The best ghost mystery stories

Who am I?

I’ve loved horror books and films since I was a boy, staying up late at the weekend to watch all those Hammer classics. Ghost stories are a favourite and many of the best – except those where the ghosts are pure evil – are all about the mystery. What horror was visited on this spirit to make it return and haunt the living? The process of finding out must be elusive, suggestive, mysterious – and leave you that little bit less certain all is well when you go through the house switching off the lights last thing at night. All these books surely do that.


I wrote...

The Boy in the Burgundy Hood: A Ghost Story

By Steve Griffin,

Book cover of The Boy in the Burgundy Hood: A Ghost Story

What is my book about?

Alice Deaton can’t believe her luck when she lands a new post at a medieval English manor house. Mired in debt, the elderly owners have transferred their beloved Bramley to a heritage trust. Alice must prepare it for opening to the public in the spring, with the former owners relegated to a private wing. But when the ghosts start appearing - the woman with the wounded hand and the boy in the burgundy hood - Alice realises why her predecessor might have left the isolated house so soon.

As she peels back the layers of the mystery, the secrets Alice uncovers haunting Bramley’s heart will be dark - darker than she could ever have imagined...

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Carfax House: A Christmas Ghost Story

Steve Griffin Why did I love 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.

By Shani Struthers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Carfax House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of the bestselling Psychic Surveys and This Haunted World series, comes a Christmas ghost story to chill your bones!
A renovation. In the countryside. Just over an hour’s train ride from London.
An ideal family home. Sold unseen. At auction.
Married couple, Al and Liz Greenaway, love London, but when they discover an impressive country property for sale, in need of some TLC, for the same price as their London flat, they decide to go for it. For them, life is all about reinventing themselves, keeping things fresh, and this house marks an exciting new chapter.…


Book cover of The Little Stranger

Steve Griffin Why did I love 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. 

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Little Stranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

After her award-winning trilogy of Victorian novels, Sarah Waters turned to the 1940s and wrote THE NIGHT WATCH, a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime Britain. Shortlisted for both the Orange and the Man Booker, it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart. In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable…


Book cover of The Shining

Steve Griffin Why did I love 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.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Shining as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern American horror from the undisputed master, Stephen King.

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around…


Book cover of Priory

Steve Griffin Why did I love 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!

By Becky Wright,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Priory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book 1 in The Ghosts of Hardacre series.

Memories are like ghosts. They linger in doorways, whisper with the howling wind when lightning strikes. They are the dark phantoms of my youth. My mind buried my memories for good reason, and I spent forty years believing I could escape them.

Until with one phone call, I found myself in my childhood home: Hardacre Priory.

I knew from the first step through the door that it was all over. The forgotten events of 1979 leapt to the surface and screamed their truths. Everything I thought to be true was a lie.…


Book cover of Pine

Steve Griffin Why did I love 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.

By Francine Toon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Pine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER of the McIlvanney Prize 2020
Shortlisted for Bloody Scotland's Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2020
Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2020

'Hugely atmospheric, exquisitely written and utterly gripping' LUCY FOLEY, author of The Hunting Party
'It's both eerie and thrilling at once, and had me under its spell until the end' SOPHIE MACKINTOSH, author of Blue Ticket and The Water Cure
______________

They are driving home from the search party when they see her. The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men.

Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands,…


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By Delia Pitts,

Book cover of Trouble in Queenstown

Delia Pitts

New book alert!

What is my book about?

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Trouble in Queenstown

By Delia Pitts,

What is this book about?

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Evander “Vandy” Myrick became a cop to fulfill her father’s expectations. After her world cratered, she became a private eye to satisfy her own. Now she's back in Queenstown, New Jersey, her childhood home, in search of solace and recovery. It's a small community of nine thousand souls crammed into twelve square miles, fenced by cornfields, warehouses, pharma labs, and tract housing. As a Black woman, privacy is hard to come by in "Q-Town," and…


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