Books that aren’t too terrifying for Halloween

I can be a little nervous with anything too gory or violent but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to be a bit spooked during the winter months. When looking for darker stories I want something with great atmosphere and an imaginative plot – preferably with a few twists and turns along the way. Here are a few books I’m planning to read this year and also a few of my old favourites

Ghost Stories by E.Nesbit

If you enjoyed E.S Nesbit’s children’s books The Railway Children, Five Children and It, then you’ll probably love this collection of her adult ghost stories. I’ve been dipping in and out of this book for the last month and really enjoying it. E.S Nesbit has a beautiful style of writing and these short stories really pack a punch creating an unnerving atmosphere amongst  creating tales that still have that Edwardian setting that will please Classic fans.

Night at the Circus by Angela Carter

I’ve wanted to read this for ages and this is my first dip into Angela Carter too. The promise of magic and romance made it feel like the perfect book to add sparkle to October evenings as the nights start getting darker. The story follows a beautiful circus performer who has wings like a swan and dazzles the world. Her story is unravelled by an American journalist who joins the circus following her through the snowy landscapes of Russia and Siberia. This book grabs you from the first page and is completely absorbing. I’m nearly finished and I have loved every word, sentence and page.

The Phantom of the Opera
by Gaston Leroux

The success of the musical seems to have overshadowed the novel itself. Even if you aren’t a fan of musicals the concept of a cursed Parisian theatre haunted by a phantom who enchants the beautiful and talented singer Christine, is a good’un.  It’s also not a huge read coming in at …. pages. I thought I’d be dealing with some sort of War and Peace sized epic but should fly through this one. It’s clearly a lot shorter without the songs.

I hope that I have shared a few books that I’m reading that will inspire but if not, here are a few of my all time spookie favourites.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A governess is sent to an idilic country house to care for two orphaned children. Flora and Miles capture her heart but gradually the governess begins to realise all is not as it seems, and although she is determined to save the children, things start to get a lot more sinister. The tension that builds throughout will leave you feeling thoroughly spooked.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

A lonely mansion house only accessible by a causeway is the setting of this creepy tale. A young solicitor is sent to Eel Marsh House to look after the affairs of recently deceased Mrs Alice Drablow. As he works through her papers, he discovers the tragic story of her life. Will he survive his time living across the fog covered causeway? And will he discover who The Woman in Black really is?

The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens

If you haven’t read Dickens then this is a great place to start. The Signal-Man is a short, mysterious story of a railway disaster on which the signalman works. The storytelling and atmosphere is everything you expect from Dickens. This is not one to miss!

I would love to know which books you are planning to read or if you have read any of the above and would like to tell me about them. Let me know on twitter or in the comments below.

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