Share From Circe to Carrie: 9 Literary Female Monsters You Don’t Want to Mess With

From Circe to Carrie: 9 Literary Female Monsters You Don’t Want to Mess With

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC and on Tumblr.

October means falling leaves, pumpkin-spiced everything, and of course plenty of scares. We’re celebrating this bewitching month with our favorite novels featuring creepy creatures and horrifying monsters of the female persuasion—from powerful witches to deadly prom queens. These novels are guaranteed to send chills up and down your spine.


The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
by Theodora Goss 
Rediscover Gothic Victorian literature in this witty and mesmerizing novel following Mary Jekyll as she searches for the truth about her mysterious father—and stumbles upon strange, monstrous women—vividly depicted in fresh and evocative prose in this unputdownable thriller.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Theodora Goss 

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My Best Friend's Exorcism
by Grady Hendrix
The perfect read for anyone who misses the 80s, MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM is a whip-smart, heartfelt, and creepy exploration of the power of teenage friendship. When Abby’s best friend, Gretchen, starts acting oddly, Abby decides to do some digging into what could be causing the changes—and she’s horrified by what she discovers. A coming-of-age horror story unlike any other.
My Best Friend's Exorcism
Grady Hendrix

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Practical Magic
by Alice Hoffman
This beloved novel inspired a cult classic film and the new bestselling prequel, RULES OF MAGIC. this fairy tale for adults follows the two Owens sisters who are cursed to always lose their loved ones. Raised by their witchy aunts and shunned by their town, they must find a way to break the curse and finally find true happiness and love. But how can they when they’re up against magic?
Practical Magic
Alice Hoffman

Having lived most of their lives with their eccentric and magically gifted aunts, orphaned sisters Sally and Gillian want nothing more than to ignore their own burgeoning powers and blend into normal society. But when a ghost begins to menace their hometown, can this misfit family embrace their magical gifts to save their community?

MENTIONED IN:

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Carrie
by Stephen King
The novel that launched Stephen King’s storied career, CARRIE is an icon of adolescent horror. When a group of popular students are punished for bullying outcast Carrie White, they retaliate at the prom, resulting in a shocking and unforgettable climax. With her telekinetic powers and thirst for revenge, Carrie may be pop culture’s most famous prom queen.
Carrie
Stephen King

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but in the face of unbearable humiliation, her gift of telepathy is turned into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. The terror of Stephen King's legendary debut novel makes for a timeless thriller.

MENTIONED IN:

From Circe to Carrie: 9 Literary Female Monsters You Don’t Want to Mess With

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Dead to the World 
by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
The first in the acclaimed iZombie graphic novel series, DEAD TO THE WORLD introduces us to Gwen—a twentysomething woman who happens to rely on human brains to survive. Dedicated to fulfilling the last wishes of those she must feed on, Gwen and her motley crew of the undead solve mysteries and help the living in this clever and utterly unique look at zombies.
Dead to the World 
Chris Roberson and Michael Allred

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The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill
A desolate and isolated house. Mysterious cries in the night. A spectral woman in black who appears right before the death of a child. For those who like their chills ghostly, THE WOMAN IN BLACK is an atmospheric and unnerving novel that haunts you long after you finish it.
The Woman in Black
Susan Hill

A modern classic of Gothic horror, Susan Hill drew upon the rich tradition of British ghost stories to craft this atmospheric tale of a mysterious specter whose appearance heralds the death of a child. Who is the terrifying woman in black and why does she haunt the halls of the isolated Eel Marsh House?

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The Queen of the Damned
by Anne Rice
Discover the fascinating and compelling mythology behind Anne Rice’s beloved Vampire Chronicles with THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED. When the mother of all vampires is accidentally awakened by the vampire Lestat, she unleashes a dastardly and bloody plan to rule the world. An expansive and ambitious novel that is compulsively readable.
The Queen of the Damned
Anne Rice

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Undead Girl Gang
by Lily Anderson
In this wickedly fun and snarky YA novel, a teenage girl is devastated by the deaths of her three friends. Armed with determination and a powerful spell, she brings her friends back to life and together, they must discover the truth behind their deaths. With plenty of suspense and charm, UNDEAD GIRL GANG is a darkly funny celebration of girl power.
Undead Girl Gang
Lily Anderson

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CIRCE
by Madeline Miller
In this smart, engaging, and breathlessly written retelling of the ODYSSEY, we get a brand-new perspective from Circe—the infamous witch. A spirited and suspenseful exploration of female strength, CIRCE is an unforgettable and magical modern classic about love, tragedy, and power.
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