When Strand asked me to name what I considered to be the top ten spooky mysteries, I had to step back and look at what spooky meant to me. As the word spooky crosses my lips, I literally get the chills.
I can vividly recall the first novel I read where this happened. I was around nine years old and I couldn’t sleep for weeks afterwards. In fact, I had to sleep with a night-light, but I was hooked on the spooky and haven’t stopped reading them.
Watcher In The Woods by Florence Randall
This was the very first spooky novel I had read as a child. The cover alone frightened me to death and I knew I had to check it out from the library, against my mother’s wishes. A family moves to the edge of a wooded area. The siblings have a sixth sense that something evil is watching them. They are right!
Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews
There is nothing spookier than moving your family into the attic of your family home. The attic! The kids start to pretend play and are abused by their grandmother when their mom leaves them, only to find out in the end their own mother was causing their slow demise.
It by Stephen King
Seriously, just saying Stephen King scares me. I know that when I pick up one of his novels, I’m in for more sleepless nights because I’m too scared to close my eyes. What I loved best about this spooky novel is how King takes you between the two time periods of the characters—from children to adulthood —bringing up the murderous past to the present from the evil creature. With a name like IT, you know you’ll be spooked!
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
I had to add another Stephen King to my list. The reason I picked Sematary is because I walk my dogs everyday around a beautiful cemetery near my home. In the back of the cemetery is an animal cemetery. I can never walk through or by it without having to look over my shoulder a few times.
The Watchers by Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz made these characters so three-dimensional that I was unable to read this book while I was alone in the house. This supernatural thriller crossed the line from spooky to downright frightening as Koontz takes the hero down a hiking trail where he encounters a dog—and not just any dog. The dog has been genetically manipulated as along with another creature that has turned murderous. The stalking nature of this novel puts the creep in the word creepy.
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
I absolutely love this series from True Blood author Charlaine Harris. Some might say it’s more fluffy compared to her other series, but after reading the likes of Stephen King, I need fluffy. I love the idea of Harper’s ability to be able to step on someone’s grave or bones and know how they died in order to help find out their killer. Pretty spooky gift.
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
In the first of this series, you meet Charley who is a part-time private eye and full-time seer of ghosts. What makes this so fun and spooky is how Charley helps bring the bad guys to justice by using her spooky gift of seeing ghosts. Plus, she carries on a romance on the side, but is he a ghost or real?
Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz
This series is spooky to me because it’s centered on a present-day family of women, the Beauchamps, who live, work, and play among the community that has no idea they are a family of witches. There are so many paranormal things that include vampire, werewolves, and spells that will make you take a double look at your neighbors and wonder if they could have a family secret.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This is probably not to be considered in the spooky category for most readers, but to me it is. All the fantasy, mystery, and thrill Rowling weaves in the pages added to the dark tone of the writing kept chills up and down my arm as I devoured the novel and the rest in the series.
Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark
This debut novel by the great Mary Higgins Clark held so much suspense from the first page to the last, keeping the spook factor at one hundred percent.