Spooky reads for the spooky season

Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022

It’s my favorite season… Spooky season! Are you prepared to get scared? Check out one of these spine-tingling books, just in time for Halloween.

 

KIDS

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The Sleepover by Michael Regina

In this middle-grade graphic novel, a group of kids is trying to cheer up their friend after a recent loss with a fun-filled sleepover, but their plans soon take a dark turn when they discover his new nanny may literally be a monster.

 

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

After suffering a tragic loss, 11-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think—she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be that the story about the smiling man is true?

 

TEENS

 

The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins

Best friends Neena and Josie spent high school as outsiders, but at least they had each other. Now, with college and a 2,000 mile separation looming on the horizon, they have one last chance to be together—a three-day hike deep into the woods of the Pisgah National Forest. Simmering tensions lead to a detour off the trail and straight into a waking nightmare; and then into something far worse. Something that will test them in horrifying ways.

 

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world.They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1. But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

ADULTS

 

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The lives of the Barretts are torn apart when 14-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of schizophrenia. Local priest Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With Marjorie’s father out of work, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality TV show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. 15 years later, a writer interviews Marjorie’s sister, Merry. As she recalls the events that took place when she was just 8 years old, long-buried secrets clash with what was broadcast on TV.

 

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies… You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…

 

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit polklibrary.org or call (828) 894-8721.