Scary Books for the Haunting Season

October is the month to celebrate all things ghostly, weird and mysterious. If you’re looking to swap out your beach reads for some terrifying thrillers, eerie mysteries or sinister stories, then we have the perfect list of books for you. Who says horror movies should get all the attention anyway?

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

An unconventional read but the perfect book for any spooky list. Considered by many to be a horror story, it’s also described as a love story. It can be a little confusing but is well worth the dedication. It’s a book that defies description and is multilayered but it would suffice to say that it focuses on a young family who move into a home only to discover something terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. And this would lead to a devastating tragedy.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Honestly, a tried and true classic. If you’re a horror fan, or a monster fan then you’ve got to start with the O.G. Count Dracula is the quintessential vampire and Van Helsing is the definition of vampire hunter in the zeitgeist. Adapted numerous times for film, TV and virtually all media, this list had to include the horrifying tale of a vampire and his demise. 

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

This mystery is set on a haunted island off the shores of Ireland. This book is on the lighter side of creepy, with some humor sprinkled in. You’ll hate the guests on the guest list of a fancy wedding of elites taking place on the island. While aiming to host the perfect wedding, petty jealousies and resentments rise to the surface. And then a body is discovered… Better read to learn more!

The Safe Place by Anna Downes

Do you enjoy a book that starts off normal and slowly descends into utter tension? Do you enjoy a modern gothic feel and morally complex family dynamics? Great! This book is perfect for you. The main character is incredibly vulnerable in the beginning, having faced the end of her career and lost her home in the same day. Enter a successful and charismatic CEO to scoop the damsel in distress up and take her to paradise, where she will nanny and be a housekeeper for him and his wife and daughter. While there, the protagonist discovers dangerous secrets and the deadly consequences for learning them.

Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

This psychological thriller is unpredictable and upsetting. Be forewarned, there is gore and depictions of violence in this book. The story begins with the horrifying act of a father butchering his family and himself, leaving only his one-year-old daughter alive. Years later, that same daughter is desperate for a connection to the family she lost so she purchases her childhood home. You’ll witness her potential descent into madness, or possibly the unraveling the truth of her past.

The Stand by Stephen King

Honestly any of Stephen King’s books could have made this list, and we’d encourage you to collect and read all of his wonderful novels. But in this day and age, this book in particular seemed relevantly terrifying. The plot centers on a deadly pandemic of weaponized influenza and its aftermath, in which the few surviving humans gather into factions that are each led by a personification of either good or evil. Of course, the ABC miniseries is incredible as well, but the book is considered one of King’s best novels.

There are plenty of other novels we could add to this list, but we want to hear from you! What book puts you in that particularly spooktacular mood?