Haunting Books for Halloween: Mavis Cheek

It’s finally the big day! Hopefully your costumes have been created and your candy has been bought, because we have some final suggestions for spooky reads to indulge in this Halloween.

This week, Mavis Cheek, author of Dog Days and Three Men on a Plane shares her favourites with us.

For the chill of fear: Alone in Berlin (original title: Every Man Dies Alone) by Hans Fallada

Not anything to do with All Hallow’s Eve – but appropriate since that is the date on which the Christian church prays for those in purgatory (pinched from the pagans) and this book is about a couple living in the purgatory of the Nazi state and trying to stand up to their brutalities, taking great risks so that your heart is in your mouth as you read.  And it is based on a true story which makes it all the more terrifying.

For sensation and mystery and a good dose of the Gothic: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The manipulation and incarceration of a woman is always going to be creepy – add to that the shockingly grim character of Sir Percival Glyde (one of literature’s all-time nasties) and you have the perfect read for a good night in with frazzled nerves.

For short bursts of spooky stories – at which the Victorians and the Edwardians were ace: The Penguin Book of English Short Stories edited by Christopher Dolley

You’ve got Dickens, Kipling, Hardy (I will never forget the impact of his The Withered Arm), Waugh, and Wilson (Raspberry Jam) to keep you going. Brilliant.

And then there is always Jane Austen’s mockery of the popularity for the whole of the Gothic novel canon, Northanger Abbey, which you might read for the perfect antidote to a night of ghoulies and ghosties.

Thank you for following along with our round-up of Halloween reads this past month. Be sure to tweet us @AgoraBooksLDN to share your personal favourite haunting books!