It’s the Halloween season, so time to get a little spooky! I’ve rounded up some favorite stories where ghosts feature a prominent role – it ended up being harder to find books than I thought it would be! But in the end, I’ve rounded up a mixture of scary ghosts, friendly ghosts, and ghosts who just don’t want to be ghosts.
If any of these books strike your spooky fancy, I’ve linked the titles to Goodreads!
THE THIEF WHO KNOCKED ON SORROW’S GATE by Michael McClung
The past haunts thief Amra Thetys quite literally in book three of this fantasy series. Amra fled from her home city years ago, barely surviving the purges that massacred slum children by the hundreds. When she returns home to square old debts, she discovers the ghosts of those children have amassed into something powerful, and Amra may be the only one who can stop it from enacting bloody vengeance.
SMOKE BITTEN by Patricia Briggs
SMOKE BITTEN is standing in for the Mercy Thompson series in general, as one of Mercy’s abilities as a coyote shapeshifter is that she can see ghosts. Most of the time, they’re just echoes caught in a loop, harmlessly going through motions of lives long ended. In SMOKE BITTEN, however, violent murders cause ghosts to become more active, forcing Mercy to use her sight to try and piece together what happened to the unfortunate victims.
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
This is a hard one to talk about in detail because the moment of discovering the ghost in THE RAVEN BOYS is absolutely wonderful, so much so that it has stuck with me years after I finished reading the series. So let me assure you that there is a ghost who is integral to the plot and part of the dream-like ambiance of magic that permeates the world of THE RAVEN BOYS. It’s one of the things that makes the series so mesmerizing, how much it is our world with just an extra dash of the supernatural thrown on top – including ghosts.
UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by T.J. Klune
This is a rare feel-good ghost story – one where a Scrooge-like Wallace has to come to grips with the fact that he is dead. Except Wallace adamantly refuses to move on, leaving him to haunt the tea house run by a ferryman whose job it is to help Wallace make peace with his life. Over the course of the story, Wallace interacts with a few other ghosts who linger at the tea house, including a Very Good Boy, and has some heartfelt conversations about life, death, and living.
SHADOW OF A DEAD GOD by Patrick Samphire
Nik Thorne is a wizard-for-hire, performing all kinds of thankless tasks for any who have coin. Most of the time when he’s hired to expel ghosts, they’re just figments of a client’s imagination. But once in a while, those ghosts are real and they are ANGRY. Just another day in the life of a beleaguered wizard-for-hire.