Creepy stories and pumpkin spiced lattes go hand in hand and will get you in the mood for Halloween this year.
From the King of horror fiction to debut authors, we have assembled a list of novels that you need to read this season. Check out our spooky favourites below.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent… In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women’s prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep – and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain? The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling’s Sheriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake. And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether…
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Why would you run scared from a happy home? You’re waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You’re making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That’s the last thing you remember. You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend isn’t so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe.
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
The only thing more dangerous than a lie . . . is the truth. When a family man is killed at point blank range in his home, it shakes a sleepy town to its core. The murder is a strange, horrifying crime but for the authorities it’s an open-and-shut case. Ten years on, the victim’s daughter, Josie, has started afresh in New York – far from the tragic events that blew her family apart. No-one knows the truth about her previous life, not even her fiance. Investigative journalist Poppy is convinced the wrong man is in jail for the murder and she’s determined to prove it. What starts off as a true-crime podcast snowballs into a national phenomenon and everyone has an opinion on the case. Poppy’s relentless pursuit of the truth threatens to expose old secrets. Josie realizes that her father’s murder could have consequences more devastating than she had ever imagined.
The Grip of It by Jac Jemc
Touring their prospective suburban home, Julie and James are stopped by a noise. Deep and vibrating, like throat singing. Ancient, husky, and rasping, but underwater. “That’s just the house settling,” the real estate agent assures them with a smile. He is wrong.
The move–prompted by James’s penchant for gambling and his general inability to keep his impulses in check–is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to start afresh. But this house, which sits between a lake and a forest, has its own plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to establish a sense of normalcy, the home and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The framework– claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms–becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall–contracting, expanding–and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of painful, grisly bruises.
Friend Request by Laura Marshall
Maria Weston wants to be friends with me Maybe that had been the problem all along: Maria Weston had wanted to be friends with me, but I let her down. She’s been hovering at the edge of my consciousness for all of my adult life, although I’ve been good at keeping her out, just a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye, almost but not quite out of sight. Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty-five years.
The Visitors by Catherine Burns
Can you escape the darkness within? Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar. Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden. As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.
Do you have a spooky story that you have flagged as your must-read this year? Tell us in the comments below.