Fun for Monday: The Spooky Scary Book Tag

It’s that time of year again, time to talk about the stories that spook us and the tales that terrify … it’s Spooktastic Reads – the Wyrd and Wonder mini-event that celebrates the books that go bump in the night for the thirteen days leading up to Halloween. Spooktastic Reads is brought to us by this fearsome five: Lisa of Dear Geek Place, imyril of There’s Always Room for One More, Ariana of The Book Nook, Annemieke of A Dance with Books and Jorie of Jorie Loves a Story.

I find myself surprisingly picky about Halloween tags – there’s plenty out there, but I refuse to do most of them for weird reasons (like, I’m not interested in pumpkin spice anything, so I’ll not do a tag that mentions that … *shrugs*). However, I found this perfectly acceptable tag over at Life of a Literary Nerd.



Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it


We recently finished The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton in our IRL reading group at work, and that was pretty scary. Or rather, the Footman was. Stabby.



A book you always reach for during Halloween

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I have only read eighty-six spooky books in my life (thanks Bookshelf app), as I’m a huge scaredy-cat, and I rarely reach for scary stuff during Halloween. I find, at this time of year, I much more drawn to children’s books or rereading old favourites – something about the darker nights and colder weather makes such things more attractive than anything else. I was very excited to find a copy of James Thurber’s The 13 Clocks a couple of weeks ago, so I have just read that. Wonderful, wordy fun.



A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic

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This is Our Undoing by Lorraine Wilson is a phenomenal read and I loved it for many reasons, one of which was the local (Bulgarian) superstitions enacted by some of the characters: bowls of milk and tiny martenitsa dolls appear in many of this novel’s scenes, subtly underlining some of the tensions in the story.



Your favourite witch character in any book/series

Paul Kidby has captured that steely glint in Granny’s eye perfectly, I think

This was, is and always will be Granny Weatherwax. But, as I’m feeling friendly today, respectful bows should be made to Jill Murphy’s Mildred Hubble and Monica Furlong’s Juniper.



A book that still haunts you to this day (good or bad)

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There are loads of books that ‘haunt’ me, in that they remain with me and come to mind often. So I’ll take this prompt far more literally: a book that really scared me as a child/young person was Del-Del by Victor Kelleher; and more recently, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson left a lingering, spooky impression that I don’t altogether dislike.



You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard and you get one book to give you comfort. What’s the book?

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Ha! Saint Death’s Daughter by C S E Cooney is the perfect companion for a graveyard, crypt or ossuary.

Or a party.

I mean, not only is it just the most luscious reading experience, but with such a lovely cover, it’d go with any outfit. And it would make an excellent tool for self-defense should the need arise, because it is pleasingly hefty too. So it’s a perfect companion full stop.

… but I think I may have mentioned this already?



Your favourite supernatural creature to read about (i.e. vampires, zombies, werewolves etc)



Then again … I did like Tim Powers’ vampires in Hide Me Among the Graves – so I guess, vampires, if they’re weird enough. And not love interests, but actually frigging terrifying creatures of the night.



Pick a book with a black cover


Naoko by Keigo Higashino. I seem to have read quite a lot of books in which living characters are possessed by dead ones. This is one of them, which I read way back in 2005 (thanks again Bookshelf app).


But this is no fun If I’m the only one answering the questions … what about you? What scares you? Who’s your favourite witch?




  1. I actually like pumpkin spice coffee. And cookie dough. But adding it to anything else is just ridiculous imo. So when I see pumpkin spice pizza, you know things are out of control (not that I did, but maaaaan, the stuff they pumpkinize should NEVER have been).

    I am in the middle of reading a Tim Powers book myself, On Stranger Tides. He certainly can write!

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  2. I’m right there with you with Granny Weatherwax, but have you MET Angela Slatters witches yet?!?? She writes these novels-in-stories, or interconnected collections, like The Bitterwood Bible and other Recountings, Of Sorrow and Such, and Sourdough and other Stories. GAH! Her WITCHES! She pairs REALLY well with Alix Harrow’s Once and Future Witches!

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    • 😆 The Haunting of Hill House made a similar impression on me. Once read, never forgotten.
      I definitely recommend The 13 Clocks – it’s brilliantly bonkers!

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