Tag Archives: Scary Stories

Chilling Out vs Scaring Yourself Chilly

Anyone else feel like they’re melting anytime they step away from the A/C lately? Staying cool can be a bit tricky these days, but don’t fret… ice cream for dinner and spooky stories to your rescue! All you have to do is plan a stop at your friendly local (air conditioned)  library!

Book cover of The Perfect ScoopThe perfect scoop : 200 recipes for ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and sweet accompaniments by David Lebovitz
A revised and updated edition of the best-selling ice cream book, featuring a dozen new recipes and all-new photography. This comprehensive collection of homemade ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and accompaniments from New York Times best-selling cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz emphasizes classic and sophisticated flavors alongside a bountiful helping of personality and proven technique. You’ll be a potluck hero!

N’ice cream : 80+ recipes for healthy homemade vegan ice creams by Virpi Mikkonen
Award-winning Finnish author Virpi and co-author Tuulia show that making your own ice cream can be easy and good for you at the same time. These recipes can be made with or without an ice cream maker, and include foolproof instant ice creams that can be savored right away. Includes recipes for ice creams, milkshakes, sorbets, ice cream cakes, sauces and more.

Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski
Whether you’re looking for a sweet surprise for a summer barbecue, an innovative cocktail party finale, or an afternoon snack for kids, ice pops are an easy treat for all to enjoy. Packed with luscious photographs and endless inspiration, this book shows how satisfying it is to make ice pops at home.

But what if popsicles and ice cream aren’t your thing? No problem. Get out of the city and head to the cool and shady forest! Doesn’t that water look so nice and refreshing? Better be careful though, because sometimes communing with nature means you learn things you were better off not knowing. Check out these titles and scare yourself chilly!

Before I Go by Marieke Nijkamp
When Corey moves away from Lost Creek, Alaska, she makes her friend Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger. With every hour, Corey’s suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets–but piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter.

Still Water by Amy Stuart
A mysterious disappearance at High River brings Clare to the stormy riverside town where people go to hide from their past. ally Proulx and her son had found refuge with Helen Haines, a matriarch with a tragic past who provides safety for women fleeing abuse. A week ago, they both went missing. Clare turns up and starts asking questions. Did Sally drown? Did her son? Was it an accident, or is their disappearance part of something bigger?

 

Campfire Ghost Stories by Jo-Anne Christensen
This entertaining collection of great campfire ghost stories, whether read alone or aloud, is sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck. Are you brave enough to read these out in the woods alone?

Let me know below which camp you fall into… do you prefer A/C and ice cream, or will you be scaring yourself chilly?

Happy reading!

– Megan (#TeamIceCream)

Summer Spooktacle

Summer is a time of sunshine, sand, ice cream, and s’mores around the campfire. There is nothing quite like sitting around a toasty fire while staring up at the stars, listening to the rustling of the wind in the trees while someone tells a scary story.

If you want to keep the spooky times rolling even after your summer vacation is over (if you ask me, it’s never too early to start getting ready for Halloween!), check out items in the list below, guaranteed to bring that campfire feeling into your home! Maybe leave the fire outside, though.

 The Curse of the Wendigo by Nick Yancey

In book 2 of the Monstrumologist series, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancée to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

If you’ve never encountered the Wendigo in your reading, it’s well worth checking this one out. It’s one of the creepiest folkloric creatures I’ve run into in my reading adventures!

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Speaking as someone who recently missed a turn and then found herself driving on a deserted highway surrounded by marsh, and then on a lonely dirt road through endless cornfields, all under a partially cloud-covered full moon, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think that you might see a ghostly figure along the side of the road.

Haunted highways are a classic amongst urban legends. You might recognize some of these popular titles: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

In fact, in Sparrow Hill Road, she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom.

If you’re feeling brave, feel free to bring this along as your next road trip read!

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Killer mermaids and ghost ships, anyone?

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.

As a novella, this book is a nice, quick read, perfect for the beach!

And if you enjoy this one, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Into the Drowning Deep.

Gravity Falls by Alex Hirsch

Twelve year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are off to spend the summer with their gruff Great Uncle (‘Grunkle’) Stan who runs the tacky tourist trap, ‘Mystery Shack.’ The kids uncover mysterious surprises, unsurpassed silliness, and supernatural shenanigans lurking around every corner of the deceptively sleepy little town.

This is a fun series for younger fans of things that go bump in the night, and you just can’t go wrong with shenanigans!

Supernatural

This television series got its start in the folklore and myths that created all of the really great campfire tales. The main characters, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, seek out and fight supernatural forces in an attempt to find their mysteriously missing father and the person or force responsible for their mother’s death. In the process, you’ll meet recognizable characters, some of whom have already appeared on this list, such as the Phantom Traveler and the Wendigo.

These are just a few of the spooky stories we have at the library, so don’t worry horror fans, you won’t run out!

Maybe you’ve got some other favourite tales that you like to share with friends. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to know what they are!

Happy reading,

Megan

The Ghosts of Traditions Past

Imagine a group of friends gathered around the fireplace. It’s dark outside, and cold. The wind rattles the windows. Everyone is listening intently to a scary story, occasionally glancing around the room to make sure no one is sneaking up behind them.

Not your typical Christmas scene, is it?

December is an interesting month. It is at once a bright and happy time, full of sparkling, twinkling lights, gatherings with family and friends, and a winter wonderland of beautiful fluffy snow. It is also a time of long, dark nights and freezing temperatures. The longest night and shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, falls on December 21st, marking the first official day of winter. Traditionally, Christmas has been every bit as much a time of ghost stories as a time of carols.

You can thank the Victorians for this. While they certainly enjoyed a quiet cup of tea, the Victorians were actually quite an adventurous bunch, and were fascinated by the supernatural. Many stereotypical December activities, such as decorating and displaying an evergreen tree in your home, gift giving, and caroling, were popularized in Victorian homes, and probably give you a nice, warm glow. However, most of these traditions have older, rather darker origins, having been borrowed from times when the long winter nights held no certainty of a new dawn, and the cold and dark were as much a threat as any monster, no matter how big your bonfire. One borrowed practice of which the Victorians were particular fond is the telling of tall, terrific tales.

DickensCharles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is far from the only seasonal ghost story, although it is probably the best known. The unsettling events of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James are framed by a narrative in which a family sits around a warm fire and listens to the story of a young governess charged with the care and keeping of two secretive young children in a big, lonely house with only the housekeeper for company.

Mr. James is considered to have written some of the best ghost stories for his time, forgoing some of the more stereotypical elements found in ghost stories. Although his stories tend not to be about Christmas, friends invited over during the Christmas season would often listen to his latest ghost story while drinking eggnog.

Smee by A.M. Burrage takes place on Christmas Eve, when a group of friends at a holiday party decides they would like to play a game of hide-and-seek. However, one of the guests is determined not to play. He begins to tell the story of a game of smee he played some years earlier, when an extra player suddenly joins the game.

PhantomOther authors worth checking out for some old-timey scares are Wilkie Collins and Sheridan Le Fanu. The Phantom Coach : A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories by Michael Sims features a nice selection of Victorian ghost stories by popular authors as well.

So there’s your new family tradition for December! Get everyone together, grab some cozy blankets, turn the lights down, and share some spooky stories (and maybe some baking).

 Megan