I’m back with my last book rec video of the fall/spooky season. Don’t worry more bookish videos are still coming this month so keep your eyes out). But today for all my non-fiction and spooky reading fans I have 7 non-fiction spooky reads for this Halloween Season. Because in my opinion what is spookier and scarier than what’s real (or could be real).
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The Victorian Book of the Dead
The Victorians were quite fascinated by death in a way that is very contrary to a lot of our modern culture. So this book is a little peak back in time to the different fads, traditions and stories of the times. Everything from post mortem photography, to ghost stories, crazy deaths to mourning fads and everything in between. Yes, there were actual trends and fads. If you’re not big on non-fiction and feel the genre’s a bit daunting this is a great place to start. This book is made up of tons of photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles and first hand sources.
In A Dark Place
Ed & Lorraine Warren, Carmen Reed, All Snedeker with Ray Garton
If you’re familiar with Ed and Lorraine Warren and the Conjuring Universe these authors sound familiar. So on top of being world renown demonologists and having a series of movies based off some of their cases they also have quite a few books documenting some of their most notorious cases. This book follows the Smurl family who encountered a series of very unfortunate and crazy events in their home but also seamed to follow them wherever they went. Whether or not you actually believe this to be true it’s the perfect non-fiction spooky read that’s very fast paced and very scary.
The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal and Hysteria in 1692 Salem
I mentioned another Salem witch trials book last time in my fiction list. But if you are as fascinated as I am and want to know the real history, this is the book for you. This is a dive into the Salem witch trials where a whole town in hysteria turns on its own in full witch panic. This is a full account of the witch trials along with the proper historical context to understand the common thoughts beliefs and fears of those during that time. This is on the denser side but if you’re a lover of history and a deeply interested in the trials it’s the book for you.
I loved this book and I don’t know if it’s spooky in the traditional sense but it’s all about cadavers and it’s taken from a very scientific angle. How cadavers have been able to explain so much for us on a scientific level with medicine and biology the history of both ethically and ethically sourced cadavers that led to these discoveries, how decomposition works and a lot more. This book addresses information and questions you maybe never ask because as a society we tend to shun all talk, understanding or reminders of death. Despite this subject matter, Roach does a really good job at presenting the information in a very tasteful matter but if you happen to be very squeamish you might want to pass.
Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
I’ve watched and listened to a few youtube videos about Belle’s case and it is defiantly interesting. This book is all about a woman named Belle Gunness a notorious serial killer. In the early 1900s she was known to lure men to her farm in promise of marriage or work and these men all just happened to disappear. Down the road they find plenty of human remains on the farm. Now what makes Belle’s case a bit different is that in contrast to many female serial killer’s who’s weapon of choice was poison, Belle isn’t called Butcher of Men for nothing.
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
Speaking of butchering… If you liked the sound of The Victorian Book of the Dead and Stiff this might also be up your ally. This dives into the world of surgery during the victorian era. Back before anesthesia and surgery was more often more dangerous than the initial impediment. This specifically discusses Joseph Lister’s research, experimentation, antiseptic theories and the backlash he received at the time trying to change the incredibly high mortality rates and provide a safer new way to perform surgeries and a new approach to health care and health over all.
Murder, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson
So we’re probably very familiar with names like Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson. But along with them are many other women who paved the way for the horror, thriller and sci-fi genres that have been forgotten in time. Women who wrote sci-fi epics 150 before Mary Shelley. This book tells their story in a part reading guide part biography.
Thanks so much for reading! What’s your favorite Non-Fiction Spooky Read?