It’s finally officially Autumn and my heart sings! The temperatures dropped, the wind blows and the rain falls – it’s finally here! This weather is perfect for reading cozy, but mainly creepy books. Last year I already made a list of 10 creepy books to read in October, and this year I have a Halloween TBR for you with 10 other spooky books!
This list only contains books that I have on my own shelves and that I still need and want to read. There are many other horrors and thrillers out there that will also make perfect Halloween reads. Hit me up with recommendations if you know any that didn’t make it to this list!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The scientist Victor Frankenstein, obsessed with possessing the secrets of life, creates a new being from the bodies of the dead. But his creature is a twisted, gruesome parody of a man who, rejected for his monstrous appearance, sets out to destroy his maker.
Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale, conceived after a nightmare in 1816 when she was only eighteen, became a modern myth. It is a disturbing and dramatic exploration of birth and death, creation and destruction, and one of the most iconic horror stories of all time.
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.
Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans’ isolated summer home.
He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath — held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here — and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
S by Koji Suzuki
Takanori Ando, son of Spiral protagonist Mitsuo, works at a small CGI production company and hopes to become a filmmaker one day despite coming from a family of doctors, When he’s tasked by his boss to examine a putatively live-streamed video of a suicide that’s been floating around the internet, the aspiring director takes on more than he bargained for. His lover Akane, an orphan who grew up at a foster-care facility and is now a rookie high-school teacher, ends up watching the clip. She is pregnant, and she is…triggered.
Sinking hooks into our unconscious from its very first pages with its creepy imagery, and rewarding curious fans of the series with clever self-references, here is a fitting sequel to a tale renowned for its ongoing mutations.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.
Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke
On a scorching hot summer day in Elkwood, Alabama, Claire Lambert staggers naked, wounded, and half-blind away from the scene of an atrocity. She is the sole survivor of a nightmare that claimed her friends, and even as she prays for rescue, the killers — a family of cannibalistic lunatics — are closing in.
A soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder returns from Iraq to the news that his brother is among the murdered in Elkwood.
In snowbound Detroit, a waitress trapped in an abusive relationship gets an unexpected visit that will lead to bloodshed and send her back on the road to a past she has spent years trying to outrun.
And Claire, the only survivor of the Elkwood Massacre, haunted by her dead friends, dreams of vengeance… a dream which will be realized as grief and rage turn good people into cold-blooded murderers and force alliances among strangers.
It’s time to return to Elkwood.
In the spirit of such iconic horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance, Kin begins at the end and studies the possible aftermath for the survivors of such traumas upon their return to the real world — the guilt, the grief, the thirst for revenge — and sets them on an unthinkable journey… back into the heart of darkness.
Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn
In the bleak landscape of Darkest Hours, people make decisions that lead them into extreme scenarios – sometimes bizarre, often horrific, always unexpected. Between this book’s covers you will find academics in distress; monsters abused by people; people terrorized by demons; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, brutal, but always empathetic.
* I was kindly sent an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review *
Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman
Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.
Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.
And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself.
Slade House by David Mitchell
Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents — an odd brother and sister — extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late…
Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.
The Fury by John Farris
Gillian Bellaver’s family is one of the wealthiest in the world. Robin Sandza’s father Peter is a government assassin. The two teenagers seem to have nothing in common. Yet they are spiritual twins, possessing a horrifying psychic energy that threatens humanity. While dangerous and fanatical men vie for the secrets of their awesome power, Peter Sandza, using all the ruthless skills of his trade, makes a final desperate effort to save them. Exploring with extraordinary skill the myths and legends deeply rooted in the subconscious mind, this novel builds, scene by shocking scene, to a night of chilling horror that surpasses anything you’ve ever experienced . . . First published in 1976 and made into a successful movie written by the author and directed by Brian De Palma in 1978, The Fury is one of the all-time classics of the horror genre.
Cast a Cold Eye by Alan Ryan
Jack Quinlan, an American writer, travels to a small village in the remote western part of Ireland to research a book on the Irish Famine. The quiet, picturesque village seems just the place to spend a few months writing, but beneath its placid exterior lurk dark secrets. Why do the locals behave so strangely? What is Father Henning, the enigmatic parish priest, hiding? And what is the meaning of the strange ritual Jack observes in the cemetery? The search for answers will lead him to the terrifying discovery that the ghosts of the past linger on in the present, and they cry out for blood …
An atmospheric, haunting ghost story, Cast a Cold Eye (1984) is a slow burn horror novel that will keep readers in suspense until its chilling conclusion