Reading Roundups

10 Books to Read for Halloween According to Your Fears


10 Halloween Book Recommendations According to Your Specific Fears


  1. Carrie – Stephen King

It doesn’t matter that you already know the story, because Carrie immerses you in a feeling of dread from the very first page.  If you’re scared of mean girls, pig’s blood, religiously fanatical oppressive mothers, and enjoy the idea of using telekinetic powers to take your revenge maybe just a little too far, Carrie by Stephen King is the classic choice for you.  

2.  The Woman in BlackSusan Hill

If ghosts and hauntings are your thing, read the Woman in Black, because while written in the ‘80s, it takes place a couple of centuries earlier so you have a safe distance to convince yourself none of it is real.  Otherwise, good luck sleeping after reading your easy to relate to modern ghost stories!

3. Night Film – Marisha Pessl

“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”

Read Night Film if the unknown terrifies you more than a tangible fear ever could.  Journalist Scott McGrath’s investigation of a reclusive legendary horror film director takes him to the very depths of fear, paranoia, and evil.  Pessl’s characters are vivid and charming, and the story is unpredictable in the best way.  If you are ever afraid that you might be living your life on the surface, this book will scare you first and then inspire you.

4. In the Blood – Lisa Unger

Does the idea that evil could be a trait inherited in the blood keep you up at night?  Read Lisa Unger’s thriller about Lana, a college senior studying psychology, who takes a job watching a child psychopath, Luke.  Shortly after, Lana’s close friend disappears after a fight between the two, and Luke begins playing creepy scavenger hunt games with Lana.  Lana herself has a dark past and this book is full of twists and creepy children, as a Halloween book should be.

5. Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

“Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed.”

Read Sharp Objects if general psychological unwellness and horrific murders disturb you more than anything supernatural.  Reporter Camille Preaker returns to her home in small town Missouri to cover the brutal murders of two young girls, following her recent stay in a psychiatric hospital (seems like good timing.)  While investigating the murders, Camille reconnects with her estranged, distant mother and her manipulative, secretive younger sister.  

6. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter

If you want to be frightened of fairy tales, but children’s stories are much too tame for your HBO-watching self, read The Bloody Chamber for gruesome adult fairy tale retellings, with a feminist twist.    

7. The Supernatural EnhancementsEdgar Cantero

Honestly, I don’t know what this book is about, but our book club members who actually read this Halloween pick from last year had their minds blown.  Around this point in the conversation, I casually plugged my ears with my fingers and sang loudly to myself in the coffee shop to avoid any spoilers, so that is really all I can tell you.

8. Stranger with My Face – Lois Duncan

Not surprisingly, Stranger with my Face totally holds up on a reread.  There are some moments in the book that still genuinely give me chills, like when Laurie’s reflection doesn’t match her facial expression, and when her younger sister mentions she saw Laurie peering in the window of her bedroom on the third floor of their house.  For anyone with the fear of having an evil twin who not only ruins your social life right when you finally got cool, but then tries to take over your life completely, Stranger with my Face is Lois Duncan at her creepy finest.  

9. and 10.  The Turn of the Screw – Henry James  & The Legend of Sleepy HollowWashington Irving

Our book club picks of the month promise creepy children, hauntings, and headless horsemen.  Read along with us and share your own favorite Halloween reads in the comments!

Wishing every day were Book Club Sunday,



One thought on “10 Books to Read for Halloween According to Your Fears

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