry by Elgin Award Nominated poet Claire C. Holland that delves into an iconic part of the classic golden age of cinema — The Final Girl. You know the one. That girl who somehow survives all the way to the end of a slasher movie and escapes a cruel fate. She’s usually covered in blood and holding some form of axe or baseball bat.
Featuring classic heroines from I Spit On Your Grave, Silence of the Lambs, Carrie and all your favourites, each poem gives us a unique look into these women’s thoughts, the monsters they defeated, and the monsters they still have to face. This is the perfect book to read if you’re ready for Elm Street but want to avoid Jason.
If you want something totally unique …
Horrorstör is not only a delightfully spooky read, but one of the best visual experiences you’ll have reading a book. Vaguely reminiscent of a well-known Scandinavian furniture store, the layout looks just like a classic furniture catalogue with soft binding, french flaps, and plenty of helpful diagrams. It’s a classic haunted house story with insanely weird twists and unforgettable style.
Following the strange happenings of a large store and the staff who stay overnight to try and solve the mystery, there’s a little bit of scare hidden beneath the easy-build shelves. But mostly just absurdity and hilarity.
If you want something sassy and steamy …
The Ex Hex series by Erin Stirling (A.K.A. Rachel Hawkins) is a spellbinding read for the spooky season. Set in the magical town of Graves Glen, a family of witches goes to war with the powerful Penhallow Family. Together, they get into all sorts of ridiculous hijinks. Drunken hexing, ancient curses, and some very bad romantic decisions all come together to create something spectacular.
Initially pitched as “Hocus Pocus, but they fuck,” The Ex Hex and its follow up The Kiss Curse are a perfect blend of raunchy romance, fantastical magic, and ridiculous fun comedy.
If you want something historical ….
The Spirit Engineer is an imaginative retelling of the tale of William Crawford and Kathleen Goligher. It details their escapades into the world of spirits and seances, which took high society by storm after the Titanic tragedy two years earlier.
This dark gothic story is atmospheric, transporting you back in time nearly a century ago. It explores the eerie middle ground between fact and fiction. It takes a true and compelling story of the ambitions of one sceptical man and turns it into something remarkable.
If you want something magical …
The Ghost Woods is a creepy tale about the residents of Lichen Hall, a place young mothers are sent to have their babies away from society. But the odd residents of the hall are hiding something that doesn’t want to be dug up. Full of folklore, legend, and magic, this is an eerie story about an odd hall in the woods, but it’s also a story about the magic of women and their truly otherworldly powers.
The precursor to this novel, The Lighthouse Witches, draws on the same empowering themes, although the story is not related and at the moment it’s supposed to be a trilogy of magical tales exploring women who dared to simply be.
If you want something Quirky …
I didn’t expect Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive, to write a vampire book, but this has become a Halloween classic for me. It’s a story about family, growing up, self-acceptance, and love — a contemporary story about modern family life. That family just happens to be blood-abstaining vampires and not all of them know that yet. It’s a wacky, utterly ridiculous story that is trick and treat all at once.
Now you’re all ready to enjoy the magic of Halloween without the sleepless nights – happy reading and happy Halloween!