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6 Books to Stay in the Halloween Spirit Even After October 31st

Halloween is here but it will soon be gone. That’s how days go. They’re here one day and, the next? Gone. But just because October 31st will pass, it doesn’t mean you have to let go of the Halloween spirit. Keep the spirit alive with these killer reads!


1. The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares


Invention of Morel cover

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Casares’ 1940 novella is not exactly a horror story, but it is unsettling. When a fugitive washes up on an island by himself, he soon realizes it’s not deserted. The issue is the inhabitants seem to be stuck in some sort of timeloop. It’s a ghost story where the ghosts have a warped basis in retro sci-fi. When the fugitive falls for one of these techno ghosts, he inserts himself into her life. The living haunt the dead.


Referring to the plot, Jorge Luis Borges said, “To classify it as perfect is neither an imprecision nor a hyperbole.” It’s a quick read too! You may even finish it on one stormy night.


2. At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft


Mountains of Madness cover

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During an expedition to Antarctica, a group of academics uncover an ancient civilization, an alien race, and a cosmic deity. The cosmic deity is tentacle-faced Cthulhu. Between the frigid vistas and ghastly revelations, this story will definitely keep you up at night.


This classic Lovecraft novella will chill and challenge you. It won’t be easy to imagine Cthulhu up in the sky, but just try. It’s fun. 


3. The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder


Witches of Worm cover

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This 1972 horror classic features cats, exorcisms, and witches. Sad teenager Jenny adopts a blind, sickly cat, which she names Worm. Her creepy neighbor Mrs. Fortune helps raise the cat. Soon Jenny starts acting cruelly to her friends and family. She begins to suspect Worm is bewitching her. Yes, Worm. The cat. Her reasoning? Because Worm is also bewitched by a group of witches. The logic checks out.


4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


The Turn of the Screw cover

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No spooky reading list would be complete without mentioning James’ foundational horror novel. The Turn of the Screw is a gothic ghost story that follows a young governess charged with caring for a couple young children as she stays in a remote country house. Then the ghosts start appearing. The moment of crisis is haunting and unforgettable, and James’ creeping psychological realism leaves every corner of the narrator’s mind explored. The ghosts, though. So spooky.


5. The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn


The Devil Crept In cover

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A young boy goes missing in Deer Valley, Oregon, and the investigation is the town’s highest priority. The missing boy’s cousin, Stevie Clark, enlists himself to solve his cousin’s disappearance. He has watched a lot of cop shows, so he knows what he’s doing. But Deer Valley’s past unsolved mysteries and disappearances begin to resurface, sending the town, and little Stevie, into an unimaginable terror.


6. The Changeling by Victor LaValle


The Changeling cover

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Apollo and Emma are happy newlyweds and new parents. They’re living in Brooklyn, having a good time with their baby boy… until Emma commits the worst crime imaginable between a mother and her child. She then goes missing. Apollo must uncover New York City’s hidden corners and digs up a mysterious mysticism underlying his everyday life. LaValle’s book is as riveting as it is unsettling. I’d say it starts like Love, Actually then becomes Rosemary’s Baby and then becomes Jurassic Park. Yes, the tone really is that all over the place, but it pays off.


These are sure to give you a spooky Holiday season after the Halloween willies have worn off.


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