5 Frightening Halloween Reads to Scare You

5 Frightening Halloween Reads to Scare You

The Halloween season has always been my favorite time of year. The colors, the cool temperatures, the pumpkin- and/or apple-flavored everything, and the books. What better way to celebrate the season than to get cozy with some chilling reads? My favorite genres for any time of year are fantasy, thriller, mystery, and horror. Below are a few of my recommendations for anyone looking to get into the Halloween spirit.


Halloween reads

The Halloween Party by Agatha Christie. One of Christie’s many Hercule Poirot mysteries, The Hallowe’en Party follows famous detective’s study of a children’s party that ended in tragedy. With classic Halloween themes and haunting chapters, this mystery is perfect for the Halloween season. This book will leave you wondering about the people around you. Also, it might make you reconsider bobbing for apples at your next Halloween party.

book cover for The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. efore the hit horror series, there was Shirley Jackson’s supernatural classic. An anthropologist interested in studying Hill House named Dr. Montague recruits individuals who have had encounters with the paranormal. Looking for a change in her life, Eleanor agrees to join Dr. Montague and two other assistants (Theodora and Luke). All are fascinated by the mansion and settle into their temporary home.

They soon discover the dark forces of Hill House and how much power they truly hold. The intense and eerie prose will have you frantically turning pages and following Eleanor’s increasing connection to the house and the presence within it. Will Eleanor fall victim to Hill House’s influence?

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. No October is complete without this book. This story is known for its ghoulish villain, The Headless Horseman, but Irving also shares enchanting descriptions of a colonial countryside in autumn. From the colorful opening scene, to the gleeful Halloween party, to the wild chase between Ichabod Crane and The Headless Horseman, you can practically hear leaves cracking and feel an autumn wind blowing as you read.

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice. Anne Rice has mastered the art of writing fantasy and horror over her long and successful career (she is known for The Vampire Chronicles), and this novel is her version of the legend of the werewolf. Reuben is a young reporter on a major assignment. The story begins with his interview with a wealthy woman who lives alone near the vibrant California redwood forests. Reuben spends the night in her lavish mansion, and he is awakened deep into the night by the sounds of an attack.

When he attempts to rescue his host, he receives an injury that will change his life forever. While discovering just how much he has changed, Reuben must decide: is this a gift, or a curse? Intricately written with intertwined horror and romance, this tale will leave you both entranced and chilled.

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. Most of this debut novel by A.J. Finn takes place around Halloween, and the mood lingers throughout its pages. Anna suffers from agoraphobia following a traumatic incident. She fills her days with watching old films, consuming generous amounts of wine, and watching the world outside through the lens of her camera.

When new neighbors move in across the street, Anna finds herself becoming entangled in multiple lives and witnessing something she was not meant to see. Due to her condition and her reputation in the neighborhood, no one takes Anna’s statements seriously. When more random and mysterious happenings occur, she begins to question what is real and what her mind has fabricated. Filled with suspense, sharp twists, and parts that will leave you holding your breath, The Woman in the Window is an adventure of a novel.

Pro-tip: For an extra dash of suspense, check these and other spooky tales out as audiobooks! Hearing the book performed makes it feel more real. Plus, you won’t be as tempted to flip to the end! Ask Clermont County Public Library staff about your audiobook options.

Happy reading, and happy Halloween!

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