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Spooky Stories

3rd October 2018

As Agatha Christie expert Chris Chan points out, there’s a plethora of spooky and supernatural stories written by the Queen of Crime. Not for the faint-hearted, these unique reads are perfect for thriller fans and macabre enthusiasts.

The Hound of Death

A truly extraordinary short story collection, The Hound of Death and Other Stories details 12 unexplained phenomena, delivering a deadly dose of mystery. The collection has an unprecedented focus on the supernatural and is only published in the UK. The audiobook, read by Sir Christopher Lee, makes an ideal accompaniment to a thrilling evening in. Features: 'The Witness for the Prosecution', 'SOS' and 'The Fourth Man' 

The Pale Horse

Published in 1961, this novel received high praise from The Guardian: “The black magic theme is handled in a masterly and sinister fashion, and to give away what lay behind it would be unforgivable. This is a book which nobody (repeat, nobody) should miss.” Are a suspicious group of self-identified witches causing deaths in and around the village of Much Deeping? Ariadne Oliver, and narrator Mark Easterbrook get to work on an investigation into their residence, a former inn, the eponymous Pale Horse.

The Mysterious Mr Quin

A fascinating relationship develops in this collection of short stories, between an unprejudiced observer Mr Satterthwaite, and an expert in mystery and intrigue, Mr Harley Quin. Mr Quin, predisposed to arrive unexpectedly and with a faint air of the supernatural about him, poses questions to help the other man to solve seemingly impossible crimes and puzzles. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s love of the Commedia dell’ arte, this book is a too-often-neglected gem.  

The Thirteen Problems

This book, which reads like an episodic novel rather than a set of short stories, contains Agatha Christie’s first written account of Miss Marple. Nestled around a table after dinner, the Tuesday Night Club is formed, aimed at testing participants’ wit and guile, by sharing mysterious circumstances to which the teller knows the solution. Readers learn very quickly never to underestimate Miss Marple, the sharp-eyed sleuth who solves every problem with a smart and reasoned explanation. From bleeding stones to supernatural knife attacks, this book will have you on the edge of your sofa. 

The Rats (part of The Rule of Three)

A chilling one act play about two adulterous lovers who get caught out. Set in a smart London flat in leafy Hampstead, Sandra and David meet for what they assume to be a private, uninterrupted evening. After several other visitors arrive, the pair make a shocking discovery! They’ve been set up, but how can they possibly escape? The Rule of Three is now available in print, as part of Samuel French’s newly published playtexts, The Collection. An ideal gift for Hitchcock fans.

The Sittaford Mystery

As winter looms on a snowy hillside in Dartmoor, Captain Trevelyan is preparing to rent out Sittaford House to an aunt and her niece. But as they settle into their harsh surroundings, a spooky séance stirs up trouble for them, and their guests. Written in 1931, this novel has all the ingredients vital for a thrilling detective story, with a supernatural twist. 

Hallowe’en Party

A children’s party gets off to a frightful start, as 13-year-old Joyce Reynolds tells guests that she witnessed a murder several years ago. Onlookers suspect that Joyce, prone to telling tales, is trying to impress fellow guest, and crime author, Ariadne Oliver. But when the girl is found dead, Ariadne’s suspicions are aroused. Was there more to the story than the guests thought? Hercule Poirot is called upon to investigate. No spooky list would be complete without this Halloween classic!

Endless Night

One of Agatha Christie’s own personal favourites, Endless Night centres around Gipsy’s Acre, a mysterious spot with a dark history. Michael Rogers, the novel’s protagonist is desperate to live there with the woman of his dreams, but he hasn’t met her yet… Ellie, a wealthy heiress captivates Michael, and plans begin for famed architect Rudolf Santonix to design the couple a home at Gipsy’s Acre. As tragedy strikes, who will piece together the truth? 

Which ones have you read, watched or listened to? Share your favourite scary story with us on Twitter using #Halloweenreads

Find out more about Agatha Christie's spooky credentials