October is a perfect time for a scary book. Not only does it boast of having Halloween at the end of it, but here in the Low Country you will sometimes see morning fog hovering over the moss shrouded trees. There is just something here that wants to be scary like the ghost tours at The Brentwood or the ghostly carriage rides in Savannah. Maybe it is because the South is so steeped in history. Most battles during the Revolutionary War were fought in South Carolina, Civil War battlefields dot the countryside from Virginia down to Louisiana, and hurricanes themselves make for good ghostly stories.
Here is my list of favorite books to get your ghost on. Two of them take place in the South, all are scary in some way.
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White - This is the first of White's Tradd Street series. A young realtor in Charleston inherits an old house. As she starts to renovate the house she finds out all out its spooky history and a few skeletons in the closet as well. You'll enjoy the rest of the series as well.
Sanctuary by William Faulkner - This is truly a Southern Gothic novel. It’s, in part, about the corruption of an Ole Miss debutante, who gets side-tracked at an old decrepit country mansion belonging to a bootlegger and his criminal associates having been brought to the mansion by her date. Faulkner considered this book, a "potboiler", written strictly for money, but it was a breakthrough novel for him.
Beloved by Toni Morrison - Sethe is a former slave who is haunted by the embodied spirit of her dead infant. This is a tough story but scary in many different ways.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - If you enjoy Gothic novels this will be right up your alley. A young author is contacted by a revered writer, Vida Winter, to help her pen her autobiography. Everything that has previously been written about Vida has been lies she has told to others. Now it seems she wants to come clean. She has some rules though and, of course, some interesting revelations.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough - This book takes weird to a whole new level. Louise meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. When she goes to work the next day she realizes he is her new, married, boss, David. They continue the relationship and soon she meets David's wife Adele. They become best friends and Louise finds herself in the middle of David and Adele's very twisted relationship. Be prepared for a surprise ending on this.
Disclaimer by Renee Knight - A novel appears on Catherine Ravenscroft's bedside table. She starts to read it and realizes the story is about her and an incident which took place 20 years ago. As the author intrudes further and further into Catherine's life it becomes very clear that a secret she has harbored for years is rearing its ugly head with terrible consequences.
Are there any spooky books you'd recommend during this Halloween season? Let me know.
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