Halloween is only a few days away!
If you’re still looking for a creepy, spooky read, I got you covered in all categories. Here’s a list of my recommendations for end-of-October books:
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson. This is my all-time favorite scary read. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT read this after dark if you scare easily like I do. There is one scene in this book that made it very difficult to sleep for a few nights. The book features a group of investigators who move into the abandoned Hill House and quickly discover it has a mind of its own. There is psychological disturbance and unreliable narration… two of the best plot devices when it comes to horror. Who do you trust when you can’t trust any of the characters?
THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova. This is a massive tome of a book, and from what I hear, you either love it or you hate it. I personally loved it. It’s the story of a girl whose father’s disappearance launches her into a search across Eastern Europe for the truth about her family’s past. And it might just link up with her dad’s research on Vlad Tepes, the infamous inspiration for the legend of Dracula. Gorgeously written and well-researched, and there was a scene on a train that creeped me out for a long while after.
ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake. This book was equal parts creepy and oddly touching, and features a believable teen male protagonist who puts troublesome ghosts to rest for a living. It’s when he comes across Anna, the vengeful, angry spirit of a brutally murdered girl, that he begins to question who his true adversary is. I recommended this to a CP who writes horror, and he loved it too!
MARY: THE SUMMONING by Hillary Monahan. This is another one you should read during the daytime, and far away from any mirrors. If you ever locked yourself in a bathroom with friends to play the “Bloody Mary” game (I did, and we never made it past saying her name twice before getting the hell out), you’ll know exactly why this premise is so terrifying. What happens if you not only summon Bloody Mary, but she begins to stalk you through every mirror and reflective surface you come across?
LONG LANKIN by Lindsey Barraclough. If you’re a fan of the classic ghost story or Gothic haunted houses, check this one out! It’s moody, atmospheric, and dark (my favorites!) and features two girls sent to live with a crotchety old aunt who is hiding troubling secrets in the shadows of Guerdon Hall. Be warned there are creepy ghost kids, so if that’s not your thing, you might want to read this with all the lights on.
DOLL BONES by Holly Black. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone who will listen. It’s amazing! Poppy, one of the characters, is haunted by the ghost of a murdered girl. Her spirit is trapped inside a doll, which was made from her ground-up bones. Poppy and her friends must find the girl’s grave and bury the doll to put her at rest… or be cursed for all time. Wrapped around the ghost story are themes of growing up, growing apart, and letting go. It’s just so gorgeously written!
NIGHTBIRD by Alice Hoffman. If you’re not into scary stuff, this book is a great Halloween-ish read without the frights! It’s a good one to read to kids, too. NIGHTBIRD is the story of Twig, who lives in an autumnal, magical New England town reputed to be the home of a monster. There is a family curse, a witch, and two star-crossed romances that intertwine later on in the book. The setting is my favorite part, being a New England girl myself and in love with local fables and legends. The whole book reads like a blend of folklore and mythology. Check this one out!
I get scared easily, but honestly… creepy, spooky, atmospheric reads are some of my all-time favorites. Just in small doses. And with all the lights on, of course.
If you have any Halloween book recommendations, feel free to share them in the comments!