Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough, but I just couldn't stand it any longer. It is the first day of fall, though, so that's something.
Long Lankin is based on an old English folk ballad about the betrayal and brutal murder of a mother and her child. Lankin, the man (?) at the center of the legend has gone by many names as the tale passed through generations. Some know him as Lamkin. Some know him as Balankin. Ramkin, Lambert Linkin and Lammikin are all names he's gone by. It's been said he was a disgruntled stonemason getting bloody revenge for a financial grudge. Or possibly a demon making mischief for mischief's sake. Others believe he was a leper, and felt his only hope for being cured was bathing in or drinking the blood of babies.
Any way you slice it this story (and the songs based on it) are TERRIFYING, and have been for hundreds of years.
The book brings us back to the site of the original Long Lankin murders. The village has never quite gotten over what happened centuries ago. They don't talk about it, of course, but they also don't ever let their children play near the old church. Or open their windows, even a crack. Two little girls get shipped from London out to the village to live with their auntie, and the horror starts to reveal itself. This book was scary folks. Like, no joke.
The book trailer is pretty spooktastic as well.
I'm sure once October gets rolling we'll be sending other spooky reads your way. This is a terrific place to start, though.