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Cult of Weird 2015 Fall Reading List

Peculiar children, cannibalism, and the glorious misadventures of a dead man’s head top the list of macabre history and strange fiction on this year’s fall reading list.
Cult of Weird fall reading list

If you’re looking for the perfect weird book to curl with this fall, here is a collection of macabre history and strange fiction recommended by the Cult of Weird community. *Cult of Weird is not responsible for paper cuts, nightmares, existential breakdowns or sudden metamorphosis from your larval stage.

Last year: Fall Reading List 2014

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
Library of Souls is the third installment of the best selling Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
BUY IT HERE

Bad Days in History by Michael Farquhar

Bad Days in History by Michael Farquhar
If you feel like you’re having a bad day, this book details something horrible that’s happened in history for every day of the year. Your lousy day at work has nothing on the great molasses flood of 1919.
BUY IT HERE

Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone

The Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone
If your familiar with the work of Vincent Marcone and his design studio My Pet Skeleton, you won’t want to miss his first lavishly illustrated book about a haunted woman who finds happiness in an unlikely place.
BUY IT HERE

Monster Hunters by Tea Krulos

Monster Hunters by Tea Krulos
What’s it like to be a paranormal investigator? Tag along with Tea Krulos as he hunts for ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot and other legends with those who have dedicated their lives to finding the answers.
BUY IT HERE

Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us by Paul Koudounaris

Memento Mori by Paul Koudounaris
Explore the strange ways that cultures around the world celebrate and remember their dead, from extravagant bone-filled catacombs to vibrant festivals where the remains of their ancestors are the guests of honor.
BUY IT HERE

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach

Spook by Mary Roach
I haven’t had the opportunity to read anything by Mary Roach yet, but there’s no denying that she is a Cult of Weird favorite. Her name pops up again and again every time I’m looking for book recommendations. Last year’s list featured her book Stiff about cadavers, so this time we’ll take the next step…into the afterlife.
BUY IT HERE

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielwski
I have no idea what House of Leaves is about, but after several recommendations and a compelling description, it seems like this list would be incomplete without it.
BUY IT HERE

Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite by Mira Grant
Designer tapeworms…what could possibly go wrong?
BUY IT HERE

The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson

House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
Because a fall reading list isn’t complete without some historical cosmic horror. This is a classic work of weird fiction from 1908 that went on to influence H.P. Lovecraft.
BUY IT HERE

The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir by Marc Hartzman

The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell by Marc Hartzman
Oliver Cromwell died in 1658, but that was not the end of his story. He was later exhumed, hanged, beheaded, impaled, bought and sold until his final burial in 1960. This memoir recounts the many misadventures of Oliver Cromwell’s head through 300 years of bizarre history.
BUY IT HERE

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale the novel
A shadowy government agency wants me to tell you that this book from the creators of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast should not be read, as it may cause a wormhole to open in your nostril…a serious threat to national security to be sure. Don’t read it. Just don’t. Okay, maybe just a little. But stop when the tingling starts.
BUY IT HERE

Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes

Mothman's Curse by Christine Hayes
What are the origins of the mothman? Does he cause death wherever he goes, or is he trying to help? Mothman’s Curse explores these questions through the story of three kids who find themselves hopelessly entangled in the creatures mysteries through a terrible disaster they hope they can prevent.
BUY IT HERE

Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal

Man-Eater by Harold Schechter
True crime author Harold Schechter tackles the sordid tale of one of America’s first cannibals. Was Alfred Packer a cold-blooded killer, or did he eat his travel companions in a last ditch effort to survive after they had already killed each other?
BUY IT HERE

Did you read something recently that belongs on this list?
Tell us about it in the comments below!

Alfred Packer: Legend of the First American Cannibal

New book explores the legend of Alfred Packer, who survived the winter of 1874 by eating his companions on a doomed excursion through the Colorado mountains.
Man-eater Alfred Packer, the first American cannibal
Man-eater Alfred Packer, the first American cannibal.

True crime author Harold Schechter’s new book Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal separates fact from folklore in the life of Alfred Packer.

Packer and five companions became stranded in the Colorado mountains during the harsh winter of 1874. Packer emerged alone after two months. He claimed the men had killed each other, and that he then turned to cannibalism, surviving on their flesh to escape the mountain.

When suspicions of foul play arose, Packer admitted to killing only one member of the party, because that man intended to kill and eat him first. Then Packer disappeared. He was apprehended nine years later, tried, and eventually found guilty of five counts of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

But no one knows if he was telling the truth or not, though recent forensic evidence seems to support his claims.

The description for Man-Eater:

In the winter of 1873, a small band of prospectors lost their way in the frozen wilderness of the Colorado Rockies. Months later, when the snow finally melted, only one of them emerged. His name was Alfred G. Packer, though he would soon become infamous throughout the country under a different name: “the Man-Eater.”

After the butchered remains of his five traveling companions were discovered in a secluded valley by the Gunnison River, Packer vanished for nine years, becoming the West’s most wanted man. What followed was a saga of evasion and retribution as the trial of the century worked to extricate fact from myth and Polly Pry, a once-famed pioneering journalist, took on the cause of Packer. Man-Eater is the definitive story of a legendary crime—a gripping tale of unspeakable suffering, the desperate struggle for survival, and the fight to uncover the truth.

Buy it: Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal

Alfred Packer cannibalism memorial in Colorado
Memorial to Packer’s victims at Cannibal Plateau near Lake City, Colorado. Source: Wikipedia Commons