Real ghost stories. Chilling true crime cases. Skulls with gruesome histories. These creepy fall reads will keep you up at night with fascination…or fright.
Take a dark journey into the annual Cult of Weird fall reading list for your next morbid must-read about unusual graves, conversations with the dead, miniature murder, human anatomy as art, and history’s strangest mysteries.
As the veil thins and the sun begins to set on 2020, and, of course, there’s still a pandemic happening, it’s the perfect time to stay home and curl up in the black candle light with a good book.
This year brings new releases from some Cult favorite authors, such as Colin Dickey, Tea Krulos, Joanna Ebenstein, Marc Hartzman and Tui Snider. Not to mention spooky season doesn’t even officially begin until we have a new book from J.W. Ocker, so it’s safe to say Halloween has now arrived.
The Talking Dead: A Collection of Messages from Beyond the Veil, 1850s-1920s
Edited by Marc Hartzman
The dead seem to do a lot of talking. In The Talking Dead, Marc Hartzman collects the words of the dead in writings from spiritualists and psychics, answering the afterlife’s most compelling questions. How are things beyond the grave? What’s God like? What’s Edgar Allan Poe been up to on the other side? And most importantly, what is Heaven like on Mars?
6 Feet Under Texas: Unique, Famous, & Historic Graves in the Lone Star State
by Tui Snider
Cemetery explorer Tui Snider digs up the stories of the strangest graves in Texas, from a famous lizard in a velvet-lined casket to the burial place of an alien that crashed and died in 1897. Through her research, Snider even solves a famous mystery of a grave occupied by an unidentified one-legged tightrope walker.
Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World’s Most Infamous Items
by J.W. Ocker
Creepy dolls, mysterious boxes, severed heads, deadly diamonds. Some of the most famous items come at a hefty price. J.W. Ocker tells the true stories behind the most notorious Cursed Objects in the world.
The Only Good Indians
by Stephen Graham Jones
A Native American slasher story. With antlers. What more do you need to know?
18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics
by Bruce Goldfarb
Frances Glessner Lee changed murder investigations when she created the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouses recreating murder scenes down to the dead bodies and blood splatter. These scenes were instrumental in training investigators of violent crime, methods created by Lee herself that are still used today.
Anatomica: The Exquisite and Unsettling Art of Human Anatomy
by Joanna Ebenstein
Explore centuries of human anatomy as art, sometimes beautiful, sometimes bizarre, with Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein.
My Little Occult Book Club
by Steven Rhodes
A collection of parody children’s book cover art by Steven Rhodes such as Let’s Summon Demons, Easy Bake Coven, Sell Your Soul! (Economics for Children), Necromancy for Beginners, and Caring for Your Demon Cat.
The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained
by Colin Dickey
Why, despite science and common sense, are we so obsessed with the mysterious and seemingly unexplainable? Colin Dickey travels to some of the strangest places in America, stomping grounds of Bigfoot, lake monsters and aliens, to find answers.
Clown in a Cornfield
by Adam Cesare
This is Adam Cesare’s first foray into YA horror, but don’t let that fool you. The premise of psychotic clowns murdering teens in a cornfield is enough to give anyone nightmares.
Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Middle Ages to the Falun Gong
by Richard Snugg
Crowds drinking the spurting blood of a freshly beheaded criminal, still twitching on the guillotine. Magical candles made of human fat. Victorian corpse-stroking. A vampire cult in 19th century Kansas. Cut open the gruesome history of corpse medicine in the updated edition of Richard Snugg’s fascinating work.
Wisconsin Legends & Lore
by Tea Krulos
From ancient Native American mythology to bizarre modern monsters, Wisconsin is home to some of the strangest legends. Tea Krulos, author of Monster Hunters and founder of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, gathers Wisconsin’s strangest campfire stories into one place. Goatman, ghost ships, the Hodag, and the haunted hotel where celebrities fear to stay just scratch the surface.
Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin
by Megan Rosenbloom
It’s called anthropodermic bibliopegy – using human skin to bind a book. These books can be found in libraries all over the world. But why? And, more importantly, who? In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom unearths the strange stories behind this macabre practice.
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A distant, mysterious house in the Mexican countryside holds a family’s dark and violent secrets.
The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic
by S. Elizabeth
The dark arts have inspired many notable artists to create and often encode meaning and messages through symbols hidden in their work. The Art of the Occult showcases art inspired by alchemy, kabbalah, spiritualism, ceremonial magic and sacred geometry throughout history.
Hellebore #3: The Malefice Issue
Hellebore is a literary magazine devoted to British folk horror and the myths, history and archaeology that inspire it. The short horror stories featured in issue #3 explore themes of curses and hexes (malefice) throughout history.
The Sight of Hell
by John Furniss
Written by Rev. John Furniss in 1861, The Sight of Hell is a book for “children and young persons” which includes graphic descriptions of people suffering in the six dungeons of Hell. What a lovely bedtime story!