10 scarily good reads to kick off spooky season | Entertainment

Halloween is not far away, which means we are full steam ahead for Spooky Season 2022! As we start to look forward to cooler weather and the blissful crackle of colorful autumn leaves, now is the perfect time to stock your TBR with the season’s most promising upcoming horror novels.

From serial killers to Southern Gothics, these 10 spooky selections will have you primed for the Halloween season in no time!

“Daphne” by Josh Malerman

A ghost story shared amongst team members of the high school basketball team reignites old terrors when a name that’s not supposed to be spoken — much less thought — suddenly becomes top of everyone’s mind. As much about surviving an undefeatable killer as it is coping with the real-life perils of anxiety, “Daphne” will stick in your mind long after the pages are finished.

“Ghost Eaters” by Clay McLeod Chapman

Immersive, adrenaline-racing, and darkly meditative, this Southern horror twists together real and imagined horrors in a terrifying page-turner that tickles the raw nerves of the grieving process and substance abuse. “Ghost Eaters” leaves a lot to think about once you’ve finished reading.

“No Gods for Drowning” by Hailey Piper

Set in an alternate reality which updates mythology to near-modern day, “No Gods for Drowning” is written by one of the brightest new voices in horror. Visceral, sharp and powerful, Piper’s latest is an excellent follow up to her Bram Stoker Award-winning novel, “Queen of Teeth.”

“Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke” by Eric LaRocca

Knit together by three dark and disturbing horror stories — including the viral titular story — about the power of connection, “Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke” is a horror connoisseur’s delight. Twisted and grotesque, this collection is brilliantly gross and utterly delightful.

“This Is Where We Talk Things Out” by Caitlin Marceau

Quick, chilling and brutal, Marceau masters her portrayal of toxic narcissism in a bone-chilling tale of a mother-daughter relationship gone horribly wrong. Part “Misery,” part “Sharp Objects,” “This Is Where We Talk Things Out” is a sinister walk down Memory Lane.

“Gallows Hill” by Darcy Coates

After being sent away at a young age, a daughter returns to a home she barely remembers — and a winery she knows nothing of — after the death of her parents. A Southern Gothic masterpiece, dark secrets come calling when she learns that Gallows Hill is not yet ready to rest.

“The Weight of Blood” by Tiffany D. Jackson

When Springville residents are questioned about on prom night horrors, they point to Maddy. In a nod to Stephen King’s Carrie, this culturally relevant story about bullying, racial injustice, and “The Weight of Blood” pulls back the curtain to show what happens when a girl is terrorized into discovering her telekinetic powers.

“Leech” by Hiron Ennes

Ennes’s debut is everything strange and unusual should be. A strange death in a remote, snow-covered village, a curious doctor and an unearthly presence “Leech” the warmth out of you in this bone-chilling body horror that Mary Shelley would be proud of.

“Always the First to Die” by R. J. Jacobs

A former horror movie actress returns to the set of her most iconic film only to discover strange circumstances that resemble the plot of her most famous film. Hard memories, sudden deaths and a dangerous past make the actress risk her life to avoid “Always the First to Die.”

“Motherthing” by Ainslie Hogarth

What begins as a grief-stricken guilt journey quietly morphs into a dark unraveling of the female psych. Campy, bizarre and fiercely female, “Motherthing” is too relatable to be entirely comfortable, and that’s what makes it such delicious reading.

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