Creepy Days, Creepy Lists, Creepy Books


October 14, 2014 by Ray Yanek


We are, without a doubt, a culture of lists.

There are Bestseller lists, Bucket Lists, Shit Lists and Grocery Lists.  Get on the internet and you’ll find lists of the Top Ten Foods to Avoid,  Eight Ways to Find Happiness, Seven Ways to Get More Sex (none of which work, by the way) and so on.

Lists are everywhere, and my favorite lists generally have to do with books.  Not long ago the List Ten Books That Somehow Impacted Your Life challenge went viral on Facebook and now, this time of year, you can find lists of the scariest and/or creepiest books to read during this scariest of seasons.

So if you haven’t seen any of those lists, I thought I would direct you towards a couple here in this post.   Perhaps you’ve read some (or most) of the books on these lists. There are always books you forget about reading, and for me at least, seeing them on these lists bring back a lot of found memories.  Maybe ( again, like it happened for me) you’ll find something interesting to pick and enjoy on these cool nights.

It was also interesting to see what were favorites and found themselves on many lists. Stephen King was obviously everywhere, from The Shining (probably the most common) to Salem’s Lot (the one most responsible for turning me into a blubbering sissy when I was in high school), It is often around (clowns you, know) and Pet Cemetery shows up every now again.

A strong 2nd to King is a book that I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read: The Hauntinghill house of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  I don’t know why I’ve never read it.  I’ve taught Jackson’s The Lottery on many different levels to many different students, and that story alone was fairly terrifying and Hill House seems to have all the necessary ingredients for ghost stories that I love– a haunted house, an occult investigator, a young women acquainted with poltergeists…

Yeah, that’s going to have to get read this Fall…

Right after another book that I found on these lists.  The book is called Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.  I cannot for the life of me find the list that introduced me to this book but here’s the blurb from Amazon:

January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year dark mattersold Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. . . At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay. . . As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. . .  And Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

Yeah.  If it wasn’t dark and rainy and if my wife was home from work, I’d be reading the hell out of that book right now…

But she’s not, so I’ll go through the lists…

Remember that I’m not into the blood/gore/slasher thing.  Give me creepy and ghosty…

15 Books to Terrify You This Halloween

The first book on the list is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.  The movie based on this book and starring Daniel Radcliffe, had me cowering under the bed with the dog. Also on the list is Joe heart shapeHill’s Heart Shaped Box, which I can honestly say was the first book that literally gave me the chills in a long time. These two titles alone make this a strong list.  Also here is a book that has popped up in a couple of other lists, The Song of Cali by Dan Simmons.  It’s set in Calcutta and there’s human sacrifices, resurrections, all done in the name of the Hindu God Kali.  There were literary works here as well to round it off: The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton, Poe, Lovecraft, and Henry James’ Turn of the Screw.  With the exception of Poe, I never really think of literary writers doing creepy.

See? Something else I learned from a list.

10 Creepiest Books

ob_64a62a_drood-coverI chose this list from Publisher’s Weekly because it really pushes a different variety of titles. Shirley Jackson is here, but with We Have Always Lived in the Castle which author Stephanie Feldman says we should be talking about rather than Hill House. From the popularity of Hill House that’s a bold statement. Also of interest here is Drood by Dan Simmons which uses Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens as protagonists.  I’ve always loved books that star and somewhat re-imagine historical figures.


11 Novels that Will Creep You the F*ck Out

I’ve chose this list because of the numerous historical-offerings, which is going through all of these 51a10H2xnaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_lists I’ve come to understand is my cup of tea when it comes to creep.  There is Something Red by Douglas Nichols, set in Medieval England (and I’m writing this rather than reading that, WTF?) and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters set in post-war England.

And there are plenty other of interesting books on this list…

Okay, I do have a couple of other lists that I wanted to talk about, but it is a rainy, dreary night, I’ve just talked about so any damn good books (and my wife just got home) so sorry people.

I’ll let you pursue these lists and if you have any other lists or creepy books leave a comment.  Would love to hear about them.

Take care.






One thought on “Creepy Days, Creepy Lists, Creepy Books

  1. jenbr323 says:

    Thank you for the lists! Looking forward to passing some cold wintery hours with these books. Suspense is my favorite topic!

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