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Scary Reads for Halloween

Cindy Burnett
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Spooky reads

Get in the Halloween spirit with this list of spooky reads.

Halloween falls on a Monday this year and the Astros will be playing in the World Series (yay!!), but it is still fun to squeeze in some creepy books to celebrate the season. While I enjoy writing about spooky books, I do not personally enjoy reading them very often so I pulled scary book recommendations from my book friends on Instagram as well as ones that I have read myself.

Here are some other fun reads for the season. I have starred the books that I have read and enjoyed, and they are listed below in no particular order. I have generally sorted the books by theme to help guide people towards the right type of scary 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. 

Mildly Creepy:

  • *The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  • *One by One by Ruth Ware
  • 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 Collective by Alison Gaylin
  • Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
  • Sign Here by Claudia Lux

Really Dark Reads:

  • The Shadows by Alex North
  • The Stand by Stephen King (as the master of suspense and horror, he has numerous other books that qualify here)
  • Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak
  • The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  • Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  • 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 Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
  • The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb

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 Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (she has numerous other ghost stories too)
  • *The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Scarier Ghost/Supernatural/Horror Stories:

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
  • Pet Cemetery by Stephen King
  • The Deep by Alma Katsu

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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