Spine-Chilling Stories: Spooky Books to Get You in a Halloween Mood

Being 18-22 is a very uncomfortable age for many readers. We’re all in that weird gap between the Big Kid Books and YA fiction, so finding a decent thriller to read for spooky season is going to be a little tricky. I made a list of some of my favorites to give you a little variety outside of the usual Stephen King.


I won’t go too into detail into these books because I still want you to read them, but here’s a couple of murder mystery/borderline horror books to enjoy.

I am trying to list any possible triggers, but I might not catch them all. Please be careful, as all these books are kind of upsetting and may contain triggering content.


*TW: Suicide (2), Stalking (3), Murder (all of them), Vehicular Homicide (1,3,4), Fire (1,4), Dark Secrets (1, 2,4 )*


1. Chain Letter by Christopher Pike

This guy knows how to mess with you. With a few slightly uncanny additions to otherwise realistic stories, I devoured the two books I've read from him. In this book, a group of friends gets a literal chain letter in the mail. They must complete the tasks set before them (anchored in their mysterious secret and dark past, obviously) or face unknown consequences. In the book I have, the sequel (The Ancient Evil) is right behind the first story but be on the lookout if you get one with only one story. 

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7215-0


2. Until the End by Christopher Pike

TW: SUICIDE in description.

In this book, a group of friends gets together for a party. However, this goes horribly wrong when one of the friends dies in an apparent suicide. With no idea who to trust and what happened, these friends need to figure out how to work together to survive... past graduation.

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2252-0


3. Made for You by Melissa Marr

TW: Stalking in description

Golden Girl Eva wakes up in the hospital after an accident. She and her friends soon learn that it was no accident and that a killer is stalking Eva. Can she figure out their motives before she loses everything and everyone that she loves? I will warn y’all, this stalker is just straight-up disturbing. If you have a history with religious fanatics or any kind of kidnapper, I'd probably skip it.

ISBN: 978-0-06-201119-0


4. This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

A group of old friends (with a secret, tragic past) are invited to a “murder” mystery dinner to compete for a $50,000 prize. Their host, however, does not have very fun plans for them... unless you think dying for the sins of the past is fun. Yeah, if you have a secret blood-pact with your friends for something y’all did, and you’re worried that somebody knows, this book might be a bad choice.

            ISBN: 978-1-5344-4325-9


5. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

There are about seven chapters of exposition before they even find a body in this one, but it’s the only one I mentioned that is centered around Adulty-Adults. A bunch of random guests end up snowed in at their remote Inn in the Catskills and soon realize they’re snowed in with a killer. Yeah, they’re all pretty messy, but it’s kind of nice watching other adult people screw up the only lead they had. Chicken soup for the Older Gen-Z soul.

            ISBN: 978-0-525-55764-7


And a bonus book! I haven’t read it yet, but it came highly recommended to me by another person. So if it sucks, we’ll blame her.


6. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

This book comes from the same author as The Girl on the Train, which I have also not read. The premise seems to be around the suspicious drownings of the main character’s best friend and mother, as well as some dark town secrets. The first bit I read seemed to be pretty suspenseful, and I look forward to learning about what the actual h*ll is going on here.

            ISBN: 978-0-7352-1122-3


I hope you enjoy these non-paranormal thrillers as much as I did! Please remember to be safe and make good choices, unlike some of these characters...



Scaredy Cat