Whatever your reading tastes, as the nights draw in and Halloween approaches, it’s hard to resist the lure of a good ghost story or thriller. From crumbling old houses and creepy cemeteries to mysterious high school happenings, here’s our pick of chilling tales by talented women writers, which are perfect to pick up during these long October nights.
1. The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse – One of the Richard & Judy Book Club picks this season, the new novel from Labyrinth author Kate Mosse opens in a Sussex churchyard in 1912. Villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will not survive the coming year are thought to walk. But in the shadows, a woman lies dead.
2. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – Set in a crumbling old mansion in England after the Second World War, a doctor tends to a once-important family during the class system decline. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life?
3. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi – A quirky and fascinating tale, White is for Witching tells a ghost story from the perspective of a house. Forcing apples to grow in winter and revealing and concealing secret floors, the said house is fiercely possessive of its young inhabitant Miranda, who has just lost her mother.
4. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill – Wreathed in fog and mystery, Eel Marsh House has haunted readers for decades. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold.