As we reach the spookiest time of the year, you can't beat a chilling tale to read on those cold dark nights. From new takes on classic gothic horror to creatures lurking in the woods and a psychopath who collects the bones of his victims, these books will leave you terrified this Halloween.

 

The Silent Companions

Set in both the 19th and the 17th centuries, The Silent Companions has got all the classic ingredients of gothic: an isolated and crumbling mansion, a family with a dark secret, eerie locals, a secret diary and untrustworthy servants.

When the recently widowed and heavily pregnant Elsie Bainbridge makes her way to her deceased husband’s crumbling family pile she in an intruder in this sequestered community. As she starts to unravel the history of the place, strange things begin to happen and she feels strange eyes upon her – the companions, a collection of old wooden portraits hidden away in the attic.

The suspense really builds as you make connections between Elsie’s story, and that of another Mrs. Bainbridge, two hundred years before, and come to realize the true evil that possesses these horrifying, living portraits.

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The Haunting of Hill House

Four seekers of paranormal activity have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar; Theodora, his lovely assistant; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a young woman with a dark past. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

A ghost story that will keep you up all night, this was the inspiration for the Netflix series of the same name. 

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The Woman in Black

Arthur Kipps, a solicitor from London is sent to Eel Marsh House to find the will and settle the affairs of the recently deceased Mrs Drablow. The house sits on a sinking swamp and surrounded by a blinding fog. What is supposed to be a routine business trip takes a horrifying turn when Arthur finds hims haunted by a ghostly woman dressed in all black.

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In this Halloween episode of Book Break, Emma investigates the spooky side of the city with a ghost tour in Newcastle and recommends even more scary reads.