Looking for a spooky Southern read for the crisp October nights leading up to Halloween? These stories are sure to make you think twice about things that go bump in the night.
compiled by Anna Cox
American Ghost by Janis Owens
This recently published roller coaster of emotion follows Jolie Hoyt’s budding romance with outsider Sam Lense, but despite Jolie’s attempts to bury her past and move forward with Sam, she soon finds that her town’s dark history runs deeper than passion.
The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell
One of the Kay Scarpetta detective mysteries, The Body Farm follows the forensic pathologist as she investigates the murder of a young girl in North Carolina using the “body farm” research facility in east Tennessee, where she uncovers evidence that shocks the seasoned crime fighter.
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Set in modern day Louisiana on a historically preserved plantation, this mystery reaches from present day to the unforgettable past as a murder threatens to expose the evils of Caren Grey’s family history.
Fever Moon by Carolyn Haines
Legend has it that a loup garou, also known as South Louisiana’s own version of the werewolf, is on the prowl in “Bones” mystery series writer Carolyn Haines’ literary thriller. Can Deputy Raymond Thibodeaux restore order in a small bayou town before it’s too late?
A Ghost of a Chance by O. Henry
Short story master William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, offers up this witty ghost story about a woman wanting to enter society, but with a possible ghost in her house holding her back.
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
After a lifetime of making the best out of grim situations, Laurel Hawthorne seems to finally have her life together. She has a loving husband, cherished daughter and idyllic home in suburbia, but when a dead girl is found floating in her back yard swimming pool, she’s thrust into a spiral that reveals everything is not as it seems.
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
The first book in White’s Tradd Street series featuring a Charleston real estate agent who loves old houses and the mysteries that go with them includes a family of ghosts, gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries and hidden diamonds from the Confederate Treasury.
The Hunt Club by Bret Lott
Called hauntingly seductive, Lott’s precursor to his most recent novel introduces the reader to young Huger Dillard as he stumbles upon a prominent Charleston businessman’s body on his family’s hunting land. Amid the mist-covered swamps and backlands of the lowcountry, Huger finds out a secret that will change his family forever.
Madame Lalaurie: Mistress of the Haunted House by Carolyn Morrow Long
Long debunks fact from fiction as she researches the 200-year-old New Orleans legend of Madame Delphine Lalaurie and her famed torture chamber in her new book. She follows Lalaurie’s life from legal troubles before the fire that exposed her scandal through her exile to France and death in Paris in 1849.
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
This tale follows Luce, a young woman in 1960s North Carolina, as she takes custody of her sister’s children after their mother was murdered in front of them by their own stepfather. Twists and turns ensue as the step-father wants something that only the children have.
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
A classic short story of suspense and intrigue as Poe, true to form, tells of the “sane” murderer who killed an old man for fear of his eye, then proceeds to go insane from the sound of the victim’s heartbeat.
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
Master of writing about freaks, O’Connor’s first novel is about a World War II veteran haunted by a crisis of faith. The book ends with a landlady caring for a lifeless corpse and telling him he can live with her forever.
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
The first book in the Mayfair Witches series, The Witching Hour chronicles a deeply connected family of witches as they play out their love/hate relationship with their godlike protector, Lasher. Rowan Mayfair, a doctor who left the “family business,” finds herself back in New Orleans and tangled in the same web of mystery after the death of her mother.