Spooktober is officially here. It is now time for pumpkins, apple cider, and endless viewings of Hocus Pocus. My bowls are filled with Candy Corn and I have one can of pumpkin in my pantry (you know, just in case). The leaves are changing and it’s still 80 degrees but I pretend it’s 60 as I sweat through my long sleeves.
It’s that time of year where you make some hot tea and cuddle up on the couch to read while the witching hour approaches. But wait, you want to feel like you are truly in spooky season, so obviously you need a ghost story. Lucky for you I am a giver (and I’m also putting off writing a paper for class), so I am here to share some of my top picks that I hope you will at least glance at (come on there are some good ghosts in these narratives!). Also, I never claimed to be a good reviewer of books so please use your imagination as I do not do these books justice. They’re actually pretty good and obviously I’m not being paid to do this or I would have my own domain.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
This is the perfect book for spooky season because it is literally based in a cemetery during the CIVIL WAR. What more could you want? While the battlefields are bloodying, President Lincoln’s son’s death is quickly approaching. Disease takes him and little Willie Lincoln is stuck in a sort of purgatory where he walks the cemetery alongside other ghosts. Saunders’ narration keeps one reading on and you are guaranteed to be thoroughly spooked.
Rebecca by Daphne du Marier
Rebecca is a classic gothic novel published in 1938 and follows a young girl in her 20s as she marries the wealthy Maxim de Winter. She moves to his grand estate in England and meets the “skeletal” housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Through Mrs. Danvers’ obsession with Maxim’s first wife who died a year before, the new Mrs. de Winters is haunted by the presence left by the dead. Starting out as a swift romance, this book turns quickly eerie and keeps you on your toes as you helplessly watch the new wife’s haunting and sabotage.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This list would not be complete without the classic ghost story by Brontë. Based in the eerie and gloomy moorlands of England, this narration splits as it follows an innocent tenant who is haunted by the ghost of the room’s last inhabitant, Catherine. The landlord, Heathcliff, then bursts into the room and yells for Catherine to come back. Which begs the question, why would someone want a ghost to return? The doomed love story of Catherine and Heathcliff soon fills the novel, as it grows eerier and darker with the turn of every page. This work causes one to question their perspective of the “antagonist” and makes you wonder if anything can truly keep those in love apart, even death.