9 Spooky Books to Read this Halloween

There is almost nothing better than curling up with a good book on a chilly, fall day. Why not get a good scare out of it? Since it is officially spooky season I thought I would let you all know about the best books that make it a little harder to sleep at night. From creepy to haunting, to just full-on scary, these are the best books to get in the spooky and mysterious mood this Halloween.


  1. 1. 'It' by Stephen King

    Brief Summary: In the small town of Derry, Maine, seven teenagers are forever bonded over the humanization of their greatest nightmares and fight to overcome the terror that haunts their every move. In a dual time line, 27 years apart, this novel shows the power of overcoming your fears and the importance of the people that are with you when that happens.

    My Thoughts: Okay, so I just had to get this one out of the way. Stephen King’s name is quite perfect because let’s be honest, he’s the King of horror. It was the first book I read by Mr. King and it remains my favorite. Besides the content, just looking at it is quite daunting since it is a whopping 1,200 pages but I promise it does not feel like it! The story is amazing and original and is so much more than scary. At its core, It is a book about growing up and facing your fears, whether that is a freaky clown or something else.

  2. 2. 'Imaginary Friend' by Stephen Chbosky

    Brief Summary: After escaping an abusive relationship, single mother Kate and her son Christopher find themselves in the small town of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. Shortly after they arrive Christopher goes missing and comes back speaking of the “nice man” who saved him. As we follow Kate trying to figure out what happened with her son in those woods, we also follow Christopher and his new imaginary friend.

    My Thoughts: This book is my current read and even though I haven’t actually finished it yet I feel very certain in my recommendation because this book is CREEPY. I have to take it slow because when I am reading it I get this tight feeling in my chest which is usually exclusively attributed to how I feel when I watch The Shining, so hopefully that really tells you how haunting this book is. The writing is so theatrical with the word choice and all of the different fonts, so I think if you are a fan of horror movies you’ll love this!

  3. 3. 'You' by Caroline Kepnes

    Brief Summary: When Guinevere Beck wanders into the New York City bookstore where twisted Joe Goldberg works, she has no idea the effect that this man will have on her life. Joe becomes obsessed with the gorgeous writer and finds he can’t stay away and will get rid of anyone that gets in the way of his plan to be the center of Beck’s world.

    My Thoughts: You absolutely blew my mind. It was so different to anything I had every read because this story could happen (and has happened) in real life. I will admit that I did watch the Netflix series first (which I LOVED) but there were enough differences that I was still hooked until the end. I really cannot wait to pick up the sequel, Hidden Bodies, and could not recommend this enough if you’re looking for something that will make you double check that you locked your doors at night.  

  4. 4. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde

    Brief Summary: Dorian Gray is beautiful. He is so beautiful that he wishes he would never age. When a portrait of him begins to age instead, he locks it up in the attic, not allowing anyone to see it. While Dorian Gray maintains his outer beauty because of this painting, his soul becomes uglier than ever.

    My Thoughts: This book is for the classic horror lover. It is proper creepy, and I was literally jumping up and down after the last paragraph. Dorian Gray is a very complicated character, and, in my opinion, it is worth reading the entire book for just the last page. I love this novel and am so glad I read it this Halloween season!

  5. 5. 'Stalking Jack the Ripper' by Kerri Maniscalco

    Brief Summary: Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born to be two things: a lady and a wife. In 1890 England, that is pretty much what every woman was born to be, but Audrey Rose has other things in mind. Her Uncle Jonathan is a respected forensic scientist, Audrey’s dream job. As she sneaks into her uncle’s science class, disguised as a boy, she convinces her uncle to help her lead this secret life in science. As she is apprenticing with her uncle, the Jack the Ripper murders begin, and she wants nothing more than to find the killer and discover why all the murders seem to be connected to her.

    My Thoughts: As I have gotten older, I have read a lot less young adult novels but there is one genre that I cannot give up just yet: YA mysteries. I don’t know why but they are my kryptonite, and this is my favorite. I love the characters in this book so much and since this is the first book in a four-book series, you get a lot more of them after this book! Since all the books are finally out (the last one just came out last month) they are the perfect books to binge read this Halloween!

  6. 6. 'Truly Devious' by Maureen Johnson

    Brief Summary: Stevie Bell cannot believe she was accepted to the Ellingham Academy. She especially cannot believe that she was accepted under the belief that she will finally solve the murder of the founder’s family that has been haunting the campus for decades. As a true crime aficionado, she has always dreamed of working a murder case, but when she finally sees a dead body, it is more haunting than she could have ever imagined.

    My Thoughts: If historical fiction isn’t your thing, then this is my other YA mystery recommendation. Stevie Bell is such a great narrator and I’m a sucker for a boarding school, so that is why I love this book so much. The first in a trilogy, I cannot wait to continue uncovering the secrets behind this elusive academy and what happened all those years ago.

  7. 7. 'His Hideous Heart' by Dalia Adler

    Brief Summary: 13 of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous tales, reimagined for the modern reader.

    My Thoughts: I thought this book was a great idea! Along with the 13 reimagined tales they also included the original tales in the back for reference. I think this a great way to get younger readers into the genius that is Edgar Allen Poe and I really recommend this. While some stories were better than others, I thought this was a solid collection and perfect if you are just getting into Mr. Poe. Besides this, I obviously also recommend his original stories (“Tell Tale Heart” is my favorite).

  8. 8. 'We Were Villians' by M. L. Rio

    Brief Summary: When Oliver Marks is released from prison for a crime he may or may not have committed, he is finally ready to reveal what happened 10 years prior. Mostly told in a flashback to Oliver’s last year in a mysterious theatre program that only studies Shakespeare, life really imitates art when one of the seven remaining drama seniors is murdered. Even though Oliver was arrested, did he really do it? If not, who did? And why would he take the fall?

    My Thoughts: This book was incredible! Definitely for fans of Shakespeare and school settings, two of my favorite things. This book was unusual because every character gave me a reason to hate them, but I found myself fond of them anyway. They were so pretentious, speaking mostly in Shakespeare quotes, but I thought it really worked for this novel. I cannot recommend this enough, especially to those who love the theater! 

  9. 9. 'Coraline' by Neil Gaimen 

    Brief Summary: Coraline knew that a door had to lead somewhere, but she would have never expected this. When Coraline moves into her new house with her parents, she finds a door that leads to a brick wall. One day that wall disappears and reveals a new world that is almost exactly the same, except for the button eyes and papery skin of her other mother and father. As her other “parents” try to keep Coraline forever, she knows she has to be brave and find a way to save her real parents and herself.

    My Thoughts: This is one of my all-time favorite books from when I was a little girl. Coraline never fails to give me the heebie jeebies, even now as I reread it as a 20-year-old college student. This book is properly creepy and will definitely spook you no matter how old you are. There is just something about those button eyes…

No matter what kind of reader you are, I hope you found what you were looking for on this list and have a Happy Halloween! Okay, I’m going to go read now.

HCXO, Maeve