#Spooktastic reads – 13 Gothic tales

Posted On 27 October 2018

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As part of Wyrd and Wonder’s Spooktastic Reads today I’m highlighting some fantastic gothic fiction that I’ve loved.  There are a few classics and some more modern stories so hopefully something for everyone.  I’ve not included Frankenstein or Dracula because I’ve already highlighted both of these under separate cover.  I think most of these need no description to be honest and this list obviously isn’t exhaustive.  I’ve provided a link to the Goodreads page for information  See if any of these takes your fancy:

  1. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.  A headless horseman and a small village haunted by a spectre.  Enter the scene Ichabod Crane.  At just over 100 pages this could be the perfect read to snuggle up with on a cold autumn’s eve.
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray. by Oscar Wilde.  Would you sell your soul to the devil?  Before you consider that question read this story and take heed.
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte’s.  One of my favourite books.  I’ve read it a few times and even thinking about it whilst writing this makes me want to crack open the pages again.
  4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.  A stunning and sinister tale.  Merricat is a fascinating character indeed and this is a dark tale involving poison.
  5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  It’s been a while since I read this book and perhaps it needs to be picked up again.  A story of a beloved author in her twilight years making the decision to share her own story with readers.  Beautifully told storytelling.
  6. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  You may have seen the recent tv series – I thought it was a good character piece but, it wasn’t as tense or dark as the book.  Of course, being a keen reader I usually do prefer the book over the adaptation but give the book a try and see what you think.  Described as ‘a perfect work of unnerving terror’ I think it’s a must read for lovers of gothic fiction.
  7. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.  I loved this book and can’t wait for the next instalment.  A young woman whose grandmother wrote a book of dark fairy tales that became a cult classic.  The Hazel Wood in which she lived could very well have been the inspiration for the ‘Hinterland’.
  8. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.  A haunting tale set in a remote house, isolated on a small piece of land reachable only by causeway.  This book comes with a warning – it’s a creepy little number imho.
  9. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde – I love this tale of an American family come to live in an English country mansion.  They’re modern people who don’t believe in ghosts which is too bad because they’re now living with one.  This isn’t a scary read – or at least I didn’t think so but it’s only short and it’s very entertaining.
  10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – another of my favourite books.  If you haven’t read this one then do yourself a favour and give it a go.  Last night I dreamt I read this again – perhaps it’s time.
  11. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier – another excellent story by du Maurier.  Set atop the blustery cornish moors is Jamaica Inn.  Few visit.  It’s name is enough to evoke the shivers.  A must read book where desperate men undertake horrific work.
  12. The Crow Garden by Alison Littlewood – set in the Victorian period this is a sinister story involving asylums and deceptions.  A tale of obsession.
  13. House of Glass by Susan Fletcher – I’ve read a few of this author’s books and she hasn’t let me down yet.  House of Glass is no exception.  This is an excellent book that I’ve just recently finished and will be reviewing shortly.



15 Responses to “#Spooktastic reads – 13 Gothic tales”

  1. Tammy

    I love this list! I’ve read most of these and I completely agree they belong on this list. I do want to give Susan Fletcher a try😁

  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I’ve got some serious reading to do! I’ve actually not read any these *hidesface*

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    The Haunting of Hill House is one I definitely should read, considering how much I love haunted house stories, and it has been an inspiration for so many authors. I also want to read Rebecca now, after finishing The Winters 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      The Haunting of Hill House is brilliant – you should definitely read it. Although – time!!
      Lynn 😀

  4. waytoofantasy

    Great list! I think I’ve only read Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I really want to read The Haunting of Hill House, it’s a classic. The only thing I’ve read from Shirley Jackson is her short “The Lottery”.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Did you like The Lottery – I’ve been wondering whether to read it?

      • waytoofantasy

        Oh yes, it’s very good. So many dystopian fic can trace part of their roots to this story, so it may feel familiar these days but it’s still a chilling read.

  5. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I’m watching The Haunting of Hill House these days (perfect tv series so close to Halloween…) and quite enjoying it. Having seen in the intro that it’s taken from a novel I was curious about it, and since you say it’s even better (darker and more tense? wonderful!!!) I will add it to my reading queue as soon as I can 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      The book is definitely better. I liked the series but I didn’t actually find it scary at all – a bit too spread out.
      Lynn 😀

  6. sjhigbee

    This is a great list, Lynn. I haven’t read all that many – Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, Jane Eyre and The Woman in Black… but as long as they are creepy rather than horror, I should track down more of these. Thank you!

  7. Book Club Mom

    Great list and you’re giving me ideas – I’ve been meaning to read The Picture of Dorian Gray for a long time!

  8. jessicabookworm

    Great list, Lynn 😀 I really enjoyed Jane Eyre, Jamaica Inn, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Haunting of Hill House, and I absolutely loved Rebecca and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Seeing as we seem to have such similar, I imagine I would enjoy the others on your list too!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, our taste in books can be almost creepy in their similarity. Definitely you should give Susan Fletcher’s most recent book a try – I think you’d love it. It’s not on this list because I’ve only just reviewed it.
      Lynn 😀

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