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A new bookstore in Louisville, Ky., specializes in horror novels

(SOUNDBITE OF BRUNO COULAIS AND THE CHILDREN'S CHOIR OF NICE'S "END CREDITS")

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

Bright-red paint drips down the side of a new book store in Louisville, Ky., specializing in eerie, scary, hair-raising novels that seem to escape attention.

JENNY KIEFER: The indie horror scene is growing so much right now. And people are putting out really good books, but it's really hard to find those books on a shelf.

RASCOE: That's why Jenny Kiefer opened Butcher Cabin Books. The store got a huge welcome from locals when it opened earlier this month.

KIEFER: There was a line down the block and around the corner for the opening day. It was pretty wild.

RASCOE: Kiefer opened up the book shop with her mom, Martha, the person she credits for her early love of scary books.

KIEFER: When I was growing up, she would read to me, like, "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark." And then I would pick up other horror books like "Goosebumps" and sort of graduated from there.

RASCOE: Today, some of her favorite horror books include classics like "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Shining."

KIEFER: I really love the creativity that goes into horror books - thinking about how you could scare someone and trying to be creative with that or also thinking about how you can take reality and twist it a little bit to make it unsettling or creepy.

RASCOE: We asked Keifer, as a bookstore owner and horror lover, to give us a couple of recommendations for what to read during this spooky season.

KIEFER: There's a book called "Children Of Chicago" by Cynthia Pelayo that's kind of like a gritty and gruesome retelling of the Pied Piper.

RASCOE: And for kids?

KIEFER: Neil Gaiman has books like "Coraline" and "The Graveyard Book." There's a really popular series called "Clown In A Cornfield," which might be a little bit upper YA. For more modern books, one of my recent favorites is "We Need To Do Something" by Max Booth, which is a very wild ride. It's hard to really describe it without giving some of it away.

RASCOE: And, of course, Jenny Kiefer's own novel, "That Wretched Valley," when it comes out in 2024. From one horror lover to another, may this Halloween bring you some delightfully haunting good reads. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.

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