Here at the University Press of Florida, our Halloween celebrations involve, you guessed it, books! Find a taste of just a few terrifying tales from our shelves below.
Our scariest new release, St. Augustine’s Ghosts, collects 38 spine-chilling tales features famous spirits from St. Augustine’s legendary paranormal past. Set in the city’s iconic cemeteries, courtyards, and houses, these stories recount the most mysterious encounters and sightings that have been passed down for generations among residents of St. Augustine.
The legend of Madame Delphine Lalaurie, a wealthy society matron, has haunted the city of New Orleans for nearly two hundred years, and even figured in FX’s American Horror Story: Coven. Carolyn Morrow Long’s Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of the Haunted House—named in Book Riot’s list of “7 Scary Nonfiction Books to Titillate and Terrify You“—teases truth from fiction in this tale of the city’s most haunted house.
Forensic pathologist Philippe Charlier—dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the graveyards”—travels to Haiti where rumors claim that some who die may return to life as zombies. Families, fearing that loved ones may return from the grave, urge pallbearers to take rambling routes to prevent the recently departed from finding their way home from cemeteries. Corpses are sometimes killed a second time…just to be safe. Zombies, named in Forbes as one of the “Great Anthropology and History Books of 2017,” invites you to believe the unbelievable.
On a cool Pensacola night in January 1991, just a few minutes before midnight, three teenagers pulled up to the Trout Auto Parts store. Patrick Bonifay, his body coursing with adrenaline, entered the store clad in a ski mask carrying a loaded gun, intent on carrying out a poorly laid plan. Little did he know that it was his life—as well as the lives of his companions—that was about to be forever changed. Trout is that rare book that continues to haunt you long after you’ve finished reading it.
Travelling to Florida’s most interesting cemeteries, Lola Haskins visits Napoleon’s nephew, tells the gruesome story of a man who dug up his love and lived with her for seven years, and even shares a murder mystery. Whether the final resting places of Civil War soldiers killed in battle or of the four-hundred-year-old remains of nuns peacefully interred by their shell-studded chapel, each plot in Fifteen Florida Cemeteries has a unique story to tell.
Railroad Bill was an African American outlaw wanted on multiple charges of robbery and murder. He terrorized busy train lines from east of Mobile to the Florida Panhandle, but as soon as the lawmen got close, he disappeared—until one day he was gunned down inside a general store. Today, Railroad Bill is the subject of many folk songs. But who was he? Where did he come from? And what events led to his murderous spree?