1. The Fireman by Joe Hill
The Fireman is an apocalyptic story about a highly contagious, and deadly, disease. Hill crafts an environment in which the infected are rejected from society and forced to live an isolated existence. Although the circumstances are entirely fictional, the human reactions are hauntingly realistic. This is a real page turner, I couldn’t put it down!
2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Written by the author of Gone Girl, Dark Places is a thrilling mystery about a woman who survived a mass murder several years prior. Although the suspected murderer has been in prison for years, the novel works to uncover the events that occurred in the days leading up to the murders. I’m very rarely surprised by the outcome of a story, but this one kept me guessing.
3. Room by Emma Donoghue
Room is told from the perspective of a 5 year old boy who has spent his entire life in captivity. It’s a very dark novel, but it’s unique format makes it worth reading.
4. Asylum by Madeleine Roux
This young adult fiction novel is about a teen who is attending a college summer school program. Because the regular dormitories are closed, the students are forced to stay in a building that once functioned as an insane asylum. A series of strange events occur and several mysteries are uncovered. It’s a fun read and there are a few sequels which I have yet to dive into.
The Shining is the most terrifying book I’ve ever read. I had seen the movie several times before I decided to read the book and, let me tell you, the book is significantly more frightening. The imagery, suspense, and terror that Stephen King creates are phenomenal.
It’s sequel, Doctor Sleep, is not as terrifying as The Shining. However, it is interesting to see what has happened to Danny and to learn more about the world that King has so skillfully crafted.
6. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Retired rock star Judas Coyne has a love for the macabre. He has a massive collection of dark objects and is pleased to add a haunted funeral suit to his collection. This leads to a series of terrifying events that center around a powerful ghostly figure.
7. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
If you want to read something that is spooky, but definitely not scary, I would suggest this incredible series. It was one of my favourites growing up. It’s coming to Netflix as a series in a couple of months, so now would be a good time to check out the books.
8. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
If you don’t have time to read a full length novel before Halloween, I would suggest reading one of Edgar Allen Poe’s tales. You’ve probably read The Raven before, but it’s the perfect time of year to revisit this classic tale.
P.S. If you’re a big fan of Poe, I would suggest adding these socks to your wardrobe.
9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children isn’t necessarily scary, but it is a little bit creepy. The most thrilling aspect of this book is the inclusion of several vintage photographs that are integrated into the story. It’s a quick read with creative characters.
10. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
It’s been several years since I’ve read this novel, but it’s a chilling classic about a couple of terrifying serial killers. It’s definitely worth checking out.
11. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Set in the 80’s, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a campy tale about friendship, growing up, and possession. It’s campy, fun, and pretty terrifying.
If you’re a fan of horror, zombies, or apocalyptic fiction, I would highly recommend checking out this series. It’s about the decline of humanity and the humans in the story end up presenting a significantly larger threat than the un-dead.
13. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
What could be more fitting for Halloween than a book about magic, witches, and monsters? Any of the books in the series are worth reading, but I would highly recommend reading at least one of them before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released.
Thanks for reading!