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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Family Tree (a poem)

There are ghosts in my family –

I realize this as my mother tells tales

of a biological grandfather I never knew

who blew smoke in my face

when I was two

of years my father spent in jail

of anxiety that permeates

the family tree, which is

diseased & hollowed

about to crumple & topple

into grayish dirt

(Photo by Dikaseva 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 Snow Leopard (a poem)

Paw prints in snow point the way to the snow leopard

she hides in plain sight, her camouflage makes her a ghost

on these rocky mountain trails – we track her, to no avail

we only want a glimpse of this mythic creature

catch her on film + show her to the world in all her feline glory –

the stories of locals add to her legend

we walk for miles over many months

when we finally see her, we witness an apparition,

only to fade into the wilderness + white peaks of Chinese terrain.

(Photo source: © Mohammad Osama / WWF-Pakistan)

Note: This poem was inspired by a nature documentary Rachel and I recently watched on Netflix called Ghost of the Mountains. A team of filmmakers track the snow leopard in the mountains of China in the documentary, enduring brutal weather and high altitudes in an attempt to capture the creature on film. We highly recommend the movie!

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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Among the Tombstones (a photo)

This picture was taken by Rachel (who’s an amazing photographer, by the way) during a trip we took to Sleepy Hollow, New York. That was an incredible trip. We took tons of pictures, but my favorites were from the old cemetery, where we spent at least an hour or so wandering around.

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‘Graveyard Carnival’ – a ghost story for Halloween!

Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday, and it’s right around the corner. The leaves are falling, I see pumpkins and ghoulish decorations during my nightly walks, and there’s a chill in the air.

I thought I would publish in full “Graveyard Carnival,” a short story of mine that appeared in Bewildering Stories last year. I’ve provided the link to the story on the blog before, but why not just post the whole thing?

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