Witches and vampires and ghosts—oh my! Get into the Halloween spirit this year with 10 ghoulish reads that are full of monsters, hauntings, spells, and more.
No tricks, only treats!
We’re giving away copies of one of our feature books—Basic Witches!
Keep reading to enter.
The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
For hundreds of years we’ve heard tales of witches living among us; chilling recounts like the Salem witch trials and witches being burned at the stake. Now, within the pages of The Witchfinder’s Sister, lives another tale—inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins—a thrilling debut that blends spellbinding history with echoes of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for a truly haunting reading experience.
Essex, England, 1645. Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in finding refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth—but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.
There is a new darkness in the town, too—frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene—and deathly afraid of the consequences.
Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission—and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils—before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.
SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.
The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away. And Andy is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.
A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft, Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Caution: this haunting ghost story is will keep you up at night. Keep the lights on.
One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.
Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice
Careful . . . you’ll wake the dead.
Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra.
Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old.
This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.
Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, and Ghosts by Barbara H. Solomon
They are the fearful images that have stalked humanity’s nightmares for centuries, supernatural creatures that feast on flesh and haunt the soul, macabre and uncanny beings that frighten and fascinate the imagination.
Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, and Ghosts collects classic stories from literary masters like Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Anne Sexton, and Rudyard Kipling, who were inspired by folklore and mythology who dared to explore the darker side of human nature and crafted tales that defied convention, stirred up controversy, and gave life to a storytelling genre that has endured for generations.
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story.
In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts.
The home’s new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unfortunately, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 died on impact or drowned. The body count? Thirty-nine—a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door.
Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village–self-proclaimed herbalists–and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?
The result is a poignant and powerful ghost story full of characters we care about deeply. Even though some of those characters are dead . . .
“Boasts all the trappings of a classic Gothic horror story, reminiscent in places of the spousal secrets in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown, the thrills of Rosemary’s Baby, and the psychological frights of Daphne du Maurier . . . A perfect book for Halloween . . . That thump thump you hear as you read is only your heart leaping from your chest.” —The Washington Post
The Passage by Justin Cronin
“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.
“The monsters in this compulsive nail biter are the scariest in fiction since Stephen King’s vampires in Salem’s Lot. . . . This exceptional thriller should be one of the most popular novels this year and will draw in readers everywhere.” —Library Journal (starred review)
The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher
History comes alive in this textured account of the rivalry between Harry Houdini and the so-called Witch of Lime Street, igniting our imagination and asking the timeless question: Is there life after death?
The 1920s are famous as the golden age of jazz and glamour, but it was also an era of fevered yearning for communion with the spirit world, after the loss of tens of millions in the First World War and the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with dead loved ones precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics—and, as reputable media sought stories on occult phenomena, mediums became celebrities.
Against this backdrop, in 1924, the wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery’s powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince . . . the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini.
Looking for a Real Scare?
Ghostland by Colin Dickey
Take a road trip through some of the country’s most famously haunted places—and travel deep into the dark side of our history.
Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as “the most haunted mansion in America,” or “the most haunted prison”; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.
Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living—how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made—and why those changes are made—Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved.
A Spooktacular Giveaway!
Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman
Enter to win a copy of Basic Witches—a magical lifestyle guide for everything from powering up a stylish crystal to banishing terrible Tinder dates.
Want to feel terrifyingly beautiful? Wear the right color of eye shadow to project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Repeat the proper incantation and make it disappear. Want to increase your energy? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to rev up your stamina. DIY projects, rituals, and spells—along with fun historical sidebars—summon the best trends of the modern witchy lifestyle and the time-trusted traditions of the hell-raising women of the past. With humor, heart, and a hip sensibility, Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman dispense witchy wisdom for the curious, the cynical, and anyone who could use a magical boost.