So despite having a lot of books to study from now on (I started an A-Level English Literature!!) I still want to dedicate October and November to some atmospheric, creepy reads. This post was inspired by one book in particular, The Silent Companions, which I talk about below. I’ve added a few others, some I’ve read, some I haven’t and I hope you can find something to suit you! If you have any other reads you think are perfect for this time of year, please leave them below!
The Silent Companions
by Laura Purcell
Taking place across three timelines, this genuinely creepy tale tells the story of Elsie, recently widowed and pregnant as she moves into her husband’s family home. All is seemingly well until the Companions are found in the attic – lifelike wooden figures and even more so, one that looks scarily like Elsie herself. When the Companions start to become a bit too lifelike, it is up to Elsie to convince the rest of the household. I read this book in one sitting and it is truly terrifying but amazingly atmospheric. Laura Purcell’s second novel, The Corset, is out now and sounds equally amazing and creepy.
by Josh Malerman
I read this book a few years back now and have even recommended it before but I feel that it is so underrated. Bird Box tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where something evil and mysterious lurks outside. Some believe it to be creatures but nobody really knows as whoever looks upon it will become insane and kill whoever is in their path before killing themselves. It’s truly a psychological thriller. We, like the characters, have no idea what is causing people’s insanity upon looking at it. We are quite literally blinded alongside them. A very creepy read that keeps you on your toes.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
by Michelle McNamara
Although I still haven’t got around to this book and it isn’t technically a spooky read like the first two on my list, I still think it would be perfect to read at the moment. This is a true-crime account of the Golden State Killer – a serial rapist and murderer who terrorised California for over 10 years. This book was written by Michelle McNamara who sadly died whilst investigating the case so it’s even more important that we share her findings. This book is a bestseller for a reason as it not only shone light on the once anonymous killer but also shows Michelle’s quest for the truth.
The Hollow Girl
by Hillary Monahan
One of my favourite reads of 2017 and not just because it’s set in Wales. This seriously creepy paranormal read manages to feature witches and the paranormal but also the seriousness of rape and its effects. We follow the story of Bethan, a Romani who lives with her grandmother, Drina and is training to be her ward. (Don’t worry, the author recognises the ‘g*psy’ slur and challenges it at the beginning.) One night, Bethan is raped by fellow Romani, Silas and his sidekicks and decides to practice dark magic to bring revenge on the boys. Overall, I’d recommend this book if you like horror/paranormal, lovely familial relationships, revenge best served cold and a look into the Welsh Romani culture.
Full Review Here
The Bloody Chamber
by Angela Carter
I first bought this book a few years ago but never got around to it lately when I found out I had to study it. Although I only have to study The Bloody Chamber itself, I still found myself reading the other stories in the collection that were equally atmospheric, creepy and an excellent feminist fairytale retelling for its time. TBC follows the story of a newly married unnamed heroine whose new husband is a mysterious Marquis. This is a retelling of Bluebeard so it isn’t a surprise what happens next but it still manages to capture your attention despite being so short. The rest of the collection features retellings of Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast and Puss in Boots amongst others.
by Michelle Paver
Another book I haven’t read myself but was kindly recommended by @KatKatMeow1 on Twitter. It took only a few seconds of reading the synopsis to know this book was for me. The novel is set in the Himalayas in 1935 where five men set off from Darjeeling to climb the world’s third-highest peak – Kangchenjunga, known as the ‘greatest killer of them all’. This book is described as being a ‘proper ghost story’ that causes you anxiety, makes you want to hide under a blanket but also get to the end so you know what happens next. Tying historical-fiction with the paranormal but also some truth makes it truly compelling and I can’t wait to get started. I believe Dark Matter by the same author is also a must-read!
Lots of Love,