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Essential Halloween Reading

| Books

It’s the most monstrous time of the year…a time for ghosts, goblins, and ghouls! Scare yourself silly this Halloween with these spooky titles published by FriesenPress and printed by Friesens Corporation.

NIGHTSHADES – Harlow Daiger and Marley Del Wood

Brimming with horror, tragedy, suspense, and a hint of the supernatural, Nightshades is an anthology set in the Canadian Prairies and perfect to read on a stormy Halloween night. The themes in Nightshades…ranging from the legacy of childhood trauma, to twisted justice, to the abuse of power, to toxic relationships, to mental illness and more…are topics that scarcely leave anyone in this world untouched. Unifying these nightmarish tales is the core truth that nothing is scarier than real life.


Trashcan Twilight is the story of a young girl who is babysitting one night in Blackburn Hamlet. She falls asleep watching television but is awoken by an eerie sound coming from the backyard. When she steps out to investigate, she quickly runs back into the house and locks the doors, fearful and astounded by what she sees and hears.


What do you do when the most joyful place on earth turns into a living nightmare? What starts as a typical day at the best amusement park in the universe quickly turns into chaos as a virus spreads like wildfire through the patrons and staff. In this suspenseful and horror-filled parody, author Kat Chartier brings a new twist to a tale of blood, gore, zombies, and theme parks.


Nearly ten years since the Rapture and humanity is no longer at the top of the food chain. God has taken his followers to heaven and left demons to rule earth in his wake. Shining through the darkness, a group of survivors has come together under the lights of the last piece of entertainment left on this world, a travelling carnival led by a mysterious and enigmatic man who has dubbed himself “The Queen”. These stories interweave with each other on their individual journeys through post-rapture earth before they find their way to the City of God and face down their creator.


A battle of wits ensues when an FBI profiler and a psychiatrist discover they both have a propensity for evil. What is greatness without madness?

SOME TRICK OF MISCHIEF – Elizabeth Garland

This diary-style narrative, told by an uninvolved storyteller but with observations by one of the participants, chronicles events past and present and accentuates that finding the truth is not always easy or simple but requires persistence, faith, and an unwavering determination to reject tricks, mischief, and lies. The book discloses the dramatic and unexpected events that challenge perspectives and disturb cherished assumptions in the small Beacon Hill University community.

WHEATSHAFT – Victor Malarek

In this political thriller, general reporter for the New York Tribune Matt Kozar, flies to Eritrea where he witnesses blatant corruption in the distribution of national food aid. But there is something far more sinister going on and, as he continues to dig, he quickly finds himself pitted against a rogue’s gallery of extremely dangerous characters who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their illegal enterprise from being exposed.

MY FATHER’S SECRET – Sean Patrick Dolan

When Declan Keenan begins to clean out his family’s house after his father’s death, he makes an unexpected discovery. Unable to refuse his father’s dying wish, he begins his search for answers in an attempt to satisfy justice. Despite threats, destruction of evidence, and murder, Declan perseveres, knowing that he must do his utmost to reveal his father’s secret and expose a long-hidden truth.


On the surface, a quiet township in rural Ontario might seem picturesque, but in the early decades of the twentieth century that image couldn’t have been farther from the truth. With an obscure cult, unexplained disappearances, and a series of murders, the dark rumours of what really went on in those early days have cast long shadows on this humble setting. A fictional adaptation of the real-life legend of Ontario’s Rideau Ferry Man, the book is an eerie tale that imagines the truth behind the legend and brings back to life all those lost to history.


When recently widowed Kay Gates moves to Sydenham, Ontario, to start a new life, she is hoping for some peace after a difficult year. However, what she finds instead is anything but idyllic. Shortly after she realizes her home is haunted by a ghost with an agenda, the house across the road is destroyed by arson, and Kay stumbles upon a murder scene next door. With Kay’s supernatural encounters increasing and her own personal safety threatened, she struggles to make sense of seemingly unconnected events.

Not-so-scary stories for the little ones

WILLDA THE WITCH – Aleasha Reich

Willda the Witch is excited; she’s been waiting for Halloween all year! It’s an enchanting fairy tale about a kind-hearted, but forgetful, witch. Through Willda’s Halloween journey, children of all ages will learn that it’s okay to have faults as we can learn to make the best of them by using our imaginations.


Not So Scary is a friendly witch. She doesn’t mind not being scary, but this year she wants to invite the kids to trick or treat and she wants to be scary. After all, isn’t that how witches are supposed to be? Not So Scary visits her friends to ask for help, but they all tell her to go away. When Halloween comes, will she be scary? Written by 7-year-old Chaachee, who loves to write stories to give them as gifts to her friends and family.

HALLOWEEN – Anthony Di Micco

Halloween is a time of magic and freedom, when normal rules don’t apply, and anything is possible. But kids aren’t the only ones who look forward to Halloween…ghosts, goblins, witches and werewolves…all the creatures of the night come out to play! Halloween is a wonderful story celebrating the magic of the night, as it was and as it still is today: perfect for the young and the young at heart.

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