Creepy Reads & Spooky Vibes

By: Jenn Russo, Youth Services Associate
October 11, 2023

Hang up a ghostly garland, then cozy up with a bowl of soup and a good book! Fall is here, there’s a chill in the air, and we can finally wear sweaters and scarves! Okay, so maybe not in Florida, but we can still create a cozy environment, and Halloween is just around the corner. Let’s get crafty to set the mood, cook some delicious soups, and snuggle up with a book that will leave us with the shivers.


Cozy Craft

Book Page Ghost Garland:

Supplies: Old book pages, ghost template, yarn/string, scissors, marker, pen/pencil

  1. Use a blank piece of paper about the size of your book pages. Draw an outline of a ghost to create a template.
  2. Cut out the ghost template.
  3. Cut out as many book pages as you would like.
  4. Take one book page and place the ghost template on top.
  5. Trace around the ghost template with a pen/pencil and then cut out your book page ghost.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the book pages.
  7. Use a black marker and draw eyes (and/or a face) on each ghost.
  8. Cut a length of yarn/string long enough to hold all of your ghosts with a little leftover on each end for hanging the garland.
  9. Use a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of each ghost.
  10. Tie the yarn/string through the hole in each ghost, evenly spacing them out and leaving some length on each end.
  11. Tie a loop at each end of the yarn.
  12. Hang up your book page ghost garland and get spooky!


ghost craft



Cozy Potato and Pumpkin Soup:

A warming potato and pumpkin soup recipe to soothe the mood on a cool fall night. A fragrant mix of textures and flavors, this creamy autumnal soup makes a perfect starter or light supper.


  • 1 kg pumpkin 2.2 lbs, Note 2
  • 800 g potatoes
  • 1 onion large
  • 2 garlic cloves large
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 liter vegetable broth 4 ¼ cups
  • 1 sprig of rosemary Note 2
  • 125 ml heavy cream ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas roasted
  • fine sea salt and black pepper

Pasta e Fagiole Soup:

Craving something hearty and warm? Pasta e Fagiole (AKA pasta and beans) is the answer. Perfect for those Fall evenings when you want something fast and delicious, this soup comes together in no time and is super adaptable.


  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. spicy (or sweet) Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans Great Northern Beans
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 c. broth
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. ditalini pasta (or other small shape)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Cream of Mushroom Soup:

A warm bowl of soup so deliciously creamy with tender bites of mushroom pieces. Full flavored with garlic, onions, and herbs subtle enough to shine through and compliment the natural flavor of mushrooms without overpowering it.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (750 g) fresh brown mushrooms sliced
  • 4 teaspoons chopped thyme divided
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine (any dry red or white wine)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons black cracked pepper adjust to taste
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half (sub with evaporated milk)
  • Chopped fresh parsley and thyme to serve

Book Recommendations

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

In an isolated village in the Icelandic Westfjords, three friends set to work renovating a rundown house. But soon, they realize they are not as alone as they thought. Something wants them to leave, and it's making its presence felt. In the vein of John Ajvide Lindqvist, this horrifying thriller, partly based on a true story, is the scariest novel yet from Yrsa Sigurdardottir, who has taken the international crime fiction world by storm"

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

The New York Times best-selling author of the "Newsflesh" series, Grant takes us deep into the Marianas Trench, where the Atargatis disappeared seven years previously while attempting to film a mockumentary about legendary sea creatures. Now a new mission is being launched, though with more high-minded intent. For scientist Victoria Stewart, in particular, it's a means of finding out what happened to the sister lost on the first voyage.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father's bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound -- and dangerous -- secrets hidden within its walls?

About the Author


Jenn Russo

Youth Services Associate, Jenn Russo is currently working towards her Masters in Library Science and Information at the University of South Florida. She has a background in Performing and Fine Arts. She loves crafting, knitting/crocheting, and reading in her spare time. She has read 105 books so far, this year and hopes to make it to 150 by the end of the year.