Haunted Houses

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

That noise you hear in the middle of the night--is it the house settling? Or is it something more sinister? In these books, it is the later and the house is haunted. Our staff chose favorite stories about things that go bump in the night.

  • Rooms

    2014 by Oliver, Lauren

    Haunted house stories are often told by those who are being haunted. Not this one! Here, the story is told through the eyes of the three ghosts that haunt this house. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • You Should Have Left

    2017 by Kehlmann, Daniel

    I love the tropes of horror movies and fiction and so apparently does Daniel Kehlmann, judging from this potent novella. A screenwriter heads off with his family to an isolated mountain retreat on a working vacation. Needless to say, it isn’t long before a series of unsettling occurrences makes him regret he didn’t take the advice offered in the book’s title. Suggested by Steven.

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  • Wilder Girls

    2019 by Power, Rory

    This is one of the strangest books I have ever read. It is a great blend of dystopian, mystery, thriller, and horror books. The story centers on a boarding school in quarantine because of a mysterious virus called the Tox. It has a creepy atmospheric quality that hovers around our main characters. The elements of body horror are quite striking throughout the novel. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Grip of It

    2017 by Jemc, Jac

    I loved the creepy vibe and the writing of this not-so-typical haunted house story. While the house is truly haunted, it is also a symbol for the main couple’s haunted relationship and the secrets they keep from each other. Scary and deep, this is a perfect title for a book discussion group looking for a spooky read. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • This House Is Haunted

    2013 by Boyne, John

    Fans of Victorian ghost stories rejoice! Boyne has crafted both a homage to those icy tales as well as his own very spooky haunted house story. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • The Silent Companions

    2018 by Purcell, Laura

    Gothic horror is in very good hands as Laura Purcell relates the unpleasant surprises that await a Victorian widow when she takes up residence in her husband’s forbidding ancestral mansion. Purcell understands what makes traditional gothic fiction so effective and adds just the right amount of modern freshness. Suggested by Steven.

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  • Kill Creek

    2017 by Thomas, Scott

    Four horror writers make the ill-advised decision to spend the night in a notorious haunted house. What they find there is about as subtle as a rampaging rabid elephant and far more dangerous. Fasten your seatbelts because this is going to be one bumpy ride. Suggested by Steven.

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  • The Hacienda

    2022 by Cañas, Isabel

    With an homage to classic authors such as Daphne Du Maurier and Shirley Jackson, Cañas has written an enthralling, multilayered, gothic, historical, haunted house horror novel that addresses the horrors of colonialism, racism, and socioeconomic classism along with different forms of power and privilege. The writing is exquisite and will keep you wondering long after the final page. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Just Like Home

    2022 by Gailey, Sarah

    Vera returns to her childhood home to take care of her dying mother. She has never had the best relationship with her mother but had worshiped her father. He, however, was a serial killer who used their (off limits to Vera) basement to torture and murder his victims. She starts to experience weird and creepy things. Is the house haunted, or is it guilt from Vera’s subconscious about what she knew and didn’t know about her dad’s activities before his arrest? Atmospheric and creepy in the best ways, this is an unsettling, fearful read. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • I Remember You: A Ghost Story

    2014 by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

    Yrsa Sigurdardottir is a pitiless writer who relentlessly ratchets up the tension until her reader is ready to plead for mercy. Here she strands a small group of characters in an abandoned settlement with only their personal demons and a vengeful ghost for company. The result is one of the most frightening novels I’ve ever read. Suggested by Steven.

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  • The House Next Door

    1995 by Siddons, Anne Rivers

    A classic in the horror genre and one of my favorite overall books. Stephen King himself used it as an example of superior horror writing in his book Danse Macabre. The characters are, at first, rich-people stereotypes, but you quickly feel their panic at the havoc wrought by the house next door. This book is old-school dark horror with a great sense of foreboding and many unusual twists. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Mexican Gothic

    2020 by Moreno-Garcia, Silvia

    This was the book that made me think: maybe I actually do enjoy horror? I guess technically it crosses a couple of genres, but at its heart, it is a gothic haunted house horror story. If you've been going back and forth wondering if this one is worth picking up, or find yourself curious about horror, give it a try. Suggested by Becca.

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