Sinister Stories and Cinema

Sinister Stories and Cinema Display Heading

Looking for something chilling to read this Halloween season? This digital display has enough mysteries, horror, noir, thrillers, true crime, and ghost stories to keep you on the edge of your seat all month long!

Click on each section below to browse our recommendations. Each title is available through one (or more) of the Naperville Public Library's digital resources.

Agatha Christie's Endless Night

Michael works as a chauffeur for rich Americans on tours around Europe. When he meets Ellie, a lovely young American, a love affair soon develops between them. But they are interrupted by a strange, sinister old woman who warns Ellie - 'Go now before the harm is done!'
Kanopy

Eyewitness

Having struck down his victim, the assassin is safe; except for one witness, a boy. A boy who is notorious for his tall stories. Has he cried wolf once too often?
Kanopy

To Catch a Thief

In this suspenseful and glamorous classic from Alfred Hitchcock, the always debonair Cary Grant plays John Robie, a reformed jewel thief. Robie is suspected of a new rash of gem thefts in the luxury hotels of the French Riviera, and he must set out to clear his name.
Kanopy

Murder!

In this film by Alfred Hitchcock, an actress in a touring company is discovered near the scene of the crime when a woman is found murdered. She is charged with murder, placed on trial, and convicted on circumstantial evidence. One of the jury, however, believes in her innocence and sets out to prove it.
Kanopy

Malady

Two lonely souls fall into a passionate romance that becomes challenged by grief, shame, guilt, and terror.
Kanopy

Sunset Boulevard

Norma Desmond, an aging silent-film queen, captivates a struggling young screenwriter who is held in thrall by her madness. From the unforgettable opening sequence through the inevitable unfolding of tragic destiny, Sunset Boulevard artfully defines the dark and desperate side of Hollywood.
Kanopy

Orson Welles' The Stranger

In this Orson Welles classic, Edward G. Robinson stars as Wilson, a government agent who tracks down a high-ranking Nazi officer, played by Welles, who has managed to craft a new identity for himself in a quaint Connecticut town, marrying the daughter of a local judge.
Kanopy

Sudden Fear

In this masterpiece of film noir, Joan Crawford plays a successful playwright who marries a mediocre actor. She soon discovers that he not only married her for money but that he plans to murder her with the help of his lover.
Kanopy

The Trial

Josef K wakes up in the morning and finds the police in his room, telling him that he is on trial but not what he is accused of. He tries to look behind the facade of the judicial system, but there seems to be no chance for him to escape from this Kafkaesque nightmare.
Kanopy

Woman on the Run

Join the chase around San Francisco as a man goes into hiding after witnessing a gangland execution. Police track down his wife, incorrectly assuming she'll lead them to her husband, whose testimony against the killer could bring down a crime kingpin.
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M

A simple, haunting musical phrase whistled offscreen tells us that a young girl will be killed. "Who Is the Murderer?" pleads a nearby placard as serial killer Hans Beckert closes in on little Elsie Beckmann.
Kanopy

Donnie Darko

Ray and Gilbert's fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. He's killed before, and he lets the two know that as soon as they're no longer useful, he'll kill again.
Kanopy

The Hitch-Hiker

Ray and Gilbert's fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. He's killed before, and he lets the two know that as soon as they're no longer useful, he'll kill again.
Kanopy

Hereditary

When the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter Annie begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more she discovers, the more he family finds themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.
Kanopy

Coherence

In this mind-bending thriller, eight friends at a dinner party start experiencing strange and mysterious events on the night a comet is passing close to Earth. Soon it becomes clear that nothing and no one are what they appear.
Kanopy

We Need to Talk About Kevin

In this Golden Globe-nominated psychological thriller, Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton plays Eva, the mother to her deeply disturbed son Kevin. Eva contends with her clueless husband and her son's malevolent ways as the narrative builds to a chilling and unforgettable climax.
Kanopy

Harvest Home

In this bucolic hamlet, where bootleggers work by moonlight and all of the villagers seem to share the same last name, the past is more present than outsiders can fathom-and something far more sinister than the annual harvest is about to rise out of the earth.
Hoopla

House of Windows

This book is a tense, frightening exploration of a marriage under strain from forces both psychological and supernatural, and it is a meditation on the ways loss haunts every one of us.
Hoopla

You Can't Catch Me

Framed for murder, a private eye and a lounge singer are running for their lives on the mean streets of 1950s Manhattan.
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The Third Squad

An expert sharpshooter in an elite branch dispensed with dishing out vigilante justice has a difficult choice: should he continue to blindly follow orders from his superiors, regardless of their moral standing, or take matters into his own hands?
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
Hoopla =Axis 360 =OverDrive

The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin...
Hoopla =OverDrive

Shadow of the Lions

How long must we pay for the crimes of our youth? That is just one question Christopher Swann explores in this compulsively readable debut, a literary thriller set in the elite—and sometimes dark—environs of Blackburne, a prep school in Virginia.
Hoopla

And Then There Were None

Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion where they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives.
Hoopla =Axis 360 =OverDrive

A Small Death in Lisbon

Investigating the murder of a young girl with a disturbing past, Inspector Ze Coelho overturns the dark soil of history and unearths old bones from Portugal's fascist past.
Hoopla

Cage of Bones

An abandoned building. A dank cellar. And inside it, a cage of bones-with a shocking surprise lurking within. Into the house. Down the stairs. Someone is there. Someone that shouldn't be.
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Mine

Mary Terrell has three passions: LSD, firearms, and children. Murdered dolls fill her closet, and the woman who calls herself Mary Terror is tired of plastic babies. Laura Clayborne can't wait for her son to come into the world, but if Mary has her way, it won't be long before he leaves it again.
Hoopla =OverDrive

The English Spy

She is an iconic member of the British Royal Family, beloved for her beauty and charitable works, resented by her former husband and his mother. But when a bomb explodes aboard her holiday yacht, British intelligence turns to legendary spy Gabriel Allon to track down her killer.
Hoopla =Axis 360 =OverDrive

A Game for All the Family

Pulled into a deadly game of deception and secrets, a woman must find the truth in order to defeat a mysterious opponent, protect her daughter, and save her own life in this dazzling psychological thriller.
Hoopla

Murder On Black Swan Lane

In Regency London, an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose a cold-hearted killer.
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The Body in the Library

Colonel Bantry has found the strangled body of an exotic blonde bombshell lying on his library hearth - and the neighbors are beginning to talk! When Miss Marple takes an interest, though, the woman's story is revealed to be far more convoluted - and sordid - than the genteel Bantrys could have imagined.
Hoopla =OverDrive

Death Paints the Picture

A comic book artist is drawn into an elaborate game of murder when he visits an isolated country estate in Woodstock.
Hoopla

Death Sentence

Death Sentence exposes the truth about John List - the accountant-turned-killer - including his revealing letter to his pastor, his years as a fugitive, and the details of his high-profile trial.
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Woman At The Devil's Door: The Untold True Story of the Hampstead Murderess

Discover the haunting untold true story of the woman whose crimes inspired speculation that Jack the Ripper was a woman.
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Lady Killers

Inspired by author Tori Telfer's Jezebel column "Lady Killers," this thrilling and entertaining compendium investigates female serial killers and their crimes through the ages.
Hoopla =OverDrive

Elizabeth is Missing

Meticulously researched and irresistibly readable, this book is the definitive account of one of the most unusual cases of the 18th century, a must-read for fans of historical true crime.
Hoopla

Three Sisters in Black

This book is the true story of a gothic, gaslight nightmare that fascinated, shocked, and baffled the nation-and the disturbed women who almost got away with murder.
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The Search For The Green River Killer

This book is the ultimate authoritative account of the Pacific Northwest killing spree that held a nation spellbound-and continues to horrify and fascinate decades later.
Hoopla =OverDrive

Ugly Prey

Ugly Prey tells the riveting story of Sabella Nitti, the first woman ever sentenced to hang in Chicago, for the alleged murder of her husband. This page-turning courtroom drama is also a thought-provoking look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and class within the American justice system.
Hoopla =OverDrive

H.H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

This is the first truly comprehensive book examining the life and career of the murderer who has become one of America's great supervillains.
Hoopla

The Last Stone

On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC. Then, in 2013, a cold case detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed.
Hoopla =OverDrive

Extreme Hauntings: Britain's Most Terrifying Ghosts

The most terrifying British ghosts are brought together in this spine-tingling collection of over thirty compelling experiences-- from deadly curses to haunted relics--spanning 250 years.
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Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest

Although many slaves escaped to freedom, others met untimely deaths on their dangerous journey--and some of these unfortunates still linger, unable to rest in peace. Jane Simon Ammeson investigates chilling tales of the ghosts that still walk the night and shares true stories of other daring escapes and close calls.
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Shadows in the Sky: The Haunted Airways of Britain

Shadows in the Sky compiles hundreds of accounts from the spine-chilling to the downright bizarre, that'll keep your eyes fixed looking upwards!
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Whisperers: The Secret History of the Spirit World

In Whisperers, Brennan explores how the "spirit world"-whether we believe in it or not-has influenced our own since the dawn of civilization. Chronicling millennia of contact between the spirit world and our own, Whisperers presents an entirely new and different way to look at history.
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The Ghost Next Door: True Stories of Paranormal Encounters from Everyday People

The Ghost Next Door takes a revealing look into the lives of average, everyday people from across the country who have had experiences in the realm of the unexplained.
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Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions

This book sets superstitions in their historical and social context, explaining how fear of the occult drove people to arm themselves with rituals and talismans to repel dark forces. In examining common superstitions, this book illuminates the customs, beliefs, and practices of an ancient, and often darker, human past.
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Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words

This autobiography, culled from Aileen Wuornos' death row correspondence with beloved friend Dawn Botkins, offers Wuornos's reflections on the murders, legal battles, and media coverage, and reveals her fears and obsessions, her rich humor and empathy, and her deterioration as her execution approached.
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