How Many of These Haunting Books Can Your Read This October?

How Many of These Haunting Books Can Your Read This October?


Did we scare you? It’s that time of year again when neighbors start putting out spooky decorations in their yards, pumpkin patches are open for business, and the grocery store is backfilled with candy. Don’t all of these changes put you in the mood for a good spooky book? For a bit of fun this October, challenge yourself to read as many (or all) of these horrifying reads!

1. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Arthur Kips is a London solicitor who is sent to a funeral to settle the affairs of a client. At the home of the deceased, he starts hearing noises and seeing mysterious images. The most haunting of all, he sees a woman dressed in all black. Perfect for those who enjoy a psychologically terrifying read. 



2. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

Merricat Blackwood was one of seven Blackwoods until one day when all but her, her sister, and their uncle are mysteriously poisoned. Merricat’s sister, Constance was accused of the murder. But all charges are dropped and she returns home. Aside from the villagers up in arms about her homecoming, the sister’s cousin appears on their doorstep one day and the tides shift in a new spooky direction.


3. Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

One day, fourteen-year-old Marjorie Barrett begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. Concerned about her condition, her mother and father bring her to a priest who suggests that she is possessed and to do an exorcism. The priest also contacts the local media who jump at the chance to produce a show about the family. Tensions arise, and tragedy occurs in this telling novel reminiscent to The Shining, The Haunting of Hill House, and Exorcist all neatly bound into 300 pages. 


4. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

A town is stunned when the body of a local teenage boy is found empty of blood. For twelve-year-old Oskar, he thinks that this murder (or potential ritual killing) is revenge for all the years he’s had to deal with bullying. Then one day a girl moves in next door, and there is something off about her. And for some reason, she only comes out at night. You’ll have to read to find out why!


5. Dracula by Bram Stoker 

Written in 1897 it was scary then and it still scary today! Count Dracula is on the move for some new blood and finds himself in England. But getting what he wants isn’t going to come without a fight from the local townspeople!



6. The Story of Her Holding an Orange by Milos Bogetic

Author Milos Bogetic was 17 and living in Europe when a woman approached him and offered him an orange. She followed him all over until he moved to the U.S. But, somehow, she found him there too. Based on a true story, find out why this mysterious woman wants Bogetic to accept an orange from her.



7. The Collector by John Fowles

A woman is kidnapped and held in a prison cell in the basement of an obsessed young man. What’s his motive, and will she escape? You’ll have to find out for yourself!




8. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe, the original king of horror, wrote this short story in 1843. In The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe writes about how one man is haunted by the supposed beating heart buried under the floorboards of his home. A classic and quick read everyone will enjoy.



9. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Judas Coyne has an odd collection going; a used noose, a cookbook for cannibals, a snuff film… But nothing is as horrifying as the dead man’s suit that arrives in a heart shape box at his door one day. The spirit of whoever wore it first is still alive, and Coyne may need to rethink what he collects.



10. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Halloween comes early when a carnival comes to a small midwestern town. Its shows are not what you think they would be. Intrigued, two young boys enter the smoky haze of the satanic horrors that lie beyond the carnival’s tent.



11. The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

All six residents at 23 Beulah Grove have a secret. What they don’t know is that one of them is a killer and has chosen which resident they are going to murder next. You’ll just have to read to find out whether or not everyone will survive!



12. The Cavendish Home for Girls and Boys by Claire Legrand

When kids are sent to the Cavendish Home for Girls and Boys, they don’t always come back out the same. Or do they come out at all?




13. I Think I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

True crime journalist Michelle McNamara is determined to find the “Golden State Killer,” a psychopath who committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before he suddenly disappears. McNamara puts her skills to the test as she reviews interviews and police reports to determine who was behind it all.



14. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Seven-year-old Wen is out playing in the yard of her parent’s cabin when a large man approaches her. After the two play a bit longer, three more men show up. When Wen runs inside to tell her parents what’s going on, she learns that she’ll need to trust these men to save the world.



15. Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates

Quentin P. is a sweet young man who was charged with sexual molestation. His family doesn’t believe that he could commit such a crime. Oates does a fantastic job making Quentin P. the most terrifying sexual psychopath and killer in literature.  



16. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn oof the Screw is a different kind of ghost story that will hook you in right away. After the death of their parents, Miles and Flora are under the care of their Uncle. Their Uncle is tied up with business and needs time for his own affairs. He sends the children to the country estate, Bly. But Bly has its secrets that will soon be revealed in the form of supernatural beings. 



17. Hell House by Richard Matheson

The Belasco House in Maine has been abandoned for years until Rolf Rudolph Deutsch, a physicist, and two mediums go there to figure out what will happen to Rolf after his impending passing. They’ll soon figure out why the townspeople stray away from what they call the Hell House.



18. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

What started as a badly bundled heap of paper, surfaced to the internet, and eventually was published as a novel. House of Leaves, tells the horrifying tale of the disappearance of Will Navidson and his companion Karen Green’s two children. They soon start to hear noises behind a closet door which slowly amplifies into something more as the book goes on. 



19. The Troop by Nick Cutter

A troop of boys are out in the Candian wilderness for their annual weekend camping trip. It’s all fun telling spooky campfire stories until something in the dark stumbles into their campsite. With no escape, will the boys ever come back from their trip?  



20. Day Four by Sarah Lotz

As love birds board their cruise ship, The Beautiful Dreamer, they are blissfully unaware of the terrors that are yet to come and ruin their vacation. On the fourth day of their cruise, the ship breaks down in the Gulf of Mexico, and all hell breaks loose. 



21. The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown

Sara Graves sets out on a journey west, looking for a better life. She comes across another party lead by George Donner, who has the same mission, and she decides to join the group. When the group gets stuck in a horrible snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, hunger sets in and the group results to desperate measures. Based on the true account of the Donner Party, this book brings their horrifying story to life. 


22. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The second book in the Hannibal Lecter Series, Silence of the Lambs, tells the tale of FBI agent Clarice Starling who is instructed to interview former psychiatrist, Dr. Lecter. Dr. Lecter is currently residing in the state hospital for the criminally insane making for an uncomfortable location to discuss what information she needs. Clarice interviews him hoping that his expertise will lead her to mass murder Buffalo Bill. Will Clarice get the answers she seeks? 



23. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

A haunted house story based on the true account of one family who buys a home in Long Island, New York. The home was the location of the DeFeo Murders where Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his parents and four siblings. The new homeowners, the Lutz Family, start to experience vivid dreams, unseen forces, and odors. The final experience that prompts them to leave is terrifying! 


24. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Something lurks outside where if you take one glimpse of it you become deadly violent. Malorie and her two young kids have been lucky and not affected by this unknown terror. Now that her children are old enough, Malorie decides it is time to leave their home by the river. They board a rowboat, and their terrifying adventure begins. 



25. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy move into a New York apartment. Their neighbors, the Castavet, are nice but a bit nosey, especially when Rosemary finds herself pregnant. Are the Castavet’s intentions genuine, or do they have other things in mind for Rosemary?



26. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Widower Maxim de Winter sweeps the main character, an orphaned lady’s maid, off her feet and they wed shortly after they meet. They go to Mr. de Winter’s estate where his late wife still lingers and is set on destroying their lives. Said to be one of the greatest shapers of popular culture, Rebecca is one novel that is a must-read.



27. Bad Country by CB Mackenzie

A classic crime puzzler, Bad Country tells the story of how retired rodeo circuit Grace is brought in to solve the murder of an Indian teenager. As the rodeo is caught up in this whole mess, Grace has no choice but to say yes to helping solve the mysterious murder.



28. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown after a brief stay in a psych hospital to detail to the masses about the mysterious death of two teenage girls. She stays at her family’s mansion with her mother and sister who she barely speaks to. Can she solve the mystery without descending into psychosis?



29. HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

The Black Rock Witch walks around the town of Black Spring wearing 17th-century clothing with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She goes into homes whenever she pleases, watching over children as they sleep in their beds. The town has had enough and is on a mission of getting rid of this haunting woman.



30. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane on Shutter Island. They are sent there to investigate the disappearance of a highly dangerous patient. Will they find her and get out alive?



And lastly…

31. Your choice of one of Stephen King’s horror novels

Because let’s face it, it’s not Halloween without his classics: IT, Carrie, Cujo, The Shining, Pet Semetary, The Stand, Salem’s Lot, Mr. Mercedes, The Outsider, etc. Need we go on about all the fantastic horror novels King has published throughout his writing career?



We challenge you to read as many as you can of these 31 books this October! Can you do it? Which one are you most excited to read? Let us know in the comments!

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