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Scary Reads for Halloween

Cindy Burnett
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Scary reads for Halloween

Halloween is the perfect day for a scary read. 

Since my Page Turners articles are published on Thursdays, I realized that my column this week would be published on Halloween. Naturally, I decided that I would write about creepy, scary reads to fit in with the theme of Halloween. These books can help you extend the spooky festiveness of Halloween for a little longer.

While I love the idea of writing about spooky books, I am a bit of a wimp (read: huge wimp) when it comes to scary things (I can do a decent amount of creepiness but not anything that gets too dark) so I posted on Instagram asking for scary book recommendations and received some great suggestions. I used some of them for this article, but if you love scary books and stories, it is worth checking out my post to see the full range of titles that I received in response to my query.

I have loosely grouped the books by theme to help guide people to the best scary book for them. A number of these books could fit in more than one category, so I tried to slot them into the one that I felt fit best. I have starred the tales that I have read and loved, and the books listed below are in no particular order.

Mildly Creepy (I can handle these):

  • *The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  • *Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
  • *Broken Harbor by Tana French (or anything else by her)
  • *The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe (short story)
  • *The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe (short story)

Really Dark Reads (The ones I avoid so I can sleep at night):

  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Whisper Man by Alex North
  • Little Darlings by Melanie Golding 
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager
  • The Stand by Stephen King (as the master of suspense and horror, he has numerous other books that qualify here)
  • The Darkening by Paul Antony Jones
  • The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  • Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Gothic Reads (I love gothic tales):

  • *The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
  • *The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  • *The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • *Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier 

Ghost or supernatural stories (Not the overly scary ones):

  • *A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan
  • The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (she has numerous other ghost stories too)
  • *The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • *The Last to See Me by M. Dressler 

Scarier Ghost/Supernatural/Horror stories (These are out of my comfort zone):

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • Hell House by Richard Matheson
  • The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
  • It by Stephen King
  • Pet Cemetery by Stephen King

There are so many fabulously and often terrifyingly creepy books out there, and I hope you enjoy checking out a few of the ones mentioned above. Feel free to share with me your favorites in the genre below in the comments.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram or Cindy’s Reading Recs

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