I’m a HUGE fan of Halloween, and I really enjoy the horror genre (with books AND movies). So I wanted to share a list of wonderfully spooky books for Halloween – or spooky season, which is basically the entire month of October!
**Please note, some links on this page are affiliate links. If a purchase is made through an affiliate link, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!
I’ve included a mix of newer releases and Halloween classics. And, the scare factor for the books on this list vary. Some will scare the pants off you, and some are more fun or slightly eerie than straight creepy. So without further ado, let’s get to the list!
Spooky Halloween Book List
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
“The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring. In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close. The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own. Only it’s different.”
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
“Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.”
The Shining by Stephen King
“Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.”
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
“In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?”
The House on Haunted Hill by Shirley Jackson
“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House.” This is the original book that The Haunting of Hill House Netflix show is loosely based on.
It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan
“Sam Wakefield’s ancestral home, a decaying mansion built on the edge of a swamp, isn’t a place for children. Its labyrinthine halls, built by her mad ancestors, are filled with echoes of the past: ghosts and memories knotted together as one. In the presence of phantoms, it’s all Sam can do to disentangle past from present in her daily life. But when her pregnant sister Elizabeth moves in after a fight with her husband, something in the house shifts…”
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
“NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.”
The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher
“A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the ‘innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling’ The Twisted Ones.“
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
“Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.”
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
“The award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post makes her adult debut with this highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls—a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit.”
Slade House by David Mitchell
“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 Witching Hour by Anne Rice
“From the author of the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles comes a huge, hypnotic novel of witchcraft and the occult through four centuries.”
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.”
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
“The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.”
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
“The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.”
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
A short, fun book that looks at the traditions and history behind Halloween, seen through the eyes of a group of children.
The Whisper Man by Alex North
“In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.”
The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
“The Thief of Always tells the haunting story of Harvey, a bright 10-year-old who is suffering from the winter doldrums, and of a creature who takes him to a place where every day is filled with fun, and Christmas comes every night.”
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
“Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. She has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying.”
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
“The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. [But the local priest] Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession.”
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
“A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.”
I hope you enjoy these spooky books for Halloween! If you’re looking for something a little on the lighter side (but still thrilling), check out my list of the best thriller books of 2020.