We suggest: ‘Candyman’ readalikes

By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná

Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Can—nope. Not gonna catch us slipping!

Nia DaCosta’s sequel to the 90s horror film—and fourth movie—in the Candyman series follows the return of the ghost of an enslaved man with a hook for a hand. It releases on August 27, and if you’re not ready to go to the movies, we’ve got you covered. Get in the spooky mood with these horror novels and ghost stories.

Candyman readalikes

Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

The hook: Clive Barker wrote "The Forbidden," the short story upon which Candyman is based. This is not that story, but it is just as scary.

Description: A medieval devil speaks directly to the reader, his tone murderous one moment, seductive the next, in a memoir allegedly penned in the year 1438.

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Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo

The hook: Like the story of Candyman, this novel is set in a Chicago neighborhood, just 20 minutes away from Cabrini-Green. Instead of a ghost, it features a very alive serial killer.

Description: When the Pied Piper returns, leaving his special calling card on the bodies of his brutally murdered victims, Detective Lauren Medina is torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe and keeping a promise she made long ago to him.

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The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller

The hook: Vengeful ghosts? Check. Rapidly changing neighborhood? Check.

Description: Reluctantly visiting his upstate New York hometown when his father falls ill, a restless gay photographer reconnects with two high-school friends who become his allies in a plan to expose the corrupt motives of invasive corporate gentrifiers.

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The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The hook: There's nothing like a good ghost story steeped in cultural significance, and this shapeshifting revenge story is up there with the greats.

Description:  Follow four men from the Blackfeet Nation after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

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The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

The hook: Witness how a man becomes a legend in this creepy novella of manipulation.

Description: People move to New York looking for magic, and nothing will convince them it isn't there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. But when he delivers an occult page to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

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Goblin by Josh Malerman

The hook: The legend of Candyman envelops an entire neighborhood, and this collection of connected stories does the same.

Description: The town of Goblin seems like any other ordinary small town. Discover the secrets that hide behind the town's closed doors, in a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await.

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About Dontaná

Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.