As the days grow shorter and the evening approaches when all manner of vampires and ghouls, pint-sized superheroes and overgrown gnomes will walk the streets of the Vineyard, perhaps this Halloween it is the time to dig the grave just a bit deeper. No mere handouts of Three Musketeers, Butterfingers and Candy Corn for you. Rather, it is time to walk hand in hand with the real dead. And if Holly Nadler is your guide, it could prove to be a very crowded walk.

Twenty years ago Ms. Nadler wrote Haunted Island, a collection of ghost stories detailing the Island spirits who walk among us. She named names and places — Desire Coffin Osborne, the Marine Hospital, Old Joe down at the Edgartown jail, a group of hairy mariners with a taste for Jack Daniels, a lusty lady of the night, and many, many others. The stories were told by the people who encountered the ghosts, many of whom had just purchased a nice old house on West Chop or in Edgartown, unaware that their new home was already very much occupied.

Recently, Ms. Nadler published the 20th anniversary edition of Haunted Island, complete with updated notes on the stories, and some new tales, too. This week, in time for Halloween, she will be reading from and discussing the books at locations around the Island.

To get a glimpse of what you are in for, consider this opening from a chapter entitled The Ghost of Winter.

“After Kim Angell’s parents bought their waterfront manor in 1966, the young girl had the impression that unseen figures babysat for her and her siblings. ‘West Chop was such a social community, and my mother and father attended a lot of cocktail parties. They felt comfortable leaving us, and we felt safe being left.’”

Interesting, a kid who feels safer with ghosts than her parents. Now that’s scary.

Holly Nadler will be speaking at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., and the Oak Bluffs library on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.