Spooky Book Wishlist

You know me, I love a creepy book or two. My Amazon wishlist is about 98% books on death and true crime, so what better time to share some of my coveted texts than Halloween? Just don't judge me, OK?
Creepy spooky Halloween books
This book isn't out until March so it's on pre-order at the moment but man, am I looking forward to it! Carla Valentine is a mortuary-technician-turned-pathology-curator who I've been following on all platforms for a good few years now (here Twitter is here and you can find links to all others from there). She's recently announced the publication of her book and I can't wait to find out all about her experience and expertise in postmortems. 

Pre-order Past Mortems here


First of all, let's talk about how freaking stunning this cover is! From the book description, it seems that Death: A Picture Album is a visual collection of art and artefacts related to history of death across the world. Next year I'm taking a module called Death in the Visual Arts so this will be absolutely perfect for that. 

Buy Death: A Picture Album here


*Because the image above is going to be displayed on my blog homepage as well as on social media, I've edited the cover of this book as the image on it may be upsetting for some. You can see the full cover with the link below.

Like Death: A Picture Album, Photography and Death is primarily concerned with photography surrounding death. However, this book differs in its confrontational approach to death. Rather than photography artefacts related to the subject, it's a history of the act of photographing the dead themselves. I imagine it will be an emotional but also hugely poignant book. 

Buy Photography and Death here


Another aesthetically stunning coffee table book, Beyond the Dark Veil is very similar to Photography and Death as it's all about postmortem photography. Unlike the former, this collection is focused on Victorian and early 20th Century photography. The Victorian practice of taking photographs of the deceased was one of a few things that sparked my interest in death culture- I watched The Others as a teen and was fascinated by the concept. Apparently there are 194 photographs included in this book and as my Death in the Visual Arts module has a lecture (and possible assessment) on postmortem photography, it's going to be incredibly useful as well as interesting.

Buy Beyond the Dark Veil here


A third beautiful hardback book- I'm going to have quite the collection by the time I've bought them all! Memento Mori is a book we've already discussed on our course Facebook page and I'm fascinated because it features a jewelled skeleton at the famous Sound of Music church I visited in Mondsee, Austria. I was confused because I couldn't remember seeing a skeleton at the altar but, when I went back over my photos, I realised they'd placed a panel in front of him. However, he does have two skeleton friends chilling out in plain view beside him and I'm shocked that I didn't notice. Just a reason to go back to Austria, I guess... Memento Mori is similar to Death: A Picture Album in that it showcases a range of death-related settings and paraphernalia from different cultures throughout history.

Buy Memento Mori here


OK, I actually own this book already but if you're interested in my previous choices, you'll definitely want to know about this too. The full title of this book is Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey From Cremation to Quantum Resurrection which is a bit of a mouthful but does a pretty good job of summing up the text! It's an encyclopedia of sorts, discussing all sorts of phenomena and practices related to death- including the likes of ghosts, plague doctors and zombies- listed in chronological order. Each entry has one page with a brief explanation and a full-page image opposite. This means it's pretty basic in terms of the information shared but it works as a great springboard to allocate areas of interest before researching further. If you're interested in death culture, I really recommend it. Not to mention the fact that the design is absolutely beautiful! 

 Buy Death and the Afterlife here

Let's finish off with a couple of non-death books (well, at least books with a more subtle death theme). Sleepy Hollow is a great Halloween film so I'm really interested to read the story that inspired it (and just look at that cover!) Edgar Allen Poe is a creepy classic and the one book of his I've read- the Little Black Classic The Tell-Tale Heart- I absolutely loved, so I'm eager to explore more of his work. The Fall of the House of Usher looks like a perfect place to start! 

Looking for more spooky, morbid book recommendations? Find out my top 5 books about death (with another wishlist), watch my death books video or check out last year's Halloween books post. As always, if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know in the comments! 

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  1. That Memento Mori book sounds like just the kind of thing I was looking for! I love anything related to different cultures and death as I've recently been on a mythology and folklore kick, and a few pieces relating to death have come up so I've now moved into the more morbid things, haha! Loved this list. I may have just updated my Wishlist with several of these. - Tasha

  2. I love Sleepy Hollow! That was the first DVD I owned and I love the cover on the book x

    Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty


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