The best ghost mystery stories

The Books I Picked & Why

Carfax House: A Christmas Ghost Story

By Shani Struthers

Book cover of Carfax House: A Christmas Ghost Story

Why this book?

I can’t have Christmas without a good ghost mystery and for me, Carfax House perfectly fits the bill. When her husband gets caught up at work in London, a lonely wife prepares their new country home for Christmas. But an elusive female figure haunting the building and its fog-strewn grounds reconnect her with a traumatic experience from the past. The contrast between the enforced jollity of Christmas and the strain on the woman’s psyche threatens to wreck her increasingly fragile grip on reality.

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The Little Stranger

By Sarah Waters

Book cover of The Little Stranger

Why this book?

I love this story of a country house and its family in decline, haunted by the creepy presence of the little stranger. The doctor whose mother once worked as a maid at Hundreds Hall does his best to support the eccentric family as the disturbances threaten to overwhelm them. In doing so, he becomes an increasingly intimate part of the mystery. 

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The Shining

By Stephen King

Book cover of The Shining

Why this book?

Almost too iconic to pick, The Shining sets the standard for ghost mystery stories. Who are those spooky little girls? The woman in the bath of Room 217? The bartender… And what does this snowbound, deserted hotel want from recovering alcoholic Jack and his family? If you like horror and twisted minds, you have to read this book. And for those of you who have seen the stunning Kubrick film, prepare yourself: there are a few significant differences in the novel.

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By Becky Wright

Book cover of Priory

Why this book?

Oliver Hardacre is a successful writer living in Whitby who most definitely does not want to return to his family home in Suffolk. When circumstances force his hand, we find ourselves in a ghost mystery that swirls with layers of uncertainty, guaranteed to make you shiver. An eerie, haunting novel with a twist I never saw coming - like all good ghost mysteries!

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By Toon Francine

Book cover of Pine

Why this book?

Ghost stories thrive on limited viewpoints, but does the child at the centre of this novel see more clearly than others? Set against the bleak backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, 10-year-old Lauren wonders about the mysterious woman who keeps appearing to her and her harrowed dad. Especially as it is only Lauren who ever seems to remember her. Sad, creepy, and thoroughly recommended.

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