4 Creepy Books to Get you Ready for Halloween

Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday. Really, I love all the fall and winter holidays. But Halloween? What’s not to like?! Horror movies, marathon readings of Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps a little Lovecraft.

I compiled a shortlist of my favorite creepy books that are perfect for this time of year. Some of them fall within the umbrella term of “weird fiction.” Others are classic ghost stories that I highly suggest you check out if you haven’t read already. And yeah, they’re all old books – like, really old.

Here’s my list:

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Suburban Killer (a poem)

at this juncture, we’ve not found

the serial killer who

stalks the sickened streets

of this suburban town –

turn that frown

upside-down, miss

we’ve got diligent detectives

on the case

looking at every trace

of evidence

storing it in dirty lockers –

we’ll find this psycho-dude

I assure you

& you can go back

to your tranquil life

not worrying ‘bout

these dreadful things

(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

Haunted House (a poem)

There’s been trauma in this house

we thought it’d be our forever home

instead, ghosts lurk here

ghosts of murders, suicides

they followed us long after we

left cob-webbed hallways –

the trauma here makes us see things

hallucinations, delusions of despair

we can’t escape it.

(Photo by Stefan Ringler on Unsplash)

The Woman at the Window (a poem)

The woman sits at the window

she’s always there, she stares

at the outside world

her sallow skin a testament to an indoor existence

terrified to leave the ivy-covered house like

a cat that fears and is fascinated by the outdoors.

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Criminals (a poem)

I dream of criminals, being a witness to misdeed

men with dark eyes do dark things in motel rooms

tell me to keep my mouth zippered shut –

I wake with a sense of dread

storm clouds gather outside frosted windows

a woman with an umbrella screams

then runs for her life.

(Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)

Beware of the Apartment People (a poem)

The people in this apartment complex are so nice!

They smile, ask how I’m doing

I can tell they mean it by their bright eyes,

gentle body language, the way they speak of

this complex as a community.

But why does it seem so strange?

Behind these pearly-white smiles,

are they planning my demise?

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Descent of the Forest God

Here’s a short story that’s my attempt at a horror story, or weird fiction, at least. I’ve been reading about pagan mythology for a novel project lately, which inspired some parts of the story. Enjoy!

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The Faceless Woman (a poem)

The faceless woman chases me through vacant city streets –

lights on in every home, but no one’s there,

just us, running in dreadful silence

my heart beats so fast it feels as if it’ll burst

from my sunken chest, plop on black concrete +

continue to beat to the rhythm of the pulsing ground,

as a brilliant moon looms above, hangs over us,

shines blinding light on my ghostly skin –

I’m living in sin + if the woman catches me,

I’ll surely suffocate + gurgle black blood

from a wicked mouth –

No! my mouth is gone, covered by slimy skin,

+ I’m gone, in her cold grasp at last,

the world collapses inside of me +

I wake as a newborn in some

distant jungle landscape.

(Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash)

The Pale Woman (a poem)

Down the winding path, you go deep into the forest –

the dense birch trees make it so dark that only

a faint light breaks through and illuminates

the leave-strewn path.

You were told to avoid this place – a place

where corpses dangle from branches and

lay twisted on the forest floor, their faces

stuck in a final moment of eagerness to

kill a lifetime of sorrow.

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The Witch Queen (a poem)

The Witch Queen nurses you to health and assures you

she means no harm – the people fear her because she’s

ageless and has wandered these woods for centuries,

speaking with wild animals and traversing the dark

landscape, looking for lost travelers.

She tends to their wounds, offers medicine in her hut,

then devours them in sexual ecstasy like they’ve

never experienced before. They all leave feeling better –

the Witch Queen is your friend, not your enemy.

(Photo by Miriam Espacio on Unsplash)

Note: This poem was inspired by a character in Old Gods of Appalachia, a horror anthology podcast that I’m currently obsessed with.