10.06.2017

10 Spooky Books (Just in Time for Halloween)



Something you should know is that we both desperately hate to be scared. Meghan plugs her ears during darkly lit movie trailers and Meagan has watched Jaws 100 times and still can't bring herself to see those legs dangling in that underwater below camera angle. So, these books are on the tamer end of spooky, but here they are nonetheless.



So I actually haven't read this book yet but bought it immediately after seeing the movie adaptation with James Franco and Jonah Hill. There is one scene in the movie that chilled me to the damn bone and I fled the theatre immediately after the screening (I usually sit through the credits). It's about a guy who kills his wife and children and then flees the country. When he is arrested he says his name is Mike Finkel. The name of the author he admires at the New York Times. The real Finkel hears about this and goes to visit the prisoner as he awaits trial.




Subtle plug for our book club? This book is scary for me to read alone in the house at night and I think it's because I really don't know much about this story so it's reading as a murder mystery for me. If you know how this ends, etc. it may be less scary for you. I think the cult aspect of this book is amplifying its spook factor... any regular murder is made a jillion times scarier with cult influences. Meghan and I once shared the same True Detective nightmare about those weird stick sculptures. I think this book would be perfect for someone who likes a bit of suspense and is also into non-fiction. We're also conveniently reading it for book club right now, and we've barely just started so you can still join. :)


I can remember exactly where I was reading this when I started to get goosebumps on my back.. I was living alone in London, Ontario, and was already terrified of Kevin Spacey from Se7en. I was hanging out with a guy from the area and we decided to start watching Bryan Fuller's Hannibal. So needless to say I was already terrified when I decided to continue reading Gone Girl to take my mind off of it. That's when I read the big twist that Amy is alive and well, and this entire thing was a staged revenge plot. It was very creepy. Or course, a few years later I would come to find this encouraging rather than terrifying ... I think the only people who should be afraid of this book now are the men in my life. You can read an expanded review I wrote here.



This book was written in 1980 and was one of maybe 10 books on my mom's shelf growing up that weren't by Danielle Steel. I was seriously fucking terrified the first time I read it, and I was for sure WAY too young (maybe 11?). My parents didn't pay much attention to what I was reading.. they weren't negligent but they just minded their own business and let me be interested in what I was interested in. Anyways... the book is about this blind girl who gets pushed off a cliff by her school mates and then comes back years later to haunt the family that lives in her house. It is downright horrifying. I had no knowledge at the time, but John Saul is actually a successful thriller author (and talented at his craft might I add). I then encouraged my little sister to read it and she can vouch for how scary this is... we still discuss it all the time and chirp our parents for letting us read it.

This definitely isn't a typical "spooky" book. There is nothing sci-fi about it, and there aren't any serial killers/murderers. Still, this is a book you feel uncomfortable reading in public. A lot of stuff that goes on is incredibly disturbing and makes you afraid of sex.



This is another book that I certainly read too young, but even today the movie scares the crap out of me. If you're in the mood for a well-written thriller, this is unreal. The premise is a man disguised as a cop kidnaps a young boy from a group playing outside. Years later the dynamic in the group of friends has dramatically changed, and when one of the men's daughter is murdered, the kidnapping from decades earlier colours the way the murder is investigated. If you're not a reader the movie is just as good and equally spooky (and has an amazing cast).


I was not expecting to be scared after reading this book, but as soon as I finished it I started getting this feeling that someone was always watching me. Here's the premise of this book: a deranged man obsessed with human behaviour develops the technology to appear invisible ... this way he can slip into people's homes and observe them. It is really fascinating because it is all about how we behave when we are alone / who we really are. You can see a bit of a write up about it in my author spotlight on Chuck Klosterman here. After finishing it I started trying to slip into my house through as narrow an entry as possible, and then quickly closing/locking the door.



Guys this book is fucked. All V.C. Andrews books are (and she has a lot, I've read them all, maybe I will do an author spotlight at some point). This is another book I read WAY too young... maybe 12? My teacher actually saw me reading it and said "do your parents know you're reading this?".. mind your own business eh? This is actually a series but you could read this one book only (although I guarantee you won't want to...). Premise is a single mother moves in with her estranged, wealthy parents to help with money when her husband dies. Because her late husband was actually her COUSIN her parents disowned her... so to work her way back into their lives, her and her mother hide their four kids in the attic while they warm her dad up to the idea that she had offspring with her cousin... The mom becomes accustomed to the wealthy lifestyle and doesn't want to ruin it so the kids are kept in the attic for like ~10 years. Maybe more I forget. Weird shit happens up there guys... After I read this series I devoured every series Andrews wrote. It's definitely adult fiction, but what can I say I had a mature palette. If you're into weird, spooky, fucked up subjects, this is definitely a book for you. **In writing this review I learned that in 2014 a TV movie was made and SALLY DRAPER (Kiernan Shipka) plays the oldest daughter. Watching immediately.


This is a true story about one of the first defendants in criminal history to get off because of "multiple personality disorder." Billy Milligan has something like 12 different personalities and ended up committing a variety of crimes (predominately kidnapping and raping three or more women). What terrifies me the most about this book is when the author describes Milligan's change into one of the personalities. Whether he begins to speak in an accent or his mannerisms completely change it is CREEPY. This book is horrifying but also incredibly sad. Milligan suffers from such a severe mental illness that it completely destroys his life. It also reminds you that it is by no means a lighter sentence if you end up deemed "criminally insane."



I think this book is really only scary if you live in London, Ontario or the surrounding area. Otherwise it's just a book of facts about the murders in a place. I happen to live in London, Ontario and the weeks following reading this book I could barely sleep without checking and double checking that all my doors and WINDOWS were locked. Nothing will freak you out like hearing about all of the brutal murders that took place in your city, in the not so distant past, in a setting and residence exactly like yours. I wrote a full review of it here, but if you're local and want a good scare this is for you. Otherwise, I think it would be just interesting for any Canadian. You can read an expanded review I wrote here

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