Halloween Reads

Happy Halloween! Did you gift someone a scary book in honor of All Hallow’s Read? I didn’t (maybe next year), but I thought I’d celebrate Halloween by recommending some scary/creepy/atmospheric Halloween reads to you! The links take you to GoodReads.

Classics

Great horror classics that rely more on atmosphere than cheap scares or disturbing imagery.
Frankenstein The Haunting of Hill House
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Children/Middle-grade

The imagery in these books will capture the imagination of children and adults alike. Yes, they are both by Gaiman, so sue me.
Coraline The Graveyard Book
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Modern horror

Kiernan’s second book, Threshold, could be argued to be more dark fantasy than horror, and the prose in it might not be for everyone, but I loved it. Heart-Shaped Box is the purest horror novel on this list – it’s more disturbing, and will scare you.
Threshold Heart-Shaped Box
Threshold by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Hope you like these recommendations, and have a creepy Halloween!

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6 thoughts on “Halloween Reads

    • I’m glad if the list was useful! Threshold is pretty unique and certainly not for everyone – I mean, archeological horror? :) Heart-Shaped box was Joe Hill’s first novel. There’s a movie coming out of his second novel, Horns, with Daniel Radcliffe as the lead, but it seems it doesn’t have a release date yet. His third book, NOS4A2, just came out this year, but I haven’t read it yet.

      • Ah, very cool! Ooh, I’ll definitely have to check out the movie version of Horns and maybe read the book beforehand – am very much a fan of Daniel Radcliffe, I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform on Broadway twice.

  1. Well, you really can’t go wrong with Gaiman (I know I’m like a stuck record – at least I’m consistent though!)
    Plus Shelley and Frankenstein. Excellent books. Never thought of giving a creepy book to someone for Halloween – what a very good idea.
    Lynn :D

  2. “Coraline” was the best. It’s so dark, and the writing is so prosaic and dreamlike.

    I have “Heart Shaped Box” on my Kindle, but haven’t read it yet. I didn’t realize until recently that Joe Hill was a pen name for one of Stephen King’s sons. I can appreciate that he chose not to ride off the coattails of the family name.

    The only Shirley Jackson story I’ve read was “The Lottery.” I knew what was going to happen before I read it, but I suppose it wasn’t the shock of the ending that was supposed to frighten, but the commentary on humanity’s tendency to go with the status quo, no matter how terrible the established norm may be.

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