This is the happiest, spookiest time of year – Halloween almost upon us! With the holiday right around the corner (and time desperately running out to come up with a truly transcendent costume – which means I’ll probably end up home with a book), I’ve put together a list of our very favorite spooky, chilling, heart racing novels!
1. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
While this one may appear on a certain other list of not so scary books, I have to respectfully disagree. The lush, striking artwork and stories that deal with murder, sentient parasites, ghost possession, and fratricide, to name a few. This is a fantastically creepy entry, and a must-have for any fan of scary things.
2. Creepshow by Stephen King
Are you a fan of the campy, pulpy horror of the 50’s and 60’s? This campy graphic novelization of the 1982 Stephen King and George A. Romero anthology film is a great pick up for you. Featuring five stories of skin crawling spookiness, delightfully told by the Creep himself, and wonderfully retro artwork from Bernie Wrightson, it’ll make you yearn for the days of drive in movies and poodle skirts.
3. The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale
The deep woods are always a foreboding place. Add in spectral twins, slavery, and an embodiment of the devil, and you have a modern classic of creepiness. This incredibly engrossing story of a young girl who feels a much closer connection to the Soul Eaters, the ghostly twins that wiped out her village. Bringing up questions of humanity and what defines a monster; this is a perfect read for a gloomy autumn night.
4. Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano
The first installment in a horror trilogy, Diary of a Haunting tells the story of Paige, a teen forced to move into a creepy house with her mother and brother following her parent’s divorce. What follows puts the events of films like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project to shame. Do not read this one at night time – nightmares are borderline guaranteed.
5. Hellworld by Tom Leveen
Abby Booth’s mother disappeared 5 years ago while filming a ghost hunting reality TV show in a supposedly haunted cave in Arizona. Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Abby sets out to explore the same cave with a small group of friends. But will she discover the truth about what happened to her mother? Or will she uncover something far more sinister?
6. Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker
In this wonderful entry, we are introduced to Rilla Brae, a young lobsterwoman on the coast of Maine. After her father’s sudden death, she is haunted by visions of a young girl, who calls Rilla to a mysterious island. With help from an alluring archeology student, Rilla finds herself on the island, and begins to uncover the deep, dark secrets that the people of her hometown have kept for generations
7. Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne
Audrey arrive at the Hotel Ruby with her father and brother. They’re exhausted and broken after her mother’s death, and only plan to stay the night. But there’s something intoxicating about the hotel, and suddenly they’re staying an extra day…then a couple extra days…then a week. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past. The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. But if she’s not careful, her curiosity will bring her to a place from which she can never return.
8. Death & Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus
May 7, 1896.
Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down by the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected.
His second life will be nothing like his first.
9. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
10. The Murmurings by Carly Anne West
The voices in her head are not her own…
Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on. As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…
11. The House by Christina Lauren
His shirt is black, jeans are black, and shaggy black hair falls into his eyes. And when Gavin looks up at Delilah, the dark eyes shadowed with bluish circles seem to flicker to life. He lives in that house, the one at the edge of town. Spooky and maybe haunted. Something worse than haunted. And Gavin is trapped by its secrets. Delilah and Gavin can’t resist each other. But staying together will exact a price beyond their imagining.
Did we leave off any of your favorite spooky reads? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our other fantastic creepy reads!