Guest post by Sydney from Bookpals (@bookpals)
It. Is. Spooky. Season. Raise your hand if Halloween is your absolute favourite holiday of all time? Yes. Yes spooky babies, I see you and I am here for you.
Why do we love Halloween? For me it’s a potent cocktail of pure nostalgia (grade school halloween parades yes please), inappropriate-for-my-age-horror-movie viewing (sure dad, let’s watch Alien 3, I’m only 8 years old) and an unabiding love of dressing up has been brewing and bubbling my whole life.
Young Sydney one hundred and ten percent believed in ghosts, goblins, witches and gremlins. Did I start a Ghostbusters society at my elementary school? Yes. Did I make a Witch Business at age nine with my best friend complete with business cards? Also yes. Did I borrow the same book on poltergeists over and over again from the library and bother my mother incessantly with “facts” about gremlins? Hard yes.
I was a spooky kid. I loved weird and wonderful things even though they absolutely scared the pants off of me. I don’t think I’ve grown into a particularly spooky adult, but my love of Halloween runs deep and true. Here’s some books to get you in the spooky mood (as if you would need help…)
N0S4A2 by Joe Hill
Vic McQueen is able to find lost things in a way even she doesn’t understand. One day she finds something she shouldn’t have and has a life-changing run in with terrifying Charles Manx. She manages to escape but Manx never forgets a face, especially one like Vic’s. Sure his dad is the kind of horror but Joe Hill wrote a book that genuinely creeped me right the heck out and was quite well written.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Girls have always disappeared from the island of Sawkill Rock, but nobody talks about it. New girl Marion crosses paths with Val and Zoey and between the three of them, they’re getting to the bottom of this (no matter how little each of them wants to be involved) This reads like a very enjoyable scary movie and gave me the shivers a few times
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
A New England girls’ field hockey team makes a deal with some dark magic to win their 1989 season. Not particularly scary but definitely spooky and absolutely worth a read (plus 10/10 for fall atmosphere)
How Long ‘til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin
You won’t find this short story collection in the horror section at your bookstore but trust me, some of the wild creations that come from Jemisin’s mind could easily wind up there. You meet monsters (human and non), dystopian futures and some truly scary witches.
The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James
Carly’s aunt Viv disappeared in the middle of the night in November 1982 after working the night shift at the Sundown Motel. Carly wants some answers about her aunt’s disappearance and in her search for the truth finds herself working at the Sundown, with the exact same shift as her aunt. Will Carly suffer the same fate as Viv? Fans of the supernatural and true crime will find things to like.
Sydney is one half of Bookpals, a Canadian bookstagram duo. She works full time as a midwife and loves Halloween, ’80s movies, bad dancing and her three cats.