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Spine-tingling reads to scare your socks off!

'Tis the season for eery tomes and grisly page-turners. Here are the new releases guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up... Dim the lights, pull the covers up and prepare for a scare.

We asked our friends at the Muddy Award winning David’s Bookshop in Letchworth to recommend the spookiest reads to get stuck into this Halloween. Warning: If you’re faint of heart, look away now!

The Haunting Season, Little Brown, (out 21 Oct)

Last October, Little Brown released Hag, a collection revived stories with a feminist edge, written by some of the most exciting female authors in Britain and Ireland today. Where Hag reinterprets folk tales, this year’s anthology of horror literature from Little Brown, The Haunting Season offers new short stories that feel like classics – a nostalgic collection of ghost stories from eight contemporary writers. The blurb invites us to ‘curl up, light a candle and fall under the spell of winters past’, and both of these make wonderful companions to the long dark nights of winter while breathing new life into traditional ghost stories.

Hag and the Haunting Season

Sisters by Daisy Johnson, Vintage

Man Booker short-listed author, Daisy Johnson, has been called ‘the demon offspring of Shirley Jackson and Stephen King’ by The Observer and her latest gothic thriller, Sisters, successfully cuts a new track off the well-trodden path of horror writing, which is no mean feat…

The Apparition Phase by Will Maclean, Penguin

This is a ghost story for those who know their ghost stories… Maclean’s debut novel is full of references to legends of ghost hunting and famous hauntings. The story itself is a deliciously atmospheric slow burn, with characters that leap off the page.

Sisters and The Apparation Phase

Sunless Solstice, British Library Tales of the Weird (out 21 Oct)

The Tales of the Weird collections from The British Library are treasure troves of short spooky stories. The USP is that each book is edited by an expert, or experts, in the field, which means that these anthologies often feature stories that have previously been lost to the mists of time. Sunless Solstice (out 21 Oct) is a collection of haunting tales for the age-old Christmas tradition of telling ghost stories, from chilling Victorian tales to writings from twentieth century horror big-hitters like Daphne Du Maurier.

Tales of the weird

Want to delve deeper? Head to David’s Bookshop in Letchworth on 28 Oct for a special Halloween event about Crawling Horror: Tales of the Insect Weird, where anthology editors, Daisy Butcher and Janette Leaf will guide you through the strange world of insect horror literature by Edgar Allan Poe, E. F. Benson, Clare Winger Harris and more.

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