Spooky Stories…

As you will all know tomorrow is Halloween which is one of my favourite days of the year. I think it comes second to Boxing Day, seriously these are both above my birthday and Christmas in terms of times of cheer and joy for me. Anyway, it will be Halloween and I don’t know about you but I am in just the right mood for some spooky stories and tales of terror. Which ones to read though?

Well, funny you should ask that as I have made a little selection of potential books which I thought I would share with you in case you need inspiration, though I would love more recommendations from you below…

Cold Hand in Mine
by Robert Aickman – Recently republished by Faber & Faber, this second collection of Aickman’s ‘ strange stories’ is supposed to be one of his creepiest, weirdest and most chilling. I am really looking forward to reading these, they also happen to be my latest choice for Hear Read This when we record in a couple of weeks so I hope they are in Gav’s suitcase while he travels around America.

Say Her Name by James Dawson – I have been meaning to read this for ages, James is now the ruling Queen of Teen and should really be the Queen of Scream as his wonderful novels are like better written Point Horrors for the current generation – and I love Point Horrors! I feel especially bad for not reading this sooner as I challenged James to write this one as I said modern ghost stories can’t be scary. This will definitely be my next creepy read.

The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill. I think Susan Hill is a legend at ghost stories, well I think she is a legend in all the forms she writes in. This is one of the few of her ghostly tales that I haven’t read and is guaranteed to give me the chills. Delightful. It has also reminded me that I have an anthology somewhere of ghostly tales chosen by Hill, that could be another addition. I am currently reading one of the Simon Serrailler series of crime novels by Susan and it is marvellous.

The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah. Sophie Hannah is most well known for her psychological thrillers (which I often find spookier than ghost stories as I mention on this episode of The Readers) and also for recently writing a new Poirot novel. Last year she wrote this spooky tale for the newly reinvigorated Hammer Horror imprint. It is another book I cannot believe I haven’t read yet, mind you like Susan Hill I am very behind with Sophie’s series. Shame on me.

The Mistletoe Bride and Other Stories by Kate Mosse. I have yet to read any of Kate Mosse’s novels. I tried reading Labyrinth when it came out in paperback and wasn’t in the right mood for it. I actually have this collection, subtitled ‘haunting tales’, and the equally creepy sounding The Taxidermists Daughter high up on my TBR. I sometimes like a short story collection as a way into a new author, and also ghost stories can be particularly spooky or chilling in the shorter form.

I know I have recommended it endless times but if you fancy a fast an chilling read do grab The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Oh and I also must recommend Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter. I will also have a ghostly tale up for discussion on the blog tomorrow. So which books will you be curling up with on Halloween night? Have you read any of the books I have selected? Which books would you recommend?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

10 responses to “Spooky Stories…

  1. The Aickman collection is brilliant (I reviewed it over at mine a couple of years ago). I belongs to a kind of mid-period of Weird fiction, half-way between Lovecraft at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the so-called “New Weird” that was emerging at the end. It’s really very good.

    My favourite horror writer, though, is Thomas Ligoitti. He writes in several horror “modes”, if you will, but the one that chimes with me most, personally, is his “corporate horror”, which manages to extract really stomach-churning sensations of claustrophobia and terror and meaninglessness from things like mundane descriptions of modern offices and work life. His novella “My Work is Not Yet Done” is amazing.

    Happy Halloween.

  2. sharkell

    I don’t read many ghost stories but my two favourites are The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse and The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore.

  3. LauraC

    Have you read Talking to the Dead by Helen Dunmore? I recommend it.

  4. Seems like a great list of spooky books. 🙂 Happy Halloween!

  5. Annabel (gaskella)

    The Aickman strange stories are totally fab Simon – hope you enjoy them.

  6. Catherine

    Susan Hill is great for ghost stories as you say. Read the mist in the mirror and currently reading the man in the picture for Halloween!

  7. kaggsysbookishramblings

    I read the first story in the Aickman collection”Dark Entries” at bedtime and it totally spooked me – so much so I haven’t picked it up again. I guess I need to read it during the day…..

  8. Susan Hill! I really liked The Mist in the Mirror although it wasn’t as frightening as some of her other scary novellas. It still had a good dose of uncomfortable, creeping horror.

  9. I’m reading The Shining by Stephen King and I just read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Both very spooky.

  10. I have missed out on that Susan Hill. I shall rectify that very soon. I just finished Printer’s Devil Court, which as well as spooky is actually quite sad.
    I am about to settle down for the evening with Two Eerie Tales of Suspense by Paul Torday which I randomly picked up in a shop a week or so back. Happy Halloween!

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