Reading Lists

Spooky Stories: A Reading List

Outset Scary Stories2023 Edited

With A Haunting in Venice coming to cinemas soon, now is the perfect time to dive into some spooky stories. As Agatha Christie expert Chris Chan points out in Agatha Christie: Horror Writer, there’s a plethora of eerie 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.

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!

The Last Séance

The Last Séance: Tales of the Supernatural is a collection of Christie's spookiest stories, brought together for the first time. This is a frighteningly good addition to your Christie library. Both Poirot and Miss Marple stories feature, alongside tales from beyond the grave, superstitious fantasy and psychotic visions. Be afraid, very afraid!

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 (or The Tuesday Club Murders)

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.

Inline Scary Reads

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 Concord Theatricals’ published Agatha Christie Collection. Ideal for Hitchcock fans.

Personal Call

Pam Brent is concerned. Her husband James is acting very suspiciously. The source of the upset? A strange phone call from an unknown woman... But James does know who the caller is. It is, according to the voice on the other end of the line, his dead wife Fay. Christie’s radio play is suspenseful, eerie and a brilliant listen. Discover Agatha Christie: The Lost Plays on Audible, or read the play published by Concord.

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 dash of the supernatural mixed in.

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'

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?

The Unexpected Guest

What is more chilling? The arrival of a complete stranger in the fog late at night, the recent murder of Richard Warwick, or the stranger’s apparent willingness to help cover up a brutal crime he knows very little about? Laura Warwick admits to killing her cruel husband Richard, in a house full of their family and staff. But Michael Starkwedder wants to help her get away with it. Explore Agatha Christie’s 1958 play, or Charles Osborne’s novelisation published in 1998.

And Then There Were None

One of Christie's most eerie and suspenseful stories has to be And Then There Were None. Ten strangers are lured to Soldier Island, an isolated rock off the Devon coast by a Mr U.N. Owen. Whilst dining together, each guest is accused of committing an execrable crime...and then one of them dies. It soon becomes apparent that not only are the guests trapped on the island, but there is a murderer among them. A murderer who is willing to strike again and again. Will any of them make it off the island alive?

Think you know the story off by heart? Think again. Discover Agatha Christie's 1943 play edition. Those based in the UK can also book tickets to the 2023-24 theatre tour: And Then There Were None Tour

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

Sign up to the newsletter to receive The World of Agatha Christie magazine