What's Your Spooky Vibe?

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October is almost over, but that doesn’t mean the spooky reading has to stop. Still unsure of what to read to get those chills and thrills? Pick a spooky building below to get some creepy suggestions. Some might be more blood curdling than others, but all should give us that chilly ghostly vibe we have all been searching for this season. 




An old Victorian style house with an iron fence against a gray cloudy sky

Haunted House Vibes:
The haunted house trope is a classic if I ever saw one. People have been writing haunting tales for hundreds if not thousands of years all revolving around creepy looking houses. It can be hard to see an old house and not want it to be haunted. There is just something thrilling about a deeply emotional horror house tale. Speaking of classics - we are starting our recommendations off with The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. She’s a top name in gothic fiction and for good reason. For a nonfiction take, you can try The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. Whether you believe or not, it’s still bound to give you the creeps. For a more contemporary take, try these titles:

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
Gallows Hill by Darcy Coates.

Haunted Church Vibes:
Churches can be daunting even when they aren’t haunted. Many of them are big with those vaulted ceilings that echo. And being a church it isn’t hard to imagine great spirits of the beyond walking the hallowed halls. Here are some eepy creepy books with church buildings and religious tones:

Midnight by Dean Koontz
The Exorcist by Williamm Peter Blatty
Horns by Joe Hill

And for a nonfiction spin, try:
Possessed: the True Story of an Exorcism by Thomas Allen. 

And inside view of an abandoned church or abbey. There is a hazy misty quality to the photo that makes it seem otherworldly. The roof of the building is long gone and there are vines and trees growing up and around the walls.  A person stands before a cross shaped window cut into the far wall.
A moss covered castle looking red rick mausoleum

Haunted Mausoleum and Graveyard Vibes:
I love a good graveyard both in stories and in real life. Graveyards have been both some of the creepiest places I have visited and the most peaceful…I think it mostly depends on what time of day you are visiting. And one never truly feels alone in such a place. For some ghostly graveyard themes and spooks, try the following titles:

The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Dracula by Bram Stoker


Haunted Hospital Vibes:
These ones get me because even though I respect all the doctors and nurses for everything they do, hospitals give me the absolute creeps. I don't know if it's the solid white washed walls or the constant smell of antiseptic, but they always give me the chills without the thrills. Add in old, abandoned, and overgrown and you have got a horror story in the making. Not to mention that early medicine had some horror shows of its own with people still being alive. If these are the feelings you are going for, try the following:

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
The Foundling by Ann Leary
The Deep by Alma Katsu
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

An open to the outdoors hallway looks out on a hundred small windows of an old abandoned hospital building. The building is a mix of beige, gray, and rusty red in colors.
Oxford Library: a round, beige brick building with an old copper dome on top. It appears to be about three levels high with an iron fence around it.

Haunted Library Vibes:
What kind of librarian would I be if I didn’t include some books including some creepy and off putting libraries? Libraries are full of mystery and many library buildings are old and have rich historical backgrounds. It's no wonder that people feel they are haunted by their library's past. We even like to joke about CGPL having its own ghost (it's really just a big building that makes settling noises at night). But it’s fun to imagine and even more fun to get a harmless jump scare out of our coworkers. Not all of these reads may be scary, but they are definitely weird and otherworldly! Perfect for those fall feelings:

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Lost Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox
The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell.

Haunted School/University Vibes:
So many of these might fall under dark academia, but that’s okay. Sometimes the things that haunt us aren’t really ghosts but secrets and lies. It’s usually an added bonus if there is some sort of supernatural element added to the mix. I love a good creepy school story. Here is a list of a few to get you into the spooky spirit:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Bunny by Mona Awad

A Black and White (gray scale) phot of a stone archway that opens out onto a college courtyard. A girl leans against the stones of the archway which makes her appear as the size of a small animal in the picture.
A dilapidated penitentiary hallway with a crumbling set of stairs to the right of the photo and rotting doors along the hallway to the left.



Creepy Jail/Penitentiary:
Even jails that aren’t haunted give creepy, gloomy vibes. They aren’t supposed to be a happy place that inspires joy, but they still tend to be creepier than they need to be in my opinion. And Missouri has one of the most haunted penitentiaries in the U.S.  the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO. They even give haunted tours of the place because people believe it's so scary. And I really can’t blame them. Just look at the picture (featured here). It screams creepy haunted places. So, if these are the kinds of books you are looking for, here are a few suggestions:

The Inmate by Freida McFadden
Fellside by M.R. Carey
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix



There are a lot of cool and creepy places around Cape Girardeau. Some of them are even supposedly haunted. So if you are looking for something like that without having to set foot on potentially haunted ground, give some of these books a chance. You might just find your new favorite kind of book. And for more spooky, creepy, thrilling reading recommendations-check out the featured items below. Happy reading!




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