Inside Little Ghosts, Toronto’s haunted indie bookstore for horror enthusiasts

Inside Little Ghosts, Toronto’s haunted indie bookstore for horror enthusiasts

A tour of the city’s hub for devotees of the macabre

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Chris Krawczyk—owner of Leslieville’s the Sidekick, a comic-book-store-slash-coffee-bar—and husband Jason Krawczyk wanted to find a permanent haunt for another of their passions: horror. Little Ghosts, Canada’s first bookstore dedicated to the macabre, offers fans of the genre a place to indulge their grisly predilection.

To prove that horror is so much more than Stephen King and Anne Rice, Chris worked to curate a collection of underrepresented authors and indie publications with a special emphasis on BIPOC and queer writers. Subgenre categories include pulp thrillers, body horror, creature features (werewolves and vampires, among other ghouls), sci-fi, and such horror-adjacent non-fiction as Mary Roach’s Stiff. There are also books for the littlest of ghosts (The Last Kids on Earth series by Max Brallier), YA readers (Dark Waters by Katherine Arden) and ’90s horror enthusiasts (R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps).

The space, formerly a design studio, has undergone a transformation, featuring bold custom cabinetry and a Beauty-and-the-Beast-meets-steampunk library ladder, all made by Junction-based Grainwork Design. It’s packed with creepy curios, including an original Spookies movie poster, a coffin-shaped mirror with “Future Ghost” written above it, and hands (which double as coat hooks) that reach out from one of the walls. For customers feeling nostalgic, vintage videos—Alien, The Twilight Zone, Casper, The Blob—play while you browse.

Little Ghosts also has a back patio and a café that serves up themed concoctions like the Swamp Creature (a chilling—or at least chilled—sparkling lemonade matcha sipper). More importantly, it provides a space for horror-loving hordes to gather. “It encourages people to hang around,” Chris says. And it’s working: Little Ghosts is becoming a haunted hub.

930 Dundas St. W., 647-666-7675,