Spooky Special – Tales Before Bedtime recommended reads!

I do love a creepy read and from now through Christmas is THE perfect time to indulge. What can be better than snuggling up in the warm, with a glass of something cheery and disappearing into a different, spookier world for a few hours. So, today, on Halloween, I’d like to share with you some of my favourites. There is a mixture of adults, YA and childrens. Have you read any? Are you tempted to? or do you have another favourite? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Just a few of my favourite creepy reads.

The Mistletoe Bride & other Haunting Tales by Kate Mosse


Inspired by traditional folk tales and country legends from england and france, these fifteen stories are richly populated by ghosts and spirits seeking revenge; by grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny – all rooted deep in the elemental landscapes of sussex, brittany and the languedoc.

Published by Orion Books

The Shining by Stephen King


Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern American horror from the undisputed master, Stephen King. 

Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control.

As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that, too, is beginning to shine . . .

My edition is rather old and was published by New English Library. I believe it is now published by Hodder.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. This chilling gothic tale, begun when Mary Shelley was just nineteen years old, would become the world’s most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

This edition also includes ‘A Fragment’ by Lord Byron and ‘The Vampyre: A Tale’ by John Polidori, as well as an introduction and notes

My edition is a beautiful clothbound hardback published by Penguin Classics.

Help the Witch by Tom Cox


As night draws through country lanes, and darkness sweeps across hills and hedgrows, shadows appear where figures are not; things do not remain in their places; a new home is punctured by abandoned objects; a wateriing hole conceals depths greater than its swimmers can fathom.

Riddled with talismans and portents, saturated by shadows beneath trees and whispers behind doors, these ten stories broaden the scope of folk tales as we know them. Inspired by our native landscapes and traversing boundaries of the past and the future, this collection is Tom Cox’s first foray into fiction. Funny, strange and poignant, he elicits the unexpected and unseen to raise our hackles and set imaginations whirring.

Published by Unbound.

The Last Seance by Agatha Christie


For lovers of the supernatural and the macabre comes this collection of ghostly and chilling tales from Agatha Christie. Acknowledged the world over as the undisputed Queen of Crimes, in fact she dabbled in her early writing career with mysteries of a more unearthly kind – stories featuring fantastic psychic visions, spectres looming in the shadows, encounters with deities, eerie messages from the Other Side, even a man who switches bodies with a cat…

This Haunting compendium gathers together all of Christie’s spookiest and most macabre short stories, some featuring her timeless detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Finally together in one volume, it shines a light on the darker side of Agatha Christie, one that she herself relished, identifying ten of them as ‘my own favourite stories written soon after The Mysterious Affair at Styles, some before that.’

Published by HarperCollins

A pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison – Book one in the Widdershins adventures


Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse.

Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.

Will they be enough to break the curse?

Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger?

An enchanting story for middle-grade readers and above from the bestselling author of The Thirteen Treasures.

Published by Simon & Schuster

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud – Book 1


The dead are back to haunt the living. Evil spirits crowd the streets after dark.

Are you in danger of being ghost-touched?

With ghostly criminal cases on the rise, psychic investigations agents are in demand as never before. The smallest, most ramshackle – but arguably the best – of these agencies is Lockwood & Co.

Meet the dashing, scatty Anthony Lockwood; his loyal, book-loving deputy George Cubbins; and their newest agent, brave lucy carlyle.

Together they must use their talents to keep you – and themselves – alive…

Published by Corgi Childrens Books

Strange Star by Emma Carroll


The year of 1816 felt extraordinary, and all because of a strange sort of star in the sky…

Lake Geneva, Switzerland.

Early one summer’s morning, a servant boy named Felix delivers an invitation. Tonight, at the mysterious Villa Diodati, there will be ghost stories that promise to ‘freeze the blood’.

As darkness falls, the guests arrive. The Storytelling begins. Then comes an unexpected knock at the door. Felix discovers a girl on the dorstep. She’s travelled a long way to tell her tale, and now he must listen.

But be warned: hers is no ordinary ghost story. Sometimes the truth is far more terrifying.

Published by Faber & Faber Children’s Books.

The Reckless Afterlife of harriet Stoker by lauren James


Congratulations, new kid. Welcome to the afterlife.

When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a group of ghosts, each with a special power.

Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah welcome Harriet into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival after decades alone. yet harriet is more interested in unleashing her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy.

Published by Walker Books.

the Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle


The howl of the beast echoes across the moors…

Some blame the sudden death of Sir Chrales Baskerville on the legend of a fearsome and ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his Devonshire family for generations.

So when the services of famed Sherlock Holmes are engaged to ensure the safety of Baskerville heir Sir Henry – recently arrived from America – Dr Watson is surprised to find his friend dismissive of the matter. In fact, Watson is disptached alone to accompany Sir henry to Baskerville Hall in Devon while Holmes deals with another case.

Yet Watson finds the wild moors are a far cry from the orderly streets of London,and in the cold night a savage and bestial howl may be heard…

My edition was published by penguin Books
I have the beautiful hardback edition of this which is currently on loan to a friend (which is why it wasn’t included in my own photographs.) The cover below is the paperback edition which is also available now.

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank


England, 1917
 
Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

In the classic tradition of The Woman in Black, Anita Frank weaves a spellbinding debut of family tragedy, loss and redemption.

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