Rhody Reads

Six tales of Rhode Island haunted houses and horrors perfect for Halloween

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Home is where the haunting is in this month’s Rhody Reads as we bring you six selections to make your Halloween a little spooky. Stock the house with these scary treats that you can enjoy night or day (but probably during the daylight, to be safe). And don’t be afraid to shop your local independent bookstore for copies.

No town evokes feelings of the ghastly and mysterious like Salem, MA. Providence-born Paul Tiberi takes you there and beyond with three frightening tales in The Strange Light at Salem House and Other Stories. The author creates worlds where nothing is what it seems, bringing you along a hair-raising journey. From witches to aliens to unwelcome guests, you’ll ask yourself, did that really happen? And you might not find the answer you expect. 

The vibrant music scene in Providence makes the perfect setting for evil doings in Paul Tremblay’s latest novel, The Pallbearers Club. Warning: cool girls are not always what they seem to be, especially when they are named after Rhode Island’s most famous vampire, Mercy Brown. If you’ve ever been curious about if there were mysterious goings on in the city’s historic residences along Benefit Street, wonder no more. Tremblay’s twists keep you guessing until the very end in this modern masterpiece. 

Equal parts weird and wonderful, Tentacle Head is RI-based author Rick Claypool’s recently released genre-defying book. When the title character arrives in a shantytown of discarded medical mutants, the balance of power in their home is thrown askew. The self-designated leader of the group, Myco, has been maintaining order but things are about to get interesting. The illustrations by Sarah Allen Reed are as twisted and humorous as the story itself, making for the perfect combination. 

Considering its size, Little Rhody is home to an incredible number of spooky tales, many of them chronicled in Rory Raven’s Haunted Providence: Strange Tales from the Smallest State. From mansions to mill houses, legends abound in the streets and places we’ve all come to know and love. Rather than wondering “What’s haunted?” Raven leaves you asking, “What isn’t haunted?” As the founder of the Providence Ghost Walk, he knows his spooky stuff. 

Stories of strange and weird happenings are not just in the past. Ocean State authors are still telling tales that will scare your pants off. You’ll find 20 new selections in We Are Providence: Tales of Horror from the Ocean State, edited by Christa Carmen and L.E. Daniels with an essay by Faye Ringel titled “The Roots of Horror in Rhode Island.” These authors are your friends and neighbors. Doesn’t that send a chill down your spine? 

Some of the state’s creepiest tales  are presented in Rhode Island’s Spooky Ghosts and Creepy Legends by Katie Boyd. Find Fingernail Freddie, the Swamp Bride, plus a voluminous collection of haunts and horrors. Professional demonologist and paranormal investigator Katie Boyd explores the folklore firsthand and shares her own personal experience as well as the scary, shocking truths that will have you sleeping with the light on. 

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