Early Closing: The Headquarters Library will close at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, due to street closures for the Christmas Parade.

Horror fiction

11/30/2016 - 1:03pm
Asylum by Madeleine Roux

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

If you like spooky, supernatural stories, check out these popular titles:

Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Three teens at a summer program for gifted students uncover shocking secrets in the sanatorium-turned-dorm where they're staying—secrets that link them all to the asylum's dark past. (catalog summary)
 

 

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Sixteen-year-old Cordelia and her family move into the house they just inherited in Pennsylvania, a former insane asylum the locals call Hysteria Hall—unfortunately the house does not want defiant girls like Delia, so it kills her, and as she wanders the house, meeting the other ghosts and learning the dark secrets of the Hall, she realizes that she has to find a way to save her sister, parents, and perhaps herself. (catalog summary)

 

 


 

The Fall by Bethany Griffin
A retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" in which Madeline and her twin brother, Roderick, suffer from the Usher family illness but she hears the House talking to her, filling her dreams, controlling her actions, and ensuring she never leaves the property. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/26/2016 - 12:25pm
Cover to Anna Dressed in Blood

It's the time of year when skies turn gray, dead leaves are underfoot, and horror stories feel just right. I've found some corkers for you: things with teeth or bad intentions. There are novels; for those who prefer their horror in small, uh, bites, there are short stories, too. All are written by women. Have fun and pleasant dreams!

10/21/2016 - 10:16am
If you like Creepy Classics

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
 "We will each write a story," poet Lord Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror -- one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. (catalog summary)

Here are other creeptastic classics you must get your claws on, and read:
 

 

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
Howard Philips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the 1920s, discarding ghosts and witches, and instead envisioning mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. S. T. Joshi, Lovecraft's preeminent interpreter, presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Call of Cthulhu." (catalog summary)



 

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker's classic vampire story has haunted and disturbed the modern imagination for a hundred years. Set in Transylvania, London, and Whitby, it pits the sinister but seductive Count Dracula against a team of Vampire-hunters armed only with typewriters, phonographs, and syringes. Vividly presented in the form of diaries and letters, the narrative blends ancient superstitions with modern technologies, and pulsates with obsessive fears of foreignness and sexuality. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/14/2016 - 12:38am
If you like The Shining by Stephen King

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

The Shining by Stephen King
Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote--and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old. (catalog summary)
 

If you like Stephen King, read some of his other popular horror novels:

 

Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. (catalog summary)

 

 

Cujo By Stephen King
It happens innocently enough, but doesn't it always. A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave--and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind. (catalog summary)

 

09/06/2016 - 3:34pm
If you like the TV series Stranger Things

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Stranger Things is an American science fiction/horror Web television series created by the Duffer Brothers (Wayward Pines). The plot follows the disappearance of a young boy. A telekinetic girl helps his friends in their search, while the boy's older brother and the town police chief start their own investigations. The show is set in 1980s Indiana and is a nod to 80s pop culture, channeling the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George Lucas.

The show was released on Netflix on July 15, 2016. It received positive reviews for its characterization, pacing, atmosphere, acting, soundtrack, directing, writing, and homages to 1980s genre films. A second season will be released in 2017. (Wikipedia

Once you've finished binge-watching Stranger Things, here are a few books involving 80s nostalgia and/or horrifying mysteries to keep the adventure going.

 


Boy's Life by Robert McCammon
The lake's depths claim a car and a corpse. Cory and his father begin searching for the truth of this death. Cory's life explodes into a kaleidoscope of clues and puzzles. As he searches for a killer, he learns more about the meaning of life and death. (catalog summary)

 

 

 


The Boy Who Drew Monsters
by Keith Donohue
Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, 10-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy's only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings. While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all. (catalog summary)
 

09/05/2016 - 12:13am
Escape from Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Ricky Desmond is in trouble. Big trouble.

The seventeen-year-old is now in his third “treatment” facility, and Brookline Hospital is much different from the rest. In fact, it’s a mental asylum.

08/13/2016 - 10:43am
If you like Spooky Adventure Reads

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Do you want plenty of adventure, but some spookiness too? Check out these titles.

Always October by Bruce Coville
Best friends Jake and "Weird Lily" enter the monster-filled land of Always October, made famous in Jake's grandfather's books, to save a foundling who becomes a monster during the full moon. (catalog summary)

 

Books by Betty Lynn Wright
These books are great for late elementary-middle grade readers.

A Ghost in the Family
While visiting his friend Jeannie's eccentric Aunt Rosebud in a boarding house that may be haunted, ten-year-old Chad comes across a mystery involving a missing diamond bracelet.

Other books by Betty Lynn Wright: The Ghost in Room 11, Haunted SummerOut of the Dark, The Ghosts of Mercy Manor, Crandall's Castle, The Dollhouse Murders, Too Many Secrets 


 

Books by Mary Downing Hahn
These books are great for late elementary-middle grade readers.

All The Lovely Bad Ones
While spending the summer at their grandmother's Vermont inn, two prankster siblings awaken young ghosts from the inn's distant past who refuse to "rest in peace."

Other books by Mary Downing Hahn: The Doll in the Garden, Wait Till Helen Comes, Took, Closed for the SeasonThe Old Willis Place, Time for Andrew

 

08/11/2016 - 10:33am
If you like the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you.  Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Book #1 in the Mortal Instruments series)
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

If you like City of Bones you'll want to read the rest of the Mortal Instruments series: City of AshesCity of GlassCity of Fallen AngelsCity of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire.

 

If you are an adult, and you like the Mortal Insturment series, try these titles as well:

 


13 Bullets by David Wellington (The other book in the series: 99 Coffins)
The first in a bloodcurdling trilogy, the terrifying novel that became an Internet sensation is finally available in print. Featuring Laura Caxton and Jameson Arkeley's fight against a fast, furious, and truly vicious foe, this novel reignites the vampire genre for a new generation. (catalog summary)
 


 

Blood Kiss: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
Paradise, blooded daughter of the king's First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood's training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself...be herself. It's a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it's very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O'Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer , is having serious problems in his own life. And that's before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated--and left wondering whether she's strong enough to claim her own power...on the field, and off. (catalog summary)

 

08/08/2016 - 1:05pm
If you like The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova 
Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. (catalog summary)

If you enjoyed this book's mixture of history, mystery, and suspense, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

 

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. (catalog summary)


 

 

 

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell's punishments from Dante's Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante's literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club members must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret. (catalog summay)

 

 

07/28/2016 - 11:08am
If you like The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

In 1978, Stephen King introduced the world to the last Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Nothing has been the same since. Over twenty years later, the quest for the Dark Tower continues to take readers on a wildly epic ride. Through parallel worlds and across time, Roland must brave desolate wastelands and endless deserts, drifting into the unimaginable and the familiar as the road to the Dark Tower extends beyond its own pages. A classic tale of colossal scope--crossing over terrain from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, 'Salem's Lot and other familiar King haunts--the adventure takes hold with the turn of each page. (catalog summary)

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (Book #1 of The Dark Tower series)
The story centers upon Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, who has been chasing after his adversary, "the man in black," for many years. The novel follows Roland's trek through a vast desert and beyond in search of the man in black. Roland meets several people along his journey, including a boy named Jake Chambers who travels with him part of the way. (Wikipedia)

If you like The Gunslinger, read the rest of the books in the epic series:

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