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There's a chill in the air, the leaves are changing, and the sky is a little darker when I get home from work each day. It's officially my favorite time of year - fall!! What's a better way to spend free time this month than curling up with some hot cider and a spooky book? Nothing. Nothing is better than that.
Here is a list of books I'd recommend reading if you are like me and need a little spooky, ghostly presence in your life right now.
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
For a while, I associated all classic books with the boredom and misery that was "required reading" in my middle school and high school days. Once I could get past that stigma and dive into some classics, Jane Eyre became one of my favorite book of all time. I'm not usually big into romance, but this isn't just any love story - it's a spooky love story. It has every element I could dream of; it's scary, dark, mysterious, romantic, moving, and has a strong and independent woman as the protagonist. It's purely entertaining in every way. Jane Eyre, an orphan with a tumultuous upbringing, grows up to become the governess at Thornfield Hall. There she falls in love unexpectedly, until buried secrets and a dark presence in the house threaten to tear apart the first happiness she has found. This. Is. A. Must. Read.
2. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
I love a good old fashioned ghost story. Set that story in England, in a haunted mansion? I'm in. This book follows the story of Dr. Faraday and the Ayers family. Dr. Faraday first comes into contact with the reclusive family when their housekeeper falls ill. What starts as a simple house call turns into a lasting relationship with the very unusual family, and the Doctor finds himself swept up in the usual events that surround them. Have patience at the beginning of this book - while you get to know the characters very well, it takes time for Waters to really get into the meat of the story. Once you do though, this book becomes the definition of a page turner.
3. An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James
After her Uncle dies under mysterious circumstances, young Jillian Leigh must settle his affairs in the quiet seaside village of Rothwell. The very first night Jillian spends into Barrow House, her Uncle's former residence, strange things begin to occur that are more than just a little unsettling. Cue the arrival of the handsome Scotland Yard Detective Drew Merriken, and you've got yourself quite a spooky story with a bit of romance. This book really dives right in to the suspense and terror, and I loved it. Set in the 1920's, you get a healthy dose of the paranormal in the days before cell phones and video cameras.
4. The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb
When her mother passes away suddenly, Grace Alban must return to the massive (haunted) estate of the Alban Family for the first time in 20 years, with her teenage daughter in tow. As she begins to take on the responsibility that comes with being the head of the Alban family, she unearths many long buried family secrets. The more she uncovers, the more she begins to believe there truly is an "Alban Family Curse." It seems there might be more than ghosts lurking in the hidden passages and secret tunnels of her family home, and she must get to the bottom of it before it's too late. I have to admit that of all the books on this list, I liked the writing the least in this book. The character names were silly, the relationships were very underdeveloped, and Webb uses certain phrases very frequently (for example if I read the words "She held her gaze..." one more time...........) HOWEVER, I did find it to be quite an exciting story and I could look past some of the shortfalls of the writing and just enjoy the ride. If you want a mindless, quick read with a boatload of action and mystery, and a good dash of the paranormal, then this one is for you.
5. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
Imagine you are 19 years old, you live "off the grid" in a quiet Vermont Town, and you come home one night to find that your mother - the person you rely on for survival - is gone. That's what happens to Ruthie Washburn and her little sister Fawn in a town that's no stranger to mysterious disappearances and ancient folklore. I don't want to say much more than that - this book is super creepy and a wicked fun read. You just have to read it.
Have a favorite ghost story that you reccomend? Tell me in the comments below! Happy reading!!