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As an English major, I am a sucker for a good book. And scary books are super hard to find because, unlike movies, you can’t be jump-scared. The horror book genre is more about suspense, being at the edge of your seat, and being unnerved and creeped out, but still unable to put it down. Here are just a few truly “scary” books that you can read for Halloween to help you get into the spooky season mood.

Frankenstein by: Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is a classic. It’s the story of a scientist who creates life: The Creature. The Creature is smart, cunning, and, above all, a monster. But, once you start reading, you begin to wonder, who is the real monster? The one created or the creator himself?

Ninth House by: Leigh Bardugo

This book is set on the Yale college campus and focuses on what the children of the rich and powerful will do to maintain their status, even if it means participating in the occult. Here’s a quick summary from Goodreads: “Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.”

The Works of Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe is the ultimate master of creeping readers out. His stories are mysterious and imaginative, and he explores the darker side of human behavior. He depicts the darkest parts of humanity without holding back, forcing readers to think heavily about it and creep themselves out as well. His poems and stories are short, and fairly easy to read, so you’ll be scared in no time. I personally recommend The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher.

You By: Caroline Kepnes

I am sure you’ve at least heard of the Netflix series, “You”, but maybe this Halloween season it’s time to read the book. It’s a story told by a stalker, who will do anything to get the girls of his dreams. Even if it means murder, and manipulating his way into her life through whatever means. It’s a fascinating story on just how easy the digital age makes it to harm others, and how we never really know the people we are surrounded by.

Mexican Gothic by: Silvia moreno-garcia

This story, set in 1950’s Mexico, explores the sinister secrets of a family. Noemi is looking to save her cousin from the family she married into. There’s a spooky, decrepit mansion, dreams of blood, murder, cannibalism, etc. It truly is a menacing, gothic story of the worst things a family can do.

Final Girls by: Riley Sager 

This book follows the story of a group of “Final girls”. 3 women who have each survived a horrifying tale of their own, and lived to tell the tale. They find solace in each other, the only people who could truly understand what they have each gone through. But one day, one of the women is killed, and it becomes clear they aren’t done surviving their own personal horror stories just yet.

Happy reading these chilling stories!

I'm an English Major with an emphasis in Literature, Language & Culture, and I am minoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I tweet like i'm twitter famous, but my other interests include: books, cats, plants, Netflix, Disney and being active on my college campus.
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