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Creepy Reads for Halloween 2021

Cindy Burnett
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Halloween reads

Cindy Burnett recommends some creepy reads to help us get into the Halloween spirit.

Halloween 2021 looks a lot better than Halloween 2020 did, and on top of that good news, the Astros are in the World Series! To celebrate, I selected some fun and creepy reads to help everyone get into the Halloween spirit. While I enjoy writing about creepy books, I do not always enjoy actually reading them so I searched around to find some great recommendations. 

I have sorted the books by theme to help guide people towards the right type of spooky read 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 books that I have read and enjoyed, and they are listed below in no particular order. 

Here are some reads to help you enjoy the season:

Mildly Creepy:

  • *The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • Survive the Night 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 Whisper Man by Alex North
  • The Stand by Stephen King (as the master of suspense and horror, he has numerous other books that qualify here)
  • The Nowhere Man by Catherine Ryan Howard
  • The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
  • The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Gothic Reads:

  • *The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James
  • *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 
  • The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

Ghost or supernatural stories:

  • *A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan
  • *The Last to See Me and I See You So Close by M. Dressler 
  • 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 Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates
  • The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coates
  • Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

Scarier Ghost/Supernatural/Horror stories:

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 
  • The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Craven Manor by Darcy Coates
  • Hunted by Darcy Coates

I want to hear about your favorite creepy books below in the comments!

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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