October 28, 2009

Horrifying Halloween Reads

Trick or Treat
Smell my feet
Give me something
Good to eat

Saturday is Halloween! And that means Trick or Treating, scary stories, hauntings, and all kinds of candy. I mean, that's the best part, the candy, right?

But you know what else rocks? The Halloween Reading!

I have collected a huge list of spooky, scary, creepy, crawly, all-together frightening books and stories for you to browse through and make a list for some scary Halloween reading. You know, the kind where the lights are off and only the light of the Jack-o-Lantern candles glow, casting dancing shadows across the pages...MUWAHAHA!!!

Yes, this is a big list so hopefully you can find something you will enjoy whether you are a hardcore horror fan or you like to dabble in lighter reads with scary elements thrown in. I broke it down into numerous categories including classics, ghosts/supernatural, vampires, werewolves, zombies, serial killers, and even nonfiction selections and books for children. I tried not to repeat any titles so although some books might be suited for more than one category, they are listed only under one of them.

So find a scary book or three, grab your flashlights, and head under the covers for some super spooky reading fun!

Classic Horror

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Bad Seed by William March

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Historical Fiction Horror

The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes

Field of Blood by Eric Wilson

The Terror by Dan Simmons

Drood by Dan Simmons

The Sound of Building Coffins by Louis Maistros

The Gentling Box by Lisa Mannetti

The Séance by John Harwood

Bloody Awful by Georgia Evans

Occult Horror

Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis

White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison

Vicious Circle by Mike Carey

The House of Lost Souls by Francis Cottam

Isis by Douglas Clegg

Blue Diablo by Ann Anguirre

Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes

The Accidental Santera by Irete Lazo

Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance


The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Conversations with the Devil by Jeff Rovin

Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

Sepulchre by Kate Moss

The Crippled Angel by Sara Douglass

The Devil You Know by Jenna Black

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Robert Mack

Medical Horror

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

The Reality Dysfunction by Peter Hamilton

The Suicide Collectors by David Oppengaard

The Missing by Sarah Langan

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

The Immortality Factor by Ben Bova

Lighter Horror (with horror elements, but not quite as horrific)

Every Demon Has His Day by Cara Lockwood

Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Book 1 by Charlaine Harris

Extreme Horror (known for extreme sex and gore)

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

Books of Blood by Clive Barker


Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Pandora by Anne Rice

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Vampire Apocalypse: Descent into Chaos by Derek Gunn

Vampire Zero: A Gruesome Vampire Tale by David Wellington

The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas

Blood Red by James A. Moore

Cold Light of Day by Paul Cave

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite

Vamped: A Novel by David Sosnowski

Live Girls by Ray Garton

Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Lunatic Café by Laurell K. Hamilton

Personal Darkness by Tanith Lee

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

The Wolving Time by Patrick Jennings

The Wereling: Wounded by Stephen Cole

Lone Wolf by Edo Van Belkom

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas

Prey by Rachel Vincent

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Shapeshifter by J.F. Gonzalez

Keepers of the Dead by Bob Freeman


R.I.P. by Terry Lamsley

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This Ghosting Tide by Simon Clark

Ghost Walk by Brian Keene

Mutiny in Heaven by Whitney Lakin

The Shining by Stephen King

Spirit by Graham Masterson

Through a Glass, Darkly by Bill Hussey

Elsewhere by William Peter Blatty

Nightwalker by Heather Graham

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky

The Servants by Michael Marshall Smith

Hell House by Richard Matheson

Night in the Loathsome October by Richard Laymon


Rot by Michele Lee

History is Dead edited by Kim Paffenroth (anthology)

Monster Island: A Zombie Novel by David Wellington

Autumn by David Moody

The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth by Vince Churchill

The Undead: Zombie Anthology edited by D.L. Snell and Elija Hall

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Song of the Living Dead by Soren Narnia

The Deadlands by Scott A. Johnson

The Living Dead by Joe Hill

Underground by Kat Richardson


Hellz Bellz by Raymond Chandler

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Pet Semetary by Stephen King

Christine by Stephen King

Watchers by Dean Koontz

The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

The Loch by Steve Alten

The Damnation Game by Clive Barker

Dark Fantasy/Sci Fi

The Mysterious Flame by Orrin Grey

2012 by Whitley Strieber

Iron Angel by Alan Campbell

Swan Song by Robert McCammon

Lightning by Dean Koontz

Psychological Horror

Personal Demons by Gregory Lamberson

As Fate Would Have It by Michael Louis Calvillo

Pressure by Jeff Strand

Like Death by Tim Waggoner

The Grandmaster by Peter A. Balaskas

Noir: Three Levels of Suspense by Richard Matheson

Locked Doors by Blake Crouch

The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

The Academy by Bentley Little

Furnace by Muriel Grey

Serial Killers

The Killer’s Wife by Bill Floyd

Charley’s Web by Joy Fielding

Faces of Fear by John Saul

The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper

Blood Sins by Kay Hooper

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Graphic Novels

Dusk, Vol. 1 by David Doub

Hybrid by Peter Kwong

Jesus Hates Zombies by Stephen Lindsey

28 Days Later by Steve Niles

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

Deadworld by Gary Reed

Non-Fiction Horror

Shadows Over New England by David Goudsward and Scott T. Goudsward

Sundays with Vlad: From Pennsylvania to Transylvania, One Man's Quest to Live in the World of the Undead by Paul Bibeau

Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read

Fred & Rose: The Full Story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors by Howard Sounes

Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986 by Adam Rockoff

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry

Haunted Places: The National Directory: Ghostly Abodes, Sacred Sites, UFO Landings, and Other Supernatural Locations by Dennis William Hauck

Encyclopedia of Haunted Places: Ghostly Locales from Around the World by Jeff Belanger

History of Halloween

Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night by Nicholas Rogers

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman, Nat. Geo.

Witch’s Halloween: A Complete Guide to the Magick, Incantations, Recipes, Spells, and Lore by Gerina Dunwich

In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu

The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween: Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year by Jean Markale

The Hallowed Eve by Jack Santino

Spooky Stories for Kids 8-12

The Haunting Hour: Chills in the Dead of Night by R. L. Stine

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury and Joseph Mugnaini

Half-Minute Horrors by Susan Rich

Halloween Hoax (Nancy Drew & the Clue Crew Series) by Carolyn Keene

The Boxcar Children Halloween Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The August House Book of Scary Stories: Spooky Tales for Telling Out Loud by August House Publishers

Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve (Magic Tree House Series) by Mary Pope Osbourne

The Big Book of Horror: 21 Tales to Make You Tremble by Alissa Heyman and Pedro Rodriguez

Witch Switch (Katie Kazoo) by Nancy Krulik

Fear This Book: Your Guide to Fright, Horror, and Things That Go Bump in the Night by Jeff Szpirglas and Ramon Perez

Charlie Bone and the Shadow by Jenny Nimmo

Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man by Wendelin Van Draanen

Halloween Goblin (Pixie Tricks Series) by Tracey West

The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki

A Practical Guide to Monsters by Nina Hess

Dare to Be Scared: 13 Stories to Chill and Thrill by Robert D. San Souci

Spooky Picture Books

In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting and Susan Meddaugh

I Spy: Spooky Night by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick

I’m Going to Eat You: A Spooky Pop-Up Book by Matt Mitter and Jimmy Pickering

Spooky House by Joanne Barkan and Rose Mary Berlin

The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan and Jan Berenstain

13 Ghosts of Halloween by Robin Muller and Patricia Storms

Vunce Upon a Time by J.otto Seibold and Siobhan Vivian

The Littles and the Scary Halloween by John Peterson and Jacqui Rogers

Monster Parade by Shana Corey

Humbug Witch by Lorna Balian

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

Halloween Night by Charles Ghigna and Adam McCauley

The Spooky Trail by Keith Faulkner

The Berenstain Bears and the Ghost of the Forest by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown

Dem Bones by Bob Barner

Best Halloween Hunt Ever by John Speirs

One, TwoBoo! By Kristen Depken

The Haunted Schoolhouse by Jacklyn Williams and Doug Cushman

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? By Lauren Child

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz

Ghosts in the House! By Kazuno Kohara

In a Dark, Dark Wood: An Old Tale with a New Twist by David A. Carter

A Very Hairy Scary Story by Rick Walton and David H. Clark

Tucker’s Spooky Halloween by Leslie McGuirk

Five Pesky Pumpkins: A Counting Book with Flaps and Pop-Ups by Marcia Vaughn

Monster Madness by Brenda Sexton



  1. What a comprehensive list! I've added about 7 of these "treats" to my TBR list!

  2. I love this list! I have a few of the books on my shelves now such as The Strain, The Haunting of Hill House, and Northanger Abbey. You did such a great job. Thanks for the list!

  3. Wow, what a great list. I've read some but there are so many more that look fantastic. I copy and pasted this list to have on hand. Thanks for all the hard work!

  4. Such a great list! I'm tempted to re-post. :)

    I have a couple of the classics on my bookshelf that I haven't read yet; now is as good a time as any.

    I wouldn't mind laying back with some Reese's and a good book. :)

    I don't think I would read Pet Semetary. I can't even watch the movie without getting completely freaked out by the dead guy. I've never watched it the whole way through.

    Have a happy Halloween!

  5. Great lists! I didn't find either Drood or The Seance to be that horrifying.

  6. I always say I don't read horror, yet I've read several on your lists!

  7. Thanks for this list. It's great. I think that Halloween without good horror book or movie is not Halloween. I love vampire stories and this list is very helpful in that area. Now, I just have to find time to read that great stuff.

    Happy Halloween,

  8. Thank you so much for including "Jesus Hates Zombies" on the list! I'm flattered!

  9. That's quite a list! Thank you for including "The Mysterious Flame." I can't think of a better place to be than on a list of good reads for Halloween.

  10. Wow - kudos to you for compiling such a thorough list and breaking it down so nicely! You have included some of my favorites such as The Shining, Rebecca and The Book of Lost Things. I haven't read any of the Darkly Dreaming Dexter series yet but based on the TV series it belongs in your Serial Killer section. And In Cold Blood is horrifying enough to fall under Non-Fiction Horror - gave me chills reading it because it was all true.

  11. Oh wow, thanks for putting this together!!

  12. Whew! That is a looooooong list. I love it! I've read Ramses, The Damned by Anne Rice, and it was pretty good. And I'm currently reading Turn of the Screw and Rebecca (not very quickly though). And then A LOT of the books are in my TBR pile, including The Somnambulist.

  13. That list took a lot of time and effort! Thanks for doing that and for sharing it with us!! I'm not into horror much these days but you never know when the need to be scared will strike!

  14. Wow! Hats off to you for all the work you put into your posts! What a great list and one I'll be referring to whenever I want to scare myself!

  15. Wow, Rebecca! What a phenomenal list! Thank you.

  16. What a killer list! There's not a hatchet job among them! (Sorry - I couldn't resist ;)

    I'll be bookmarking this post for reference!

  17. Thank you for adding Wolf Tales to your list, but I must say that I and members of my pack need to correct you--we are most definitely NOT werewolves, those mythical creatures controlled by phases of the moon--I and my other Chanku are shapeshifters, a superior species able to change form at will...however for the sake of the season, you may list us this one time as werewolves.

  18. Wow! That's quite a list. My fav children's book for Halloween is "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything."

  19. How sad that I've only read 17 of these! I guess I have a lot more to choose from next year!

  20. Holy crapoli! That is an awesome list, and cheers to you for compiling it!

  21. This is an awesome list!!!! I just wish I had been caught up on my Reader to see it during Halloween!! I have saved it for next year though!! Thank you!!


Thank you for visiting! Leave a comment and share your thoughts with me!