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More 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' Book Recs

Everyone had a lot of fun with our last Are You Afraid of the Dark? post so we're doing it again! Only this time, we're recommending books based on YOUR favorite episodes instead of the top rated on IMDB. We asked what episodes you wanted to hear about and you delivered.

Below are the top ten requested episodes for this round of book recommendations. Each is paired with a horror novel or novella we think former '90s kids will love. Since we aren't basing it off a rating system this time, episodes are listed chronologically.

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story...

10. "The Tale of Many Faces" (season 7, episode 12)

An insecure aspiring model faces off against the mysterious woman stealing youth from the faces of teen girls.

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Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm

(translated by Saskia Vogel)

From the publisher:

"With toiletries, hairbands, and notebooks in her bag, and at her mother’s instruction, a nineteen-year-old girl leaves her parents’ home and the seaside town she grew up in. Out the train window, Rafa sees the lit-up mountains and perfect trees—and the Olympic Hotel waiting for her perched above the small village of Strega. There, she and eight other girls receive the stiff black uniforms of seasonal workers and move into their shared dorm. But while they toil constantly to perform their role and prepare the hotel for guests, none arrive. Instead, they contort themselves daily to the expectations of their strict, matronly bosses without clear purpose and, in their spare moments, escape to the herb garden, confide in each other, and quickly find solace together. Finally, the hotel is filled with people for a wild and raucous party, only for one of the girls to disappear. What follows are deeper revelations about the myths we teach young women, what we raise them to expect from the world, and whether a gentler, more beautiful life is possible. In stimulating and uninhibited imagery, Johanne Lykke Holm builds a world laced with the supernatural, filled with the secrecy and potential energy of girls on the cusp of womanhood. An allegory for the societal rites, expectations of women, and violence we too easily allow, Strega builds like a spell that keeps exerting its powers long after reading."

9. "The Tale of Highway 13" (season 7, episode 6)

After fixing up a mysterious car, two teens must race a trucker to escape a time loop.

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Throttle by Joe Hill and Stephen King

From the publisher:

"Inspired by Richard Matheson's classic Duel, Throttle, by Joe Hill and Stephen King, is a duel of a different kind, pitting a faceless trucker against a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in the simmering Nevada desert. Their battle is fought out on twenty miles of the most lonely road in the country, a place where the only thing worse than not knowing what you're up against, is slowing down..."

8. "The Tale of Bigfoot Ridge" (season 6, episode 13)

Two teens venture into the snow to search for a missing friend and discover the malevolent ghost determined to lure them to their death.

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The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn

From the publisher:

"Ryan Adler and his twin sister, Jane, spent their happiest childhood days at their parents’ mountain Colorado cabin―until divorce tore their family apart. Now, with the house about to be sold, the Adler twins gather with their closest friends for one last snowboarding-filled holiday. While commitment-phobic Ryan gazes longingly at Lauren, wondering if his playboy days are over, Jane’s hopes of reconciling with her old boyfriend evaporate when he brings along his new fiancée. As drama builds among the friends, something lurks in the forest, watching the cabin, growing ever bolder as the snow falls…and hunger rises.

After a blizzard leaves the group stranded, the true test of their love and loyalty begins as the hideous creatures outside close in, one bloody attack at a time. Now Ryan, Jane, and their friends must fight―tooth and nail, bullet and blade―for their lives. Or else surrender to unspeakable deaths in the darkened woods."

7. "The Tale of C7" (season 5, episode 7)

An old lakeside Jukebox is tied to a couple torn apart after the young man died as a soldier in World War II.

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The Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick

From the publisher:

"When Nick Beron and Hannah Rampe decide to move from New York City to the tiny upstate town of Hibernia, they’re in desperate need of a change: their careers have flatlined, the city is exhausting, and they’ve reached a relationship stalemate. So Hannah accepts a job as live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth-century philosopher whose life was marred by tragedy. At first, life in this old, creaky house feels cozy. Nick and Hannah explore the deserted museum at night, wandering the twisting halls and sneakily trying out the former owners’ original master bed. But as summer turns to fall, Hannah begins to have trouble sleeping; reluctantly, she tells Nick she’s hearing whispers in the night. Then one morning, Nick wakes up to find Hannah gone. In his frantic search for her, Nick will discover the hidden legacy of Wright House: a man driven wild with grief, and a spirit aching for home."

6. "The Tale of the Train Magic" (season 4, episode 13)

A ghost train calls to the grieving son of a train conductor who longs to follow in his father's footsteps.

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Ghost Train by Stephen Laws

From the publisher:

"Mark Davies has no memory of what happened when he fell from the King’s Cross train. But ever since the accident he has been haunted by terrifying nightmares, and he feels compelled to return again and again to the station.

Yet Mark is not alone. Over the span of decades, many strange and violent incidents have occurred on the King’s Cross line. Unexplained acts of brutality. Random acts of violence. An unseen force that drives people to kill.

There is something evil aboard the train. And to stop it Mark must take one final train ride – right through the gates of Hell!"

5. "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner" (season 4, episode 9)

A comic book villain comes to life, turning people into laughing zombies.

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Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

From the publisher:

"You hold in your hands not a book at all, but a terrifying embodiment of purest evil. Can you feel the electric tingle in your fingers as you are absorbed by the demon Jakabok's tale of his unintentional ascent from the depths of the Inferno? Do you sense the cold dread worming its way into your bloodstream, your sinews, the marrow of your bones as you read more deeply into his earthly education and unspeakable acts? The filth you now grasp has been waiting patiently for you for nearly six hundred years. And now, before you are completely in its thrall, you would do well to follow the foul creature's admonition and destroy this abomination of ink and paper before you turn a single leaf and are lost forever. You have been warned."

4. "The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle" (season 2, episode 10)

A teenager is haunted by the ghost of a friend who drowned five years earlier in a terrible accident.

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Ghost Easters by Clay Mcleod Chapman

From the publisher:

"Erin hasn’t been able to set a single boundary with her charismatic but reckless college ex-boyfriend, Silas. When he asks her to bail him out of rehab—again—she knows she needs to cut him off. But days after he gets out, Silas turns up dead of an overdose in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, and Erin’s world falls apart.

Then a friend tells her about Ghost, a new drug that allows users to see the dead. Wanna get haunted? he asks. Grieving and desperate for closure with Silas, Erin agrees to a pill-popping “séance.” But the drug has unfathomable side effects—and once you take it, you can never go back."

3. "The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor" (season 2, episode 4)

A strange new Toy Company on their apartment building's thirteenth floor is more than this brother and sister ever bargained for.

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From the author:

"Each precious thing I show you in this book is a holy relic from the night we both perished — the night when I combed you from my hair and watered the moon with your blood.

'You've lost a lot of blood...'"

2. "The Tale of the Prom Queen" (season 1, episode 12)

Three teenagers search a local graveyard for the ghost of a girl who died on prom night decades earlier.

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Pretty Marys All in a Row by Gwendolyn Kiste

From the publisher:

"You’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.

In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.

They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.

But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.

That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.

But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own."

1. "The Tale of the Dark Music" (season 1, episode 11)

A paperboy discovers there's something evil lurking in this basement of his new house.

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From the publisher:

"After the death of his father and his mother taking off, it becomes clear to Ben that the only thing he can count on, is no one to count on.

Until he finds the book. One that calls forth a shadowy horned figure. She comes with unexpected gifts and the comfort of a dependable presence. And she asks for very little in return, really. The more Ben offers her, the easier it gets.

Sometimes, family requires more than a little sacrifice…"

So, what's YOUR favorite episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?

[Image Credit: thumbnail modified from Wikimedia Commons, screenshots included under Fair Use]

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