Everything is a little creepier once October and Halloween rolls around. Add even more creep factor this month with these books.
“Heart-Shaped Box,” by Joe Hill (hardcover, William Morrow, 2007, 376 pages, $24.95). Judas Coyne, an aging death-metal rock god, is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man’s suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary ghost. Suddenly the suit’s previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door … seated in Jude’s restored vintage Mustang … standing outside his window … staring out from his widescreen TV — waiting with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one hand.
“The Little Stranger,” by Sarah Waters (hardcover, Riverhead Books, 2009, 466 pages, $26.95). Dr. Faraday, a country physician, is called to see a patient at Hundreds Hall, the dilapidated residence of the Ayres family, but Faraday begins to wonder, as he spends time in the house, if the Ayreses could be haunted by more than family conflicts and the changes of society.
“Maybe This Time,” by Jennifer Crusie (hardcover, St. Martin’s Press, 2010, 342 pages, $24.99). Andie Miller wants to marry her fiancé and forget about her ex-husband, North Archer, but North makes one last request of her, asking that she handle a situation involving two of his orphan cousins who have proven to be troublesome. As Andie tries to offer help to gain closure, she realizes that the house the orphans live in is haunted and that the entire situation may be North’s way of trying to get her back.
“A Winter Haunting,” by Dan Simmons (hardcover, William Morrow, 2002, 303 pages, $25.95). After an intense love affair, professor Dale Stewart has lost everything — even his confidence as a novelist. To salvage his sanity and pride, he returns to the small Illinois town of his childhood to work on his novel, leasing the empty farmhouse of a long-dead friend who was murdered. All Dale seeks is peace and quiet but it’s the last thing he’ll find, for the house is haunted in more ways than one.
“The Birthing House,” by Christopher Ransom (hardcover, St. Martin’s Press, 2009, 309 pages, $24.99). Conrad Harrison and his wife, Joanna, move from Los Angeles to rural Wisconsin in an attempt to save their crumbling marriage. But when Joanna goes on a business trip, leaving Conrad alone in the old Victorian house that once was a home for unwed mothers, strange noises and ghostly apparitions begin to wear away at his mind.