The Cambridge Dictionary says it is: ‘all the things that are impossible to explain by known natural forces or by science.’
From angels to wizards, the paranormal can feature in a huge range of genres and sub-genres.
1 ) It takes you back to your childhood: ‘You’re a wizard, Harry….’ (Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling):
Those words still send a thrill of delight through me even though I’ve read the series a number of times. Witches, wizards, ghosts, spells, pixies and unicorns are just a few of the elements which can be found between the pages. Remember reading those tales of magic and wonder beneath the bed covers when you were a child? Paranormal books can give you that same feeling―that maybe, just maybe, it really is possible….
2 ) It’s not all about the love triangle
The young adult paranormal market is huge, but in the past it has been overpowered by the love triangle. If you remember Team Edward, Team Jake, or Team Not At ALL , then you might agree that Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series torpedoed vampires and werewolves into the young adult romance market with a capital L for love triangle. But it’s now been overdone and although it is still popular, lots of authors have moved on.
3) A ghost isn’t just for Christmas or Hallowe’en
Charles Dickens’ ghosts in A Christmas Carol have become classical figures over time. I quite fancy meeting a ghost, but I’d like to be picky and meet a good one, not one filled with malevolence.
In 2017 Hari Kunzru released White Tears, which was a ghost mystery set in New York and featured Blues music. I’ve not read it yet, but it’s on my wish list.
‘On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic?’
‘When Harold Krauss, an Oxford scholar, arrives in the small village of Thornwood, he finds a land full of myth, folklore and superstition. He hires a local farm girl, Anna, to help him collect stories and first-hand accounts from the locals who believe in the fairy faith.’
Egyptian gods, travelling across the universe and Atlantis all mix in one of my favourite TV shows which can also be read as fan-fiction. Although the Stargate series is primarily marketed as science fiction, it also contains lots of elements of myth and legend. Just where do the lines of fact and fiction end? I love the characters from Stargate and was delighted to discover authors such as Sally Malcolm and Jo Graham who write extra episodes in book format.
I’ve discovered paranormal in mystery, fairy tale re-tellings, horror, romance and young adult books, what are your favourite paranormal stories?
I liked the fact this was fun with great ghosts and zombies
Medical-school-dropout police detective Richelle Dadd is… well, dead.
But that won’t stop her from trying to hold on to her house in a divorce battle with a bitter husband. Or keep her from digging into her own murder, to discover who put the bullet into her heart. And it certainly won’t stand in the way of finding out the reason she’s been reanimated as a zombie assassin, no longer in control of her life.
Richelle will face off against Gypsy shamans, double-crossing ghosts, a partner she can’t trust, and her own undead nature in a journey into the depths of the occult world and out the other side without losing her sense of humor – or humanity – along the way.
It’s a good thing her deductive skills – and her aim – are still up to par.Goodreads
2) The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
YA horror, I liked this and bought the next book too.
Cherry blossom lipstick: check
Smokey eyes: check
Skinny jeans: check
Dead kid in the mirror: check
For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labeled a freak too. Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally.
Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance. Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim…
Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?Goodreads
3) The Black Hours by Alison Williams
Great insight into the English witch trials
‘Look upon this wretch, all of you! Look upon her and thank God for his love and his mercy. Thank God that he has sent me to rid the world of such filth as this.’ 1647 and England is in the grip of civil war. In the ensuing chaos, fear and suspicion are rife and anyone on the fringes of society can find themselves under suspicion. Matthew Hopkins, self -styled Witchfinder General, scours the countryside, seeking out those he believes to be in league with the Devil. In the small village of Coggeshall, 17–year-old Alice Pendle finds herself at the centre of gossip and speculation. Will she survive when the Witchfinder himself is summoned? A tale of persecution, superstition, religious fundamentalism, hate and love, ‘The Black Hours’ mixes fact with fiction in a gripping fast-paced drama that follows the story of Alice as she is thrown into a world of fear and confusion, and of Matthew, a man driven by his beliefs to commit dreadful acts in the name of religion. Goodreads
4) The Alchemical Detective by Kirsten Weiss
Book #1 of a series which kept me buying the books
Where Alchemy, Demons, and Good Wine Collide… with a Lake Monster Named Tessie. A psychic has been murdered in an occult ceremony and the police pay a visit to Riga Hayworth, metaphysical detective. But this time, she’s not a consultant on the case. She’s a suspect.
There’s a storm on the horizon.
Riga’s lost her magic and has come to Lake Tahoe to recover and spend quality time with her new love. But life for Riga is never that simple. A psychic’s been murdered, and the police believe Riga has a connection to the crime.
And if that’s not enough, Riga is drafted as the host of a reality TV show about the local lake monster, and her niece is rejecting her metaphysical abilities. Juggling demons, daimons, and angry tarot card readers, Riga must catch a killer before she becomes the next target. Goodreads
5) Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara
A romantic suspense with some scary Florida wildlife
Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.
On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s prepared to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them. Goodreads
6) Hingston’s Box by Decima Blake
Ghosts and the supernatural
Since investigating the disappearance of fifteen-year-old twin boys, Hingston – a young, talented Detective Sergeant, has been tormented by night terrors. On waking, he remembers a vast, golden meadow that glows with warmth and carries the sound of rapid footfalls and trouser legs pushing through grasses. A curly haired boy runs tirelessly through the meadow. The promise of adventure is lost when the sickening ache of death seeps into Hingston’s bones. Feeling suffocated and tortured, melodic chimes calm him and his panic subsides.
Signed off and leaving the office, a key inexplicably falls from Hingston’s investigation file. Intrigued, he takes it with him, escaping London for Dartmouth where his investigative race begins. Stalked by a challenging elderly woman and hindered by his boss, his determination to solve the case draws him into the supernatural world that connects a murderous past to the present. Goodreads
7) The Children Of Albion by Jill Turner
I included this because of its real life horrors
In post-millennial England, the next generation are falling through the gaps of a very broken society. In the wasteland of a English sink-estate, where the adults are lost to drink, drugs, poverty and destructive relationships, the next generation run ferral, surviving day to day by any means possible.
Starved of food, love and affection, the children face a bleak future following in the crime-riddled footsteps of their parents, and their parents’ parents before them.
However, when the middle-class dreamer, drop-out, and revolutionary teen, Albion makes camp in one of the derelict houses, an unlikely friendship is struck between him and Robbie, a boy born of the estate who desperately longs for things to be different.
With dreams of establishing a modern-day Camelot, and refuge for those children let down by society, Albie and Robbie attempt to create a new and better world, but they soon discover the weight of a crown is a very heavy burden to bear, and the legacy of the last generation is a terrifying and consuming beast.Goodreads
8) Yesterday’s news by Sam Cheever
A mystery with some great ghosts
Anna Yesterday owns Yesterday’s Antiques in small town USA. When she finds an old newspaper clipping lining the drawer of an antique dresser, she realizes she’s never heard the heart wrenching story of abuse and suicide detailed on the yellowed newsprint. So she starts to dig, and her sleuthing exposes an ugly cover-up that casts the residents of Crocker, Indiana into danger and intrigue, and leaves them with a corpse.Goodreads
9) Divinity And The Python by Bonnie Randall
A romantic suspense heavily laced with the Tarot
Divinity – Where desire and deception both hide in the dark The Cards Forecast Work
Shaynie Gavin is so much more than the sexy siren who mixes cocktails at The Python. A carpenter with a business plan, Shaynie is trying to amass enough funds to launch her own dream – Divinity, a place where up-cycled furniture from the past is sold alongside Tarot readings forecasting the future – and all in a setting that could not be more perfect: a former funeral parlor. Shaynie’s belief that Divinity is attuned with the passions, the loves, and even the lies of its departed souls, allow her to feel satisfied when the cards she draws there reveal Wands, the Tarot’s symbol for work. And yet…Shaynie would be so grateful if the Tarot would also, just once, illuminate a Hellnight from her past. A lost evening whose scars still slither over her skin, Hellnight haunts Shaynie. Yet when she calls the question of that chilling evening into her deck… Goodreads
10) The Soul And The Seed by Arie Farnam
A YA horror – book #1 of a series
Aranka is a moderately normal teenager until those who hold true power in today’s world decide she’s a threat.
The accepted image of the modern world is an illusion. A clandestine force usurps the desires and emotions of individuals, and those who won’t conform must be crushed to preserve the appearance of free will. Aranka and a few others stand in the way, not because they are rebels, just because of the fluke in their genes. Those with power will stop at nothing to protect their supremacy. Aranka is kidnapped and forced to watch as her fellow prisoners are killed one by one.
A small band of outlaws from every corner of the globe fight to free the captives and preserve their own freedom. Kenyen, a young doctor, ventures into the heart of oppression but he can’t stop the terror. He just wants to save one life. In the process he uncovers “the Seed,” the first flicker of hope in a thousand. Goodreads
Thanks for reading, what’s your favourite Halloween read?