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January 13, 2023

5 Spooky Books for Friday the 13th Reading

by Donna Huber

Happy Friday the 13th! Are you looking for something spooky and creepy to read tonight? Here's a short list to get you started.

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Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories

book cover of horror anthology Taaqtumi

My post-apocalyptic book club read this book this month. It is a great anthology for winter reading. I think we all agreed that "Lounge" was the creepiest of the stories. All the stories are pretty short ("Lounge" was the longest) so you should be able to read through all of them this weekend.

“Taaqtumi” is an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark”—and these spine-tingling horror stories by Northern writers show just how dangerous darkness can be. A family clinging to survival out on the tundra after a vicious zombie virus. A door that beckons, waiting to unleash the terror behind it. A post-apocalyptic community in the far North where things aren’t quite what they seem. With chilling tales from award-winning authors Richard Van Camp, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, Aviaq Johnston, and others, this collection will thrill and entertain even the most seasoned horror fan. (Goodreads)

Buy Taaqtumi at Amazon

Japanese Ghost Stories by Lafcadio Hearn

book cover of horror anthology Japanese GHost Stories by Lafcadio Hearn

You know I'm not much of a horror reader but I've really enjoyed the Japanese literature I have read recently which makes me want to read this. 

In this collection of classic ghost stories from Japan, beautiful princesses turn out to be frogs, paintings come alive, deadly spectral brides haunt the living, and a samurai delivers the baby of a Shinto goddess with mystical help. Here are all the phantoms and ghouls of Japanese folklore: 'rokuro-kubi', whose heads separate from their bodies at night; 'jikininki', or flesh-eating goblins; and terrifying faceless 'mujina' who haunt lonely neighbourhoods. Lafcadio Hearn, a master storyteller, drew on traditional Japanese folklore, infused with memories of his own haunted childhood in Ireland, to create these chilling tales. They are today regarded in Japan as classics in their own right. (Goodreads)

Buy Japanese Ghost Stories at Amazon

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

book cover of horror stories anthology Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

It looks like there are 3 volumes in this series of scary stories. This volume is just 88 pages long so you might want to pick up the Scary Stories Treasury which contains all three volumes.

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories -- and even scary songs -- all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.

If You Dare! (Goodreads)

(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE)

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

book cover of coming-of-age novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

This book might be more my speed when it comes to scary reads (I'm such a wuss). It reminds me of when we would tell ghost stories during slumber parties. It's just a couple of hundred pages so just the right length for a weekend read.

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends. Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls - a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place - Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the "Saturday Night Ghost Club." But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly light-hearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become, and establishes Craig Davidson as a remarkable literary talent. (Goodreads)

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

book cover of middle grades scary story Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

If you are celebrating with middle school-aged children, then I recommend this book (read my review).

Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles—and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it? (Goodreads)

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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