All the squares!

There are a total of 61 squares that might show up on your card. You will find individual threads below for each square, where you can talk to your fellow players about what you are planning to read and provide book suggestions. If you mention a book on one of these threads, in particular,, please use the “add book/author” function – if you look over to the right, it will list all of the books mentioned with links, which makes a nice active book list for everyone to use!

I have linked the square name to it’s individual thread, for ease of navigation.

Please do not ask the moderators if a book fits a square on these threads – there is a specific thread set up for that, and it’s possible that we could miss a question on these 61 threads!

I have reorganized this list and have removed a lot of the genre identifications. What do you need to know about this?

First, any book read for Halloween Bingo must still relate to mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural. Having said that, there are now very few squares that are specifically devoted to one of those “genres.” Unless the square definition specifically requires a genre, you are free to use any of those genres to fill a square.

You are also free to use NF to fulfill any square, so long as it fits and it falls under the general heading above. So, for example, you could use a NF book about a crime in a small town to fill “Terror in a Small Town” which is not genre specific; you could use a NF about a crime at a school or university for Dark Academia; you can use a NF about a hurricane or disaster for When Mother Nature Strikes, etc…

  1. Genre: Mystery: anything that fits into the mystery genre.

  2. Amateur Sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. This can include retired police officers and private detectives.

  3. Lethal Games: Any mystery involving sports, sporting events, athletic contests, games mistresses or PE teachers, as well as card games and other games of chance. This is going to substitute for International Woman of Mystery!

  4. Vintage Mysteries: This is a newish square, or maybe really more of a “repurposing” square. Classic noir was the least popular of all of the square, and we had a suggestion from Themis for a Golden Age Mystery square, or a Queens of Crime square, to focus on Agatha Christie & a few of her contemporaries. Vintage mysteries is a journey(wo)man square that can take on all of the roles above, and it replaces Classic Noir. In order to qualify, the mystery must have been published prior to 1975.

  5. Country House Mystery: a closed circle murder set during a gathering like a house party.

  6. Cozy Mystery: a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.

  7. Genre: Suspense: anything that fits into the suspense genre.

  8. Locked Room Mystery: a subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime (almost always murder) is committed in circumstances under which it was seemingly impossible for the perpetrator to commit the crime or evade detection in the course of getting in and out of the crime scene.

  9. Noir: This updated square combines Classic & Modern Noir into a single category: mystery with noir elements, including authors like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, anything that falls generally under the category of Nordic Noir, Tartan Noir, Granite Noir, etc;;

  10. Romantic Suspense: any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense; also gothic romance.

  11. Splatter: This is a mystery/horror square – combining Serial/Spree Killer with Slasher Stories and covers any book that involves the detection of serial or spree killers, or that shares the tropes of classic slasher movies: teen characters; indestructible killers and/or multiple victims.

  12. Murder Most Foul: any murder mystery.

  13. King of Fear: You can read anything written by Stephen King or Joe Hill, or recommended by Stephen King (as long as the recommendation is otherwise eligible for Halloween Bingo); EDIT: You can also read any mystery/supernatural/suspense or horror book that involves actual royalty (i.e., kings, queens, princesses, etc).

  14. Genre: Horror: Anything that qualifies as horror.

  15. Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000.

  16. Tropical Terror: This square is the reverse of Stone Cold Horror – books set in tropical locations, or other places where there is extreme heat.

  17. Terror in a Small Town: any book where the action primarily occurs in a small town or village. Examples would include: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, It by Stephen King.

  18. Trick or Treat: This is a new square that combines all of the YA/MG mystery/horror under one roof, incorporating both Baker Street Irregulars and Fear Street into one master category.

  19. Classic Horror: horror fiction that was published prior to 1980;

  20. American Horror Story: horror set in the United States.

  21. Stone Cold Horror: a book that takes place primarily in a winter/cold/snow type setting

  22. Stranger Things: this is a twist on the past 80’s Horror square with elements of the television show – any horror that has supernatural elements, portal/parallel universes, government plots gone awry or is set or was written in the 1980’s.

  23. Vampires: vampires, preferably non-sparkly, in all of their glorious fictional permutations.

  24. Cryptozoologist: any supernatural creature, from Ammit to Ziz.

  25. Deadlands: elements of the undead – zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants;

  26. Ghost Stories: any story involving ghosts or hauntings – includes haunted houses.

  27. Magical Realism: a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements.

  28. Shifters: werewolves, skin-walkers and all other therianthropes.

  29. Spellbound: books containing witches, warlocks, sorcerors and witchcraft;

  30. Supernatural: Books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects.

  31. Gallows Humor: another new square – any mystery/horror/supernatural/suspense book that is also intended to be humorous or funny.

  32. Plague and Disease: This one should be self-explanatory, but it’s any mystery/
    horror/ supernatural/ suspense book that involves plague, disease, viruses, parasites, etc. I’m moving viruses & parasites and similar elements out of Creepy Crawlies and into this category. It’s like that zombies would fit here as well, depending upon the means of creation.

  33. A Grimm Tale: any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc.

  34. Lost in Space: Lost In Space replaces the Aliens square. It covers aliens and any other “space” being, but also covers mystery/horror/suspense/supernatural stories that occur in space – either “real” or digital (i.e., Ready Player One).

  35. Creepy Carnivals: horror/mystery/supernatural set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival – think Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Joyland by Stephen King or Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie;

  36. Creepy Crawlies: this is a throw back from 2016! Books with bugs, snakes, spiders, worms and other things that slither, scuttle or crawl, includes viruses and other parasites.

  37. In The Dark, Dark Woods: a mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book in which the forest/woods plays a significant role, or which has a forest/woods on the cover.

  38. Darkest London: mystery, horror, supernatural, or suspense set in London.

  39. Highway to Hell: Any book involving demons, demonic possession or other such elements, as well as hell or the devil, or, alternatively, travel gone very, very bad.

  40. Diverse voices: written by an author of color.

  41. Doomsday: anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world.

  42. Fear the Drowning Deep: books with sea-related elements: sea creatures, ships, and sharks. Book list linked here.

  43. Mad Scientists and Evil Geniuses: Mad Scientists and Evil Geniuses: any horror/mystery/suspense/supernatural book that contains either mad scientists or evil geniuses, secret lairs, secret labs, genetically altered creatures or anything similar!

  44. Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Book list linked here.

  45. Grave or Graveyard: Books that have a grave or graveyard on their covers, in their titles, or any book at least partially set in a graveyard.

  46. Halloween: This is a combination of the “pumpkin” and the “halloween” squares from 2016. so, any book set on halloween or has halloween in the title or that has a pumpkin on the cover, or in the title, etc.. will work for this square. This square is also being amended to add the “fancy dress” or costuming element that was previously part of trick-or-treat.

  47. Monsters: This square covers any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn’t a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie.

  48. Hellhounds and Feline Familiars: This is a brand new square – any mystery/suspense/horror/supernatural book that involves a dog or a cat. Other domestic animals subject to approval…

  49. Read by Flashlight or Candlelight: Back by popular request! Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror book – the trick here is to spend an hour or so reading by flashlight or candlelight. Take a picture and share it with us, if you want to!

  50. Relics and Curiosities: concerning magical, supernatural or haunted objects, such as spell-books, talismans or swords;

  51. Sleepy Hollow: this is the new version of set in New England, with a shout-out to that most New England of all stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; in addition, since “Full Moon” has been retired, this category now includes any book with a full moon on the cover, or that prominently appears within the text.

  52. Black Cat: This square is being combined with 13, so it includes any book that has a black cat in the title, on the cover, or in the story; or any book that relates to bad luck, superstition, either in the title/book/series/page count.

  53. When Mother Nature Strikes: Any book that takes place on “a dark and stormy night,” or that involves a storm or natural disaster, including non-fiction.

  54. Southern Gothic: horror set in the Southern part of the United States.

  55. Dark Academia: Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror that takes place at a school – high school, college, boarding school, etc.

  56. Dystopian Hellscape: This is a multi-genre square! Any book that relates to the fictional depiction of a dystopian society, such as The Handmaid’s Tale or The Hunger Games!

  57. Psych: Psychological thrillers, plot twists and suspense, unreliable narrators and other mind-fuckery. And, as an aside, any Halloween Bingo book that takes place within or related to an insane asylum, haunted or otherwise, would qualify!

  58. Truly Terrifying: Non-fiction that has elements of suspense, horror or mystery, including true crime, both contemporary and historical. Examples would be The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson.

  59. Paint It Black: Any book with a cover that is primarily black or has the word black in the title, was written by a black author, or relates to rock and roll music.

  60. Film at 11: The idea for this new space comes courtesy of Linda Hilton! Generally, in order to qualify for Halloween bingo, all books must fit into one of the general genres of horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural. This space is filled by any Halloween bingo book that has been adapted to film or television. For extra fun, you can watch the adaptation – although this is an optional add on.

  61. Dem Bones: Dem Bones covers any (mystery/suspense/horror/supernatural) book that involves skeletons, bones (human or otherwise) skeletal remains, anthropologists, archaeologists, natural history museums or expeditions or archaeological digs.

8 thoughts on “All the squares!

  1. I think I am going to need to alphabetize this in order to make it useful, since its such a long list.

    Also, what do you think about setting up a page for each space, and then linking to that page from this page, as a place to house booklists, or does someone have a better idea?

    1. I think the A-Z would be super helpful.

      I like the idea of book lists and I’m going to think about whether UBB can help us with that or not. I know we can put linked books on a page no problem, it’s just the format I’m concerned about.

      I just did a quick test on my site and with UBB you can pull book info from google or GR and choose what information to display, so I was able to fetch a title and only display title and author. The only drawback was that it put it in the format:

      Title by

      instead of putting it all on one line. But it is linked to the source, which is handy.

    2. Alphabetising would help.

      It would also be good to be able to search by square name which we might be able to do by linking a graphic to tag or category.

      It would take some work but I think that if the first graphic was 61 squares laid out in a grid, each square could have a link to the definition.

      I wonder if we can use Pages and have a Page per square with the graphic, the definition and a curated list of books with each Page linked to the master graphic of all 61 squares..

        1. I’m going to try out some of the image options in the block editor. We may be able to use the gallery option and place a link in the caption space. I’ll go play with it and see what I can make work.

          1. Great idea. I will upload all of the square images to a separate image folder.

            Added: OK, I uploaded all of the individual square images and put them in a folder called “Bingo square images” or something like that.

    3. I notice that the Raven square isn’t included, presumably because it isn’t called. If we do go for a page a square then I think it should have one of it’s own.

      Alternatively, it could be linked to the spell cards as a kind of wildcard in its own right

    4. If we want to do Pages, we can create the pages (manually), and assign them to a category that’s only for square pages, then create a new menu widget for those pages. There’s a ‘visibility’ button on the menu widget that allow you to set ‘Only show pages with category=square pages’ – or whatever we call it.

      Before we go too far with book lists, etc. we need to make a decision on using Ultimate Book Blogger, or Book Database (both cost the same annual $35 – although I remember I think I got a $10 discount if I renewed early).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.