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What is it about ghost stories that we love such much? Is it the impending doom looming over the main character, or perhaps it’s the cheap thrills and bumps in the night? The five books below truly capture the essence of a creepy ghost story – bearing in mind some of these chilling reads only came out this year.
When you think of scary stories, what name springs to mind? Stephen King of course. Not only does he turn out bestseller after bestseller, but his books also seem to make for some of the best film adaptations of all time.
How could anyone create a list of ghost stories and not mention The Shining, with an isolated hotel, creepy identical twins, what’s not to love? If you’re anything like Joey from Friends you’ll make sure you have plenty of room in the freezer before picking up this classic – REDRUM, REDRUM! However it’s Kings latest release that we’re interested in…
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (November 3, 2015)
Despite this book not being released yet we’ve had a quick read (perk of the job – sorry) and it’s ace. This book is King’s sixth collection of short stories; with around twenty tales of horror inside it’s a chunky read, perfect for a quick fright bite.
Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger (October 6, 2015)
Best selling author Audrey Niffenegger, known for The Time Traveller’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, has gone and put together a collection of the most chilling short stories around. Her Ghostly compilation includes the likes of Edgar Allen Poe to Kelly Link, M.R. James to Neil Gaiman, these tales depict the evolution of the ghost story genre, some dating back to the eighteenth century. Niffenegger has also included her own story “A Secret Life With Cats.” If you’re a collector this book is perfect for you. It has all the classics in one place.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (1983)
The Woman in Black is an obvious choice – but it’s just so good! The gothic style novella follows Arthur Kipps and his horrifying ordeal in the small English country town of Crythin Gifford. This book has been adapted several times for both stage and film – most famously with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. If you’re new to the ghost story genre start with this read. Slight spoiler: it’s not the happiest of endings.
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (2009)
The Little Stranger is set in a rundown mansion in Warwickshire, England in the 1940s – of course, where else would a creepy ghost filled story be set? Waters’ supernatural tale follows the adventures of Dr. Faraday, who is called to a patient at the eyrie Hundreds Hall – home to the Ayres family. The story forever leaves you questioning whether or not there is an actual haunting, but little does our protagonist know how closely his story is about to become intertwined with theirs.
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The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert (2006)
The Secret of Crickley Hall is a grisly tale that has all the components of a great classic ghost story. There’s the children’s home set in a rural coastal town in England, and of course where there is a children’s home there are children – queue eerie music. When the children are treated badly they hide away in the walls and floors of the home – as you do. But when a flood sweeps through the town the children hiding away have no way of escaping – I think you can see where this story is going. Herbert has perfected the genre with this gripping tale exploring true evil.