YA Friday: Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

man walking through the fog towards a giant figure with glowing eyes

Non-fiction edition

In the fall, I am always looking for a good scary story.  Now that I've binge-watched Stranger Things and the new show based on The Haunting of Hill House, I wanted to find some non-fiction creepy stories. I am personally a skeptic, but I love reading about strange happenings and past crimes.  This post highlights some historical true crime and ghost stories that we have in our YA non-fiction collection.

ghost cat flying

Historical True Crime and the Paranormal

book cover with a Picture of an Axe with the title written in itThe Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century

by Sara Miller

Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done she gave her father 41.  This macabre nursery rhyme is based on a true story.  In 1892, Lizzie's father and step-mother were murdered with an axe.  She was put on trial for their murders, but found "Not Guilty."  Over a 100 years later, people still debate whether she committed the crime. And if she's guilty, why did she do it?

book cover with shadow man walking under a street lampJack the Ripper

by Michael Burgan

Perhaps the most infamous serial killer of all time, the crimes of Jack the Ripper have been discussed for over a century.  In 1888, Jack the Ripper stalked the Whitechapel district in London, England.  He murdered 5 known victims before disappearing.  Who was he?  Over the years, there have been many theories, but his identity remains a secret.

book cover with a Full moon over a decrepit barnReal Ghost Stories Online: Haunting Encounters Told by Real People

by Tony and Jenny Brueski

Based off the podcast!  Inspired by a love of ghost stories, Tony and Jenny Brueski started their podcast to collect ghost stories from real people all over the world. In this book, they share some of the the best stories that have been on their show.

book cover with a ghostly figure behind a curtain


by Peggy J. Parks

Interested in how ghost hunters go about their work?  This book covers the history and folklore surrounding ghosts, what ghost hunters do, and some theories about ghosts.

book cover with a shadowy figure standing behind doorHauntings

by Gail B. Stewart

Why are some places haunted?  Explore the history of haunted places like graveyards, battlegrounds and lighthouses.

puritan woman with face split into a crying side and evil side

Witches!: the Absolutely True Tale of a Disaster in Salem

by Rosalyn Schanzer

Sometimes the real world can be more frightening than fiction!  In 1692, two girls began to exhibit strange symptoms.  The doctor could not figure out what was wrong with them, so he decided they were cursed.  Accusations began to fly, and the Salem Witch Trials began.

book cover of infrared photo with light anomalyThe Paranormal Caught on Film

by Melvin J. Willin

Imagine getting back from vacation, looking at your photos and finding a spectral person looking over your shoulder in the picture.  The images in this book claim to be of ghosts, poltergeists, and other paranormal activity.


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