Are you in the mood for a thrill, a chill, or a spine tingling tale? Our staff has chosen a few good reads to keep you entertained all the way to Halloween!
Recommended by Nancy Bell, Readers' Advisory Librarian
Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
Library assistant and horror lover, Liz, recommended this book to me, and the cover alone is nightmare inducing. Talia has always dreamed of being married in a haunted house, so she chooses this venue for its horrid history. The story goes that a thousand years ago, a bride-to-be buried herself alive when her fiancé died on the way to their wedding so she could wait for his ghost to come home, and every year after that, another girl was buried alive in its walls to keep her company. As six friends celebrate Talia’s nuptials, their personal ghosts of old hurts and grudges almost overshadow the real malevolent spirit demanding sacrifice for hosting them. Khaw combines Japanese folklore and the haunted house trope and creates something completely new with an intricate and suspenseful plot.
Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry
I love a retelling of a classic, and Christina Henry is the author of one of my favorite retellings of Peter Pan (Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook). Henry continues “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” thirty years after the Headless Horseman chased Ichabod Crane. Fourteen-year-old Ben Van Brunt, grandson of Brom Bones and Katrina Van Tassel, scoffs at the villagers’ belief in the Headless Horseman. After finding a dismembered body in the forest, Ben begins to become a believer in something even more dangerous haunting Sleepy Hollow. An entertaining mix of nostalgia with dark atmosphere and brutally gruesome scenes as Ben uncovers his family history, and the truth behind the evil that haunts them all.
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes
If you’re looking for a horrific space opera with vibes like Alien, this is a fantastic choice. In Dead Silence, we’re brought 128 years in the future to experience the final mission of a communications repair crew before they are replaced by machines. In a remote part of space, the crew receives a distress call from a long-lost super-luxury liner, and they decide to salvage the remains of the ship in hopes of one final payday. Claire Kovalik narrates the events to corporate interrogators as an almost unreliable narrator as she struggles with previous trauma as well as the current unfolding nightmare. A fast, terrifying read as mystery and carnage are found onboard the Aurora!
Recommended by Maggie Mueller, Teen Services Librarian
Horrid by Katrina Leno
Following her father's sudden death, Jane North-Robinson and her mother are forced to move to the old North Manor in Maine, where Jane uncovers her family's disturbing secrets, including a locked little girl’s bedroom. This horror novel is perfect for fans who love plot twists and shocking reveals.
The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis
A must-read for Edgar Allen Poe fans, McGinnis draws inspiration from many of Poe’s poems and stories to tell the tale of an unravelling friendship. Seven years ago, Tress Montor’s parents disappeared while driving her best friend home. Former best friend Felicity Turnado swears she doesn’t remember what happened that night. But Tress has a plan to pry the truth from Felicity – brick by brick.
The Book of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux
Have you ever loved a book so much that you wished you could live inside its story? Adelle and Connie are given the chance to enter the world of their favorite gothic romance novel, and they’re surprised when it actually works. Except now the lavish world is interlaced with unspeakable horrors, and the girls will have to rewrite the story if they want to escape. A creepy tale perfect for middle schoolers.
Recommended by Kallie Schell, Children's Librarian
The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown
When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.
Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe by Josh Allen
Thirteen ordinary kids. Thirteen ordinary towns. Thirteen short stories that will chill your bones, tingle your spine, and scare your pants off! A stray kitten turns into a threatening follower. The street signs down the block start taunting you. Even your own shadow is out to get you! Spooky things love hiding in plain sight. The everyday world is full of sinister secrets and these page-turning stories show that there’s darkness even where you least expect it.
The Night Gardener: a scary story by Jonathan Auxier
Irish orphans Molly, 14, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be. Soon, the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and the cursed house's secrets.
Recommended by Victoria Sheehan, Children's Library Assistant II
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
This is a fantastic read a-loud! Greedy Jasper Rabbit cannot resist the urge to eat the carrots of Crackenhopper Field. The carrots devise a plan to scare Jasper into not returning. The grayscale illustrations amplify the suspense. Have fun reading this book!
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
In the attempt to overcome his fear of darkness, Laszlo addresses the dark and independently finds a solution. The illustrations are simple in design and color choice, enhancing the magnitude of his fear.
Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is an author and illustrator of many books from cute (Chu’s Day at the Beach) to scary (Coraline). The haunting illustrations in this book is enough to give me the creeps! Surprisingly, this story is a catalyst for conversation. Check it out and see for yourself how Wolves in the Walls provokes the question of reality.