Top Ten (+3) Tuesday: Books for Halloween

A few years ago, I did a Top Ten Tuesday post about my favourite reads for Halloween. This Tuesday the topic is Halloween freebie so I thought it’d be fun sharing a list of books on my TBR list that have an element of the supernatural/ paranormal/ psychological suspense. Do remember that while the books on the earlier list were ones that I had loved, these books are still unread so if they turn out to be disappointing, please don’t haunt me 😀

All the book descriptions are from Goodreads:

Experimental Film by Gemma Files

Experimental Film is a contemporary ghost story in which former Canadian film history teacher Lois Cairns-jobless and depressed in the wake of her son’s autism diagnosis-accidentally discovers the existence of lost early 20th century Ontario filmmaker Mrs. A. Macalla Whitcomb. By deciding to investigate how Mrs. Whitcomb’s obsessions might have led to her mysterious disappearance, Lois unwittingly invites the forces which literally haunt Mrs. Whitcomb’s films into her life, eventually putting her son, her husband and herself in danger. Experimental Film mixes painful character detail with a creeping aura of dread to produce a fictionalized “memoir” designed to play on its readers’ narrative expectations and pack an existentialist punch.

The Other by Thomas Tryon

Entranced and terrified, the reader of The Other is swept up in the life of a Connecticut country town in the thirties—and in the fearful mysteries that slowly darken and overwhelm it.

Originally published in 1971, The Other is one of the most influential horror novels ever written. Its impeccable recreation of small-town life and its skillful handling of the theme of personality transference between thirteen-year-old twins led to widespread critical acclaim for the novel, which was successfully filmed from Thomas Tryon’s own screenplay.

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

England, 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners—including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

The Fisherman by John Langan

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman’s Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot

The time of my end approaches…..Darkness-darkness-no pain-nothing but darkness: but I am passing on and on through the darkness: my thought stays in the darkness, but always with a sense of moving onward . . .Before that time comes, I wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

On a damp October night, 24-year-old Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror film director Stanislaus Cordova–a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world. The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

The 5 False Suicides by James Scott Byrnside

It’s 1947 and Gretta Grahame is doing her best. She has successfully escaped her past for several years, settling in the safe, sleepy town of New Sweden, Maine. Besides working at the local library, Gretta is president of her murder-mystery book club. She knows a lot about murder mysteries. She claims there’s no plot she can’t unravel…

Except for the one she’s in.

A suicide in the family leads to the discovery of a curse running through more than 2 generations of Grahames. In fact, Gretta learns that all of her relatives have committed suicide and she will be next. Gretta enlists the help of a witch, a man who was present at the formation of the curse all those years ago.

Gretta must travel to a nearly-deserted isle to lift the curse and save herself from her own hand. Her friends from the book club join her. None of them are suicidal, yet they start killing themselves inside locked rooms. What is causing all these suicides? Is it murder? How? Why? Gretta and her book club will have to solve the mystery before they all do themselves in. The Five False Suicides is a murder mystery like no other.

Song of the Damned by Sarah Rayne

The headmistress of Cresacre Abbey School has asked Phineas Fox to establish whether an opera, to be performed as part of the school’s bicentenary celebrations, plagiarises an earlier work. During the course of his investigations, Phin discovers that curious legends about the school’s past still linger, including the fate of a group of nuns who disappeared without trace more than 200 years before. What exactly happened to them? And who is the mysterious Ginevra, the shadowy figure whose true identity has never been known …?

As he delves further, Phin begins to unravel a series of interlocking secrets, each one more puzzling – and sinister – than the last.

Haunted by James Herbert

Three nights of terror in a house called Edbrook. Three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting, will be the victim of horrifying and maleficent games. Three nights in which he will face the enigma of his own past. Three nights before Edbrook’s dreadful secret will be revealed – and the true nightmare will begin.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

A young family moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story—of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


Which of these were new for you? Which are on your wishlist too? Which one(s) did you like/ not like? Which one can I drop? Do share.


Part of A Baker’s Dozen


16 thoughts on “Top Ten (+3) Tuesday: Books for Halloween

  1. I like your approach to this Top Ten Tuesday, Neeru. Some stories with a supernatural element can be really, really eerie and suspenseful, so I can see how you’d have chosen these. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of Tryon, so that looks interesting. And you’ve got an Eliot here, too – time I re-read some of her work. Thanks for the reminder, and I hope you enjoy these when you get to them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A Head Full of Ghosts was one of the more white-knuckle books I’ve read in a while. The sense of dread that built over the course of the book was incredible. It made my TTT of scary things this week, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to the blog, Michael. That book seemed very interesting from its summary and ‘white-knuckle’ is a very strong recommendation so I am going to read it as soon as I can. Coming over to see what else you have recommended.


    1. Yes, The Lost Ones does seem good because I am wondering whether it’s just a ‘haunted house’ book or a story about a troubled, bereaving woman who might be envious of her sister.


  3. I really enjoyed The Lifted Veil, though I’ve seen other reviews from people who didn’t think much of it. It’s an odd sort of cross between supernatural and science fiction, and very well written as you’d expect from George Eliot. Haven’t read any of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad to hear that you enjoyed The Lifted Veil, FF because it’s on my Classics Club List. Supernatural + Science Fiction does seem very very strange coming from George Eliot (not that I have read much of her).

      Liked by 1 person

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