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Top Ten Tuesday: the creepy edition

black wooden door frame
Photo by ramy Kabalan on

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Don’t hate me, I don’t love Halloween.  This week’s list prompt is a freebie list of Halloween/creepy books so I’m going with creepy. Here’s my top 10 in no particular order:

1.Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders – Abraham Lincoln’s young son dies and is laid to rest in a crypt that Lincoln returned to several times (true story). Young Willie Lincoln spends a night in a purgatory of sorts with a cast of characters in various states of flux. Highly creative with lots of historical insights; this book was creepy and extremely entertaining at the same time. I highly recommend the audiobook!

2. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Think dark fairytales, a reclusive grandmother, and a granddaughter hunting for her mother who went missing; presumably in The Hazel Wood. This book was full of imagination and just dark enough to be creepy at times. The cover art is also a work of art in it’s own right.

3. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – What’s not creepy about an adorable first grader plotting to kill her mom so she can have her dad’s attention all to herself. Her schemes are pure psychopathy and gave me the chills more than once.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Screams from the attic, a mysterious fire set in the house, and Jane left to figure out the mystery on her own while being pursued by Mr. Rochester a.k.a. Mr. Nothing to See Here.

5. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine – Be careful what you wish for. A homely, plain girl inserts herself into the Parrish life she believed she wanted. Except that Mr. Parrish was a monster.

6. Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land – What’s not creepy about the daughter of a female serial killer who turned her own mother into the police? The descriptions alone of living in that house are what nightmares are made of. The audiobook was fantastic!

7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – A young girl is murdered and the book is told from her perspective. Creepy. And terribly sad.

8. Pet Cemetery by Stephen King – This was my first Stephen King book and I used to read it under my covers with a flashlight. It would scare me so bad that I would go hide it under the couch in the other room so I could sleep.

9. I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll – Two girls harmlessly flirt with two guys on a train. A year later and one of them is still missing. The plot twists were intriguing and kept you guessing until the end.

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – This was by far Flynn’s creepiest novels. Libby is the sole survivor of a family massacre in her own home. Her brother is convicted but questions still surround the night of the killings. Well written but one I will never read again.

What are some of your favorite creepy books?


  • Nobbinmaug

    I’ve never read any of these. I’m going to have to check out some. I’ve seen the movie adaptations of Pet Semetary & The Lovely Bones. I didn’t like The Lovely Bones. Does the book differ vastly from the film?

    • jj3nkinson

      I liked the book but I tend to always think the book is better than the movie. 😉 I was so surprised they adapted The Lovely Bones into a movie; it’s not an easy one to turn into a movie because of the narrator.

  • Lakshmi

    The Lovely Bones was interesting! I never say this but I actually preferred it as a movie, just because I felt the book dragged on for way too long. The movie was much much shorter and really touching. I also found Lincoln in the Bardo really absorbing! I mean, the concept was great from the get-go. Some of the chapters felt a bit gimmicky to me. I want to read some of Saunders’ short stories though, maybe his style works for me better in those.

  • Lakshmi

    I found Lovely Bones really interesting, but (and I never say this) I felt the movie was a little better when I saw it years ago. The book dragged on for a long time and the movie ended at the right place I felt. Also, good to see a fellow Saunders reader! Lincoln in the Bardo was obviously so intriguing because of the concept, although I felt a couple chapters were a bit gimmicky? But still. I’m hoping to read some of his short stories, maybe his style will work better for me there. Also I’ve read a couple of Kings and Pet Sematary was the scariest for me!

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