25 Best Horror Books for Halloween
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Looking for a good scare this Halloween? Whether you’re in the mood for a ghost story, a psychological thriller, or a good old-fashioned monster yarn, these spine-chilling Halloween books are sure to put you in the mood for the spookiest season and satisfy your dark cravings.
Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to get in the spirit than with great spooky reads? From ghost stories to haunted houses, these Halloween books are sure to send a chill down your spine.
So, if you’re looking for scary stories, check out our list of the 25 best books to put on your Halloween Reading List during this spooky season!
Best Halloween Books
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
In Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia expertly uses Mexican folklore and mythology to create an atmosphere of suspense and terror. Noemí Taboada, a young woman, goes to High Place -a remote house situated in the Mexican countryside-to assist her cousin. Once Noemí arrives, she realizes something is amiss, and the family may have a sinister past they’re hiding. The setting and atmosphere are incredibly creepy and add to the feeling of unease and dread that permeates the novel. Moreno-Garcia expertly builds tension and horror throughout, creating a genuinely harrowing reading experience. This is a must-read for horror fans.
by Mona Awad
Mona Awad’s Bunny is a psychological thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The novel follows Samantha Heather Mackey, a prestigious creative writing program student. She becomes fixated on a group of girls who she nicknames “The Bunnies” because of their clique-like behavior. The Bunnies seem to have it all – they’re beautiful, rich, and successful. But as Samantha gets closer to them, she realizes there may be more to their story than meets the eye. Bunny is a fast-paced, suspenseful read that will leave readers reeling.
The Year of Witching
by Alexis Henderson
Alexis Henderson’s The Year of Witching is a haunting debut novel set in the fictional town of Bethel, Pennsylvania. The story follows 16-year-old Mira Minkoba, struggling to come to terms with her mother’s death. As she navigates her grief, she must also deal with the fact that she is a witch. In Bethel, witches are persecuted, and Mira must keep her powers hidden. But when strange things start happening in the town, Mira begins to suspect that there may be more to her mother’s death than she realized. The Year of Witching is an atmospheric, eerie novel that will keep readers captivated from beginning to end.
The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House is a classic work of horror that has been terrifying readers for decades. The novel tells the story of four people who Dr. John Montague hires to investigate the ghostly activity at Hill House. As they spend more time in the house, they realize that it may be more than just a haunted house – it may be alive. Jackson expertly builds suspense and terror throughout, creating a truly nightmarish reading experience.
Home Before Dark
by Riley Sager
A chilling thriller that keeps readers guessing until the end. The novel follows Maggie Holt, who, as a child, lived in Baneberry Hall – a house with a dark history. Her father wrote a bestselling book about their time living in the house, and the family was forced to leave Baneberry Hall after a series of tragic events. Now, as an adult, Maggie returns to the house to confront her demons. But as she begins to investigate the dark history of Baneberry Hall, she realizes that the house may be more than just haunted – it may be alive. Home Before Dark is a suspenseful, spine-tingling read that will keep readers up all night.
by Norman Partridge
This novel will surely appeal to fans of Stephen King. The story takes place in the small town of Haverhill, Illinois, on the eve of Halloween. Every year on Halloween night, the residents of Haverhill participate in a macabre tradition known as the Harvest. But this year, something goes wrong, and the Harvest turns into a night of terror. As the residents of Haverhill fight for their lives, they realize that the Harvest may be more than just a tradition – it may be a ritual sacrifice to a dark force that has been dormant for centuries. Dark Harvest is a fast-paced, suspenseful read that you won’t miss.
by Stephen King
Stephen King’s 1977 novel, The Shining, is one of the most iconic horror stories ever written. The story tells of the Torrance family, hired to be the caretakers of the Overlook Hotel during the off-season. What starts as a dream job quickly becomes a nightmare as the hotel’s dark secrets, and hidden horrors come to light. Soon, the hotel’s ghosts begin to haunt Jack and Danny, driving Jack into a murderous rampage. With its suspenseful plot full of ghoulish ghosts haunting characters and its thrilling climax, it’s no wonder this book remains an essential part of our literary culture today.
by Isabel Cañas
Set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, this gothic suspense novel follows Beatriz, a young woman who is pulled into the dark clutches of a sinister haunting at a remote hacienda. With the help of a young priest, she must fight off the evil forces that threaten to consume her. Filled with mystery and intrigue, The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas is a spellbinding tale of supernatural suspense and romance perfect for fans of Mexican Gothic and Rebecca.
Save for Later
The Broken Girls
by Simone St. James
A haunting tale of murder, mystery, and betrayal. The story follows Fiona, who returns to her childhood home – an all-girls boarding school with a dark history – to investigate her sister’s death. As she discovers the school’s dark secrets, she realizes that her sister’s death may not have been an accident. The Broken Girls is a suspenseful, atmospheric read that will keep readers captivated from beginning to end.
by Daphne du Maurier
This classic work of gothic suspense has captivated readers for decades. The novel tells the story of the second Mrs. de Winter, who arrives at Manderley, her husband’s estate, to find that she can never replace the first Mrs. de Winter, the estate’s former mistress. Rebecca’s memory haunts the second Mrs. de Winter, and she soon realizes that her husband may be hiding secrets about his first wife’s death. Rebecca is a suspenseful, atmospheric read that will keep readers captivated from beginning to end.
The Winter People
by Jennifer McMahon
Set in the present day with flashbacks to the early 1900s, the story follows Ruthie, a nineteen-year-old girl trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. During her investigation, Ruthie discovers a connection between her mother and Sara Harrison Shea, a woman who died in mysterious circumstances in 1908. Ruthie must race against time to find her mother and stop history from repeating itself.
The October Boys
by Adam Millard
A group of friends must face their fears and confront the monster stalking them since they were children in this horror novel, perfect for fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. It was a Halloween night when they first heard the ice cream truck’s eerie melody, and their friend disappeared. Now, years later, the group has returned to the site of that fateful night, only to discover that the horror is far from over. The ice cream man is back, and he’s coming for them. Can they finally end his reign of terror, or will they be the next to disappear?
The Little Stranger
by Sarah Water
Gothic fiction at its finest, Susan Hill’s novel is set in post-war England and follows Dr. Faraday, a country doctor who is called to the Ayres family estate, Hundreds Hall. The Ayres are struggling to keep up with the changing times, but Faraday quickly realizes that something more sinister may happen in the house. With themes of class, love, and betrayal throughout, this haunting and atmospheric novel will leave readers both disturbed and deeply satisfied by the end.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
by Washington Irving
In this classic work of American literature, Washington Irving tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a lanky schoolteacher who comes to the village of Sleepy Hollow to teach. There, he quickly becomes enamored with the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel and finds himself competing for her hand with the town’s brawny, dim-witted Brom Bones. However, when Ichabod is seemingly chased out of town by a headless horseman, Brom Bones becomes the only suitor left standing. With love, death, and supernatural themes, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic work of gothic literature that has captivated readers for centuries.
The Amityville Horror
by Jay Anson
A classic work of horror, Jay Anson’s novel is based on the true story of the Lutz family, who move into a new home only to be terrorized by demonic forces. The family story of the Lutz family, who move into a new home only to find that demonic forces haunt it. The family is terrorized by the ghosts of the previous occupants and must fight for their lives to escape the house alive. As the story progresses, the family realizes that the house is more than just haunted – it is evil.
by Sarah Pearse
A gothic suspense novel set in the Swiss Alps, The Sanatorium tells the story of Elin Warner, who arrives at the sanatorium to investigate her sister’s mysterious death. As she begins to uncover the secrets of the sanatorium, she realizes that the patients are not the only ones who are haunted by the past. With its atmospheric setting and an eerie sense of foreboding, The Sanatorium is a chilling read that will keep readers hooked until the very end.
Save for Later
The Turn of the Key
by Ruth Ware
Rowan Caine comes across an ad for a live-in nanny position that pays more than she could have imagined, and it looks like a great opportunity. When she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is instantly captivated by the luxurious “smart” home, the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a living hell—one that will end with a kid murdered and her behind bars on suspicion of murder.
Rock Paper Scissors
by Alice Feeney
A psychological thriller with a dose of dark humor, Rock Paper Scissors follows Emma, a woman who is struggling to piece together her memories after a night out drinking with friends. She knows that something happened but can’t remember what it was. As she starts to investigate, she realizes that the events of that night are connected to a much larger conspiracy, one that someone is willing to kill to keep hidden. With twists and turns at every turn, Rock Paper Scissors is a page-turner that keeps readers guessing until the end.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires
by Grady Hendrix
Set in the 1990s, the story follows a group of women in Charleston, South Carolina, who love nothing more than reading true crime novels. But when one of their own goes missing, they realize there may be something more sinister at work than just a simple disappearance. As they start to investigate, they come face-to-face with a real-life monster: a vampire. With its mix of humor and horror, The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a fun and fast-paced read that will keep readers entertained from beginning to end.
The Witching Hour
by Anne Rice
The first book in Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, The Witching Hour, follows the story of Lestat, a vampire struggling to come to terms with his immortality. As he searches for meaning in his life, he becomes caught up in the politics of the vampire world and the conflict between good and evil. With its richly atmospheric setting and complex characters, The Witching Hour is a classic work of vampire literature that keeps readers hooked until the end.
by Bram Stoker
One of the most famous works of horror literature, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, tells the story of Count Dracula, a vampire who moves from Transylvania to England to spread his curse. As he starts to prey on the citizens of London, a group of people led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing set out to stop him. With its mix of suspense, terror, and romance, Dracula is a timeless work of horror that will keep readers captivated from beginning to end.
The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill
A classic work of gothic horror, The Woman in Black, tells the story of Arthur Kipps, a lawyer who is sent to investigate the estate of a recently deceased client. When he arrives at the estate, he quickly realizes something is wrong. The house is haunted by the ghost of a woman in black, and it soon becomes clear that she is determined to drive Kipps away. With its chilling atmosphere and spine-tingling scares, The Woman in Black is a true classic of the horror genre that you won’t miss.
by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who creates a monster from pieces of dead bodies. The monster is brought to life, but he is ugly and rejected by society. He eventually turns on his creator, determined to make him suffer. With its themes of science gone wrong and the dangers of playing with nature, Frankenstein is a timeless work of horror that will keep readers captivated from beginning to end.
by William Peter Blatty
One of the most famous works of horror literature, The Exorcist, tells the story of Regan MacNeil, a young girl who is possessed by a demon. Her mother turns to Father Damien Karras, a priest, for help. As Karras tries to drive the demon out of Regan, he finds himself caught up in a battle between good and evil that he may not be able to win. With its mix of suspense, terror, and religious themes, The Exorcist is a classic work of horror to read once in a lifetime.
Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror
by Lincoln Michel
Tiny Nightmares is a collection of frighteningly good short stories that keeps readers entertained from beginning to end. Featuring stories from some of the best horror writers, including Nathan Ballingrud, Carmen Maria Machado, and Stephen Graham Jones, this anthology of horror fiction is sure to please fans of the genre. So if you’re looking for a quick dose of horror to read in one sitting, pick up Tiny Nightmares and enjoy!
If you’re looking for a book that screams Halloween, these are the best Halloween books to read this year!
What is your favorite Halloween book? Let me know in the comments below!