Library Notes: Rowan Public Library welcomes new spine-tingling horror stories this fall

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 2021

By Amanda Brill
Rowan Public Library

You feel a chill in the morning air as you step outside, leaves fall from the trees and crunch under your feet as you walk to work or school, and a Spirit Halloween store has sprung up seemingly overnight inside an old department store that shut down a few months ago; it must be October and that means finding your next spooky read with Rowan Public Library.

When you think of horror novels, you probably think of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or even Mary Shelley and her terrifying tale of a scientist who created a creature that only knows destruction. These stories are popular year after year. I personally enjoy my tradition of reading “Pet Sematary” every October, but there are some new hair-raising, spine-tingling, spooky stories hitting the shelves at Rowan Public Library this fall that are sure to be fixtures on reading lists again and again.

For adults, “When the Reckoning Comes” by LaTonya McQueen is a harsh look at the realities of racism and segregation in a small North Carolina town as our lead, Mira returns to her hometown for the wedding of her childhood friend, Celine. The wedding takes place at the renovated Woodsman plantation that once was subject to a slave revolt and in their youth, Mira, Celine, and another friend Jesse faced a terrifying ghost that haunts them to this day. But for all its fancy renovations, the Woodsman remains a monument to its oppressive racist history. The bar serves antebellum drinks, entertainments include horrifying reenactments, and the service staff is nearly all black. The ghosts of the plantation are not happy with how their stories are erased and covered up and the three friends must reckon with their past and present lives to save themselves.

For fans of Crimson Peak and Rebecca, “The Death of Jane Lawrence” is a thrilling and terrifying dive into what it means to truly know the person you married. Jane Shorington needs to get married and she’s chosen well-off doctor Augustine Lawrence for the role of her husband. The problem is, Augustine tells Jane she will be well cared for and never wish for anything, as long as she does not visit his family home. By some unfortunate circumstances, Jane is stranded at Lindridge Hall and finds her new husband manic, terrified, and under the assumption that Jane is an apparition come to destroy him.

Teen and young adult readers are in for a treat with “The Taking of Jake Livingston.” Jake has it hard enough fitting in at St. Clair Prep School as one of the few Black kids enrolled, but to make things more complicated, Jake can see dead people. Most are stuck in a loop, replaying their deaths over and over again, but there is one spirit who had a violent death and starts haunting Jake personally.

Finally, “Mary, Will I Die” is one that would be familiar to those who frequent sleepovers at their friends’ houses. One such sleepover begins innocently with four friends watching movies and eating way too many snacks until someone suggests a game of Bloody Mary. Saying the name 13 times is supposed to summon Mary to show the friends their futures; however, Mary has other plans in mind. The friends begin seeing something with them in their reflections and a new girl starts school soon after the sleepover…and her name is Mary.

Visit our online catalog at or call 980-432-8670 to reserve your copy of these spooky new titles and more.

Amanda Brill is young adult librarian at Rowan Public Library.

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