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Fall has OFFICIALLY arrived…so that means it is time to grab all of those books with super creepy settings. I am an extreme weeny when it comes to watching scary TV and Movies…but…I LOVE a good creepy read. There is something about picturing things in my head with just words that is easier for me to handle than watching something scary. I think it is the jump-scares…they just aren’t so scary when you read them…ya know? So, today I want to share 6 books that have super creepy settings. This is going to be a 2 part blog series because as soon as I photographed the first 6 books I remembered several more…so 2 parts it is! Do you have any fave books with super creepy atmospheric settings? Let’s chat!
Her Little Flowers by Shannon Morgan
We are going to start with Her Little Flowers by Shannon Morgan because it is the one I just finished and it is freshest in my mind. This book was SO good. I gave it 5 stars and some of the reason behind that was because of the amazing atmosphere in the book. It is so perfect for fall. Our story takes place at Thwaite Manor…a run down Elizabethan Manor set in England’s Lake District. Everything about Thwaite Manor feels chilling and spooky…right down to the resident ghosts that live there. Is there anything more perfect than a ghost story for fall? If you love a super atmospheric read full of tea leaves, ghosts, and secrets…you should check it out. You can read my full review over on Instagram! Here is a little about the book.
Francine Thwaite has lived all her fifty-five years in her family’s ancestral home, a rambling Elizabethan manor in England’s Lake District. No other living soul resides there, but Francine isn’t alone. There are ghosts in Thwaite Manor, harmless and familiar. Most beloved is Bree, the mischievous ghost girl who has been Francine’s companion since childhood.
When Francine’s estranged sister, Madeleine, returns to the manor after years away, she brings with her a story that threatens everything Francine has always believed. It is a tale of cruelty and desperation, of terror and unbearable heartache. And as Francine learns more about the darkness in her family’s past—and the role she may have played in it—she realizes that confronting the truth may mean losing what she holds most dear.
Hemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong
Next up we have Hemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong. This is another newer release…just published in September…and it was a wild ride. I typically lean more towards the thriller genre but this one definitely leaned a little more into the horror genre and I definitely liked it! I am a weenie but this one was really good. (Just a little note that it does have mentions of rape and has some major blood and gore). Hemlock Island was so haunting and atmospheric…I mean just look at that cover. It was such a unique and twisty read…and for me, anything with a secluded island setting is bound to make it onto my creepy setting book list! If you love a creepy and super disturbing read then def check out Hemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong! Here is a little info…
Laney Kilpatrick has been renting her vacation home to strangers. The invasion of privacy gives her panic attacks, but it’s the only way she can keep her beloved Hemlock Island, the only thing she owns after a pandemic-fueled divorce. But broken belongings and campfires that nearly burn down the house have escalated to bloody bones, hex circles, and now, terrified renters who’ve fled after finding blood and nail marks all over the guest room closet, as though someone tried to claw their way out…and failed.
When Laney shows up to investigate with her teenaged niece in tow, she discovers that her ex, Kit, has also been informed and is there with Jayla, his sister and her former best friend. Then Sadie, another old high school friend, charters over with her brother, who’s now a cop.
There are tensions and secrets, whispers in the woods, and before long, the discovery of a hand poking up from the earth. Then the body that goes with it… But by that time, someone has taken off with their one and only means off the island, and they’re trapped with someone—or something—that doesn’t want them leaving the island alive.
Malice House by Megan Shepherd
Next we have Malice House by Megan Shepherd. I mean…the title says enough, doesn’t it…Malice House…nothing good can happen in a house with that name. This one was a perfect compilation of gothic horror, mystery, spookiness, and straight up creepery. It gave me major Steven King vibes and I loved it! If you love a creepy, spine-tingling horror that is super well written…give this one a read. Here is a little more info.
Of all the things aspiring artist Haven Marbury expected to find while clearing out her late father’s remote seaside house, Bedtime Stories for Monsters was not on the list. This secret handwritten manuscript is disturbingly different from his Pulitzer-winning works: its interweaving short stories crawl with horrific monsters and enigmatic humans that exist somewhere between this world and the next. The stories unsettle but also entice Haven, practically compelling her to illustrate them while she stays in the house that her father warned her was haunted. Clearly just dementia whispering in his ear . . . right?
Reeling from a failed marriage, Haven hopes an illustrated Bedtime Stories can be the lucrative posthumous father-daughter collaboration she desperately needs to jump-start her art career. However, everyone in the nearby vacation town wants a piece of the manuscript: her father’s obsessive literary salon members, the Ink Drinkers; her mysterious yet charming neighbor, who has a tendency toward three a.m. bonfires; a young barista with a literary forgery business; and of course, whoever keeps trying to break into her house. But when a monstrous creature appears under Haven’s bed right as grisly deaths are reported in the nearby woods, she must race to uncover dark, otherworldly family secrets―completely rewriting everything she ever knew about herself in the process.
The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
This book was so good. So dark, so creepy, and such a fantastic page turner. This gave me Blair Witch meets M.Night Shamalan vibes and I loved it! This had such a haunting atmosphere and left me feeling like someone was watching me the entire time. I did managed to figure out a lot of what happened but that didnt diminish my enjoyment of the book or make it any less creepy! This is another one that is just a perfect fall read! Let’s check out Goodreads…
Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.
But there will be no turning back.
Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:
They are not alone.
They’re looking for the truth…
But what if it finds them first?
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
I absolutely chose this book based on the cover. Even just looking at the cover I get super creepy and atmospheric vibes. There is just something about a remote house that immediately puts me on edge…isolated settings alone give me the creep factor but when you start throwing in a little haunting here and there…I am immediately freaked out. This wasn’t my all-time favorite read…but it was definitely a super freaky and atmospheric setting so we are adding it to the list! Here is a little info…
In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.
When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark its doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?
Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will help her.
Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.
Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Last but not least we have Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I will admit that this wasn’t my all-time favorite read either BUT it was another that totally fits the bill for the creepy, bizarre, and super atmospheric reads. This had mystery, horror, and suspense and kept me guessing until the end. I gotta say…I did NOT anticipate the ending…at all. It was such a wild ride of a book and definitely a great read for fall! Can we also talk about this stunning cover?!?! Here is a little info…
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
As I mentioned at the beginning…this is part 1 of 2. I have already remembered several books that NEED to be on this list! So…stay tuned! I will be back soon with Part 2!
What makes a super creepy read for you? Do you have any favorites that I need to check out?