7 Books for Catholics this Halloween (2023 Update)
Here is a list of some books which I highly recommend for Catholics the Halloween season because they are important books that discuss some of the hidden realities of our world. If you have any book recommendations, we would love it if you would post them in the comments section below!
The Endless Knot is the first of a series of mysteries novels written by William Biersach. Here is a description taken from the summary:
Who is killing the Catholic bishops of Los Angeles? One by one, they're dying horribly. The clues surrounding the murders point to an occult connection and the police are stumped. Father John Baptist, cop-turned-priest, and Martin Feeney, his faithful gardener-turned-chronicler, are ordered by the anxious archbishop to get to the root of this baffling mystery. Together they uncover a terrifying conspiracy that threatens their faith, their sanity, and their lives.
One of the beautiful themes of The Endless Knot is that it shows that there’s no need to delve into a Tolkien novel to immerse yourself in a magical world, for the world that we live in is filled with wonder. On one end of the spectrum, there are priests who have the power to perform the Sacrifice of the Mass as well as administer the other sacraments for the salvation of mankind. On the other end of the spectrum, Christ’s enemies also possess powers of their own through witchcraft.
The mixture of macabre, serious Catholic commentary, and satire in such tasteful fashion is an incredible achievement that few writers would dare attempt. The wit and humor found within The Endless Knot are also rare commodities for Catholic novels, as they permeate the novel in such a way that you’re always 100% tuned in, for fear that you’ll miss any juicy little tidbit. Mixed together, these ingredients make a special cocktail that you will want to savor over and over again.
Are you a Catholic who’s tired of all the other nonsensical vampire crap that’s out there? In The Darkness Did Not, the second book in the Fr. Baptist series, Biersach delves into the Catholic perspective of what vampires really are. The biggest difference between Biersach's first two books is that while The Endless Knot deals with the macabre, it is not scary. The Darkness Did Not is.
As dark as The Endless Knot is, The Darkness Did Not is even darker. The title of the book is indeed a biblical reference to the line: “The light shineth in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Thematically, the book explores the themes of light and dark. For example, it touches on the role that baptism has in salvation and damnation. In addition to that, there is discussion on the “light of truth,” and the people who recognize it. There is plenty of theology that Biersach touches on relating to these topics.
As previously mentioned, the book serves as a counter to the recent vampire craze in popular society. But in addition to that, the book is also in opposition to some of the more renown vampire novels by the likes of Bram Stoker and Anne Rice. As Biersach tells it, this occurs because an approach at establishing the nature of vampires is based off one's own philosophy and beliefs. Anne Rice's and Bram Stoker's beliefs are in conflict with Catholicism and truth, so their errors translate into skewed or distorted versions of vampires.
Because the book is over 500 pages, you'll have to find a way to make it through several sleepless nights before finishing it. But after you finish this classic Biersach thriller, you'll finally be able to rest in peace.
Father Amorth openly states that this book is not intended to demonstrate truths such as the existence of demons, the reality of demonic possession, and the power to expel demons, because those truths have already been revealed and are constantly taught by the Magisterium. Instead, Amorth wrote this book to serve as guidelines for other exorcists because it’s so hard to become learned in this area, largely because there is no longer any master/apprentice type of learning process.
There are some pretty fascinating cases that Amorth touches on, whether the possessed victim has superhuman strength, is totally immovable, or is a young child that provides the priest with some eerily profound answers to questions. There is one special chapter that is actually written by a victim of a demonic possession. And from the sound of it, it was a very severe one indeed.
The book concretely illustrates the battle of good versus evil in the world, and in doing so, reaffirms the importance of the sacraments, particularly that of Confession and Holy Orders. It is interesting to note that both the victim of a possession and Fr. Amorth state that Confession is more powerful than the rite of exorcism when it comes to expelling an evil influence from an individual.
Fr. Amorth’s words force you to reflect how your own life is similar to that of those who are possessed. Like them, Satan’s influence ebbs and flows with you based on how frequently you receive the sacraments, pray, and make an effort to lead a good Christian life.
By popular demand, Fr. Amorth wrote a sequel that is loaded with detailed accounts of possessions, each illustrating a unique purpose. He also seeks out to prove that demons do exist, and that the one of the Church’s primary roles is to expel them.There is plenty of content relating to the angels, Satan’s fall and role as prince of all creation, the six categories of Satan’s extraordinary activity (as opposed to ordinary, or temptation), the four principle causes of possession, and once again, the methodology for priests performing exorcisms.
One of the most interesting and unique parts of the book is its discussion on the “nefarious influence of certain music.” Amorth points out in an eye-opening analysis that music of evil influence abides by four principles. His explanation is excellent at peeling back a layer of self-deception that so many people have regarding popular music.
Hungry Souls recounts many eerie stories from trustworthy, Church-verified accounts of earthly visitations from the dead in Purgatory. Alongside these accounts are images from the "Museum of Purgatory" in Rome, which contains relics of encounters with the Holy Souls, including numerous evidences of hand prints burned into clothing and books. Also there are burn marks that cannot be explained by natural means or duplicated by artificial ones.
These stories are engaging yet sobering and written in a way that will incite you with a fervor to start praying for the souls in Purgatory. In addition to that, this book may change the way you view Purgatory: from viewing it simply as a waiting room for heaven, to understanding that it is a place of great suffering. The overall effect of this book is to try to instill in you a horror of sin and push you toward striving for greatness, for holiness.
Last but not least is Shane Leslie’s Ghost Book, which is a one-of-a-kind work, filled with incredible real-life ghost stories that ramp up in intensity the further you progress, eventually reaching a climactic point in the final story. It absolutely has left a huge mark on me, reinforcing the realities of this world and the fight of good versus evil. I don't want to describe too much else so as to take away from the book, however one of the reviews in our bookstore describes it thusly:
This was a wonderful collection of short stories that will stick with me and continue to remind me that there is more to this reality than I see in my rather plain everyday work life. Coffins floating into churches, deceased sons waving goodbye to family members and of course a few terrifying hauntings - beautifully (although sometimes frightening) memorable stories that give further evidence for our Catholic Faith. I do not want to experience such an encounter, but it makes life more meaningful knowing that such is reality. Either every single ghost encounter ever told across all humanity is a fake, lie, or gross misunderstanding, or yes, indeed ghosts do exist...
Patapsco Spirit was recently published in the summer of 2023 by Angelico Press, a very reputable and trusted Catholic publishing house. I noticed they secured a ringing endorsement from my good friend Charles Coulombe who had this to say about the book:
If you ever wondered how M. R. James might have written had he been a modern American, look no further. In this marvelous collection of ghostly tales, Addison Hodges Hart frightens, enchants, and occasionally instructs—without ever descending to the didactic. As with any tellers of ghost stories who succeed at their craft, Hart deals not only with the unseen, but with the intensely regional—in this case a part of Maryland that is close to Baltimore in mileage, but even now far away in soul. These tales are all the more thrilling and real for being squarely set in a moral universe.
So that’s it! There are the 7 books for Catholics which I highly recommend for the Halloween season. But I am sure there are a great many more out there. If you have any book recommendations for Halloween, we would love it if you could post them in the comments section below!