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21 haunting books to read this Halloween, from ghostly thrillers to paranormal romances

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  • Ghost books are often horror stories or paranormal thrillers, but can also be romantic.
  • Here are 21 of the best ghost books to curl up with this Halloween.
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I try to read a little bit of everything, from lovey romances to timeless classics , but I'm hopelessly obsessed with a good scare . When autumn comes around and Halloween is right around the corner , I can't resist pulling out the books filled with haunted houses, creepy twists, and — best of all — ghosts. 

When you think of ghost stories, you may think of a classic haunted tale, but ghosts are in all kinds of literary genres, from paranormal romances to creepy true crime tales . 

To make this list of perfect ghost books for Halloween, I looked at bestseller lists on Amazon and Audible , plus readers' favorites from Goodreads . So whether you're looking for a good scare or a fun read with a ghostly twist, here are some of the best ghost stories to read this Halloween. 

The 21 best ghost stories to read this Halloween:

A paranormal horror classic.

ghost book read

"The Shining" by Stephen King, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.27

In what is considered by many to be Stephen King's best work , Jack Torrance is looking for a fresh start when he takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, hoping to focus on reconnecting with his son and work on his writing. When a winter storm traps Jack and his family inside the building, it becomes clear that something sinister is happening — and only his son, Danny, can see the secrets of the hotel's dark past.

An iconic ghost story

ghost book read

"The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.27

First published in 1959 and considered one of the best ghost stories of the 20th century, "The Haunting of Hill House" is a haunted house classic from Shirley Jackson, who also famously wrote "The Lottery." "The Haunting of Hill House" is about four people who volunteer to participate in a paranormal study by staying in a haunted mansion that's more powerful than they ever could have imagined. 

The tale of a young boy growing up in a ghostly graveyard

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"The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.27

"The Graveyard Book" is the young adult story of Nobody "Bod" Owens, who is a completely normal kid — except for growing up in a graveyard and being raised by ghosts. Bod's only rule is he must not leave the graveyard, as the dangers that lurk beyond the gates include the man who killed his family (and is waiting to finish the job). 

The story of a legendary ghost

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"The Girl From the Well" by Rin Chupeco, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.99

The girl from the well is dead, hunting child murderers like the man who killed her 300 years ago. When a strange boy moves into the neighborhood bringing something eerie with him, the two set off on a terrifying and wicked journey that takes them to Aomori, Japan in this young adult paranormal horror story.  

A ghostly historical horror story

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"The Deep" by Alma Katsu available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.99

"The Deep" is a historical fiction horror story set on the Titanic where the passengers believe something sinister is going on from the moment they set sail. Years after the Titanic sinks, Annie Hebbley survived the disaster and is now working as a nurse on the hospital ship Britannic when she comes across an unconscious soldier who she recognizes — but knows did not survive the sinking of the Titanic.

A powerful new ghostly thriller

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"Mapping the Interior" by Stephen Graham Jones, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.99

When a young boy is wandering his house at night, he sees a strange figure who resembles his father who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows the figure through the doorway, he discovers the secrets of their house and their family and finds he must risk everything to save his brother in this powerful and emotional paranormal thriller.

A newly released YA ghost story

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"White Smoke" by Tiffany D. Jackson, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $15.19

In this new young adult thriller, Marigold is running from the metaphorical haunts of her old life when she moves to a Midwestern city with her new, blended family. Though their new house seems picture-perfect, strange things start happening, and when Marigold's younger sister can't stop talking about a friend who wants her gone, Marigold knows she must find out what's really happening in their home. 

The tale of a young girl whose best friend is a ghost

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"City of Ghosts" by V.E. Schwab, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.78

After Cassidy Blake nearly drowned as a young girl, she was rescued by a ghost named Jacob and left with the ability to see the spirits around her. When her ghost-hunting parents take her to Scotland for their TV show, Cassidy meets Lara, another girl who can see the dead and believes they have an obligation to send ghosts beyond the Veil — permanently.

A creepy mystery about a haunted hotel

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"The Sun Down Motel" by Simone St. James, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.40

In 1982, Carly's Aunt Viv was working as a night clerk at the Sun Down Motel when she mysteriously went missing and was never found. Now, Carly has taken the same job her aunt once had, determined to uncover the secrets around her aunt's disappearance before whatever frightening thing that haunts the motel can take her too.  

A spine-tingling ghost story set in Japan

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"Nothing But Blackened Teeth" by Cassandra Khaw, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $15.86

When a group of five friends reunite in Japan for a destination wedding and rent a Heian-era mansion, they discover the bones of a long-dead bride. The group soon learns that when the bride's fiance died on the way to the wedding, she had herself buried alive beneath the house, waiting for his ghost to come home. Each year after, another girl was buried in the walls to keep her company. In this horrifying thriller, the five ghost-hunting friends are thrilled by the adventure of uncovering this haunted history — until their fun night quickly devolves into a nightmare.

A ghostly nonfiction read

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" Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural" by Marc Hartzman, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $20.49

"Chasing Ghosts" is a nonfiction tour of the paranormal history of America, from notorious haunted sites to the public's obsession with famous supernatural figures. Covering a variety of ghost-related topics, this is a fascinating read for anyone who loves unique history or unsolved mysteries. 

A lighthearted tale about a newly dead ghost

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"Under the Whispering Door" by T.J. Klune, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.82

Wallace Prince finally knows he's dead when a reaper collects him from his own funeral and takes him to a tea shop in a small, peculiar village. When Wallace meets the tea shop's owner, Hugo, he begins to realize how much he missed in life and sets off on a quest to live a lifetime in the seven days before he must cross over into the afterlife.

A terrifying horror read about a vengeful ghost

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Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $12.66

In this terrifying and nail-biting horror story, Judas Coyne is a rockstar obsessed with disturbing and morbid things. So when a ghost comes up for sale on an online auction site, Judas immediately purchases it. When Judas receives his haunted box, he discovers the suit inside belongs to the revenge-obsessed spirit of a man whose stepdaughter killed herself after being used by Judas. Merciless and out for blood, the spirit will stop at nothing to kill Judas — and anyone who tries to stop him. 

A young adult horror story about a teen who can see ghosts

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"The Taking of Jake Livingston" by Ryan Douglass, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.99

Jake Livingston can see ghosts around him all the time. Most are harmless and leave people alone, but when Jake meets a troubled and vengeful teen ghost named Sawyer, he must challenge everything he thought he knew about ghosts to stop Sawyer from carrying out his terrible plan in this queer, paranormal horror and romance read.

A mind-blowing paranormal thriller

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"Layla" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.99

Known for her gripping psychological and domestic thrillers, Colleen Hoover's "Layla" is a fast-paced and mind-blowing paranormal romance about Leeds and his beloved Layla, who survives an attack but is left with terrible emotional and mental scarring after weeks in the hospital. When Leeds decides to reignite their romance with a trip to the bed and breakfast where they first met, a series of unexplainable events occur as Layla's behavior takes an even stranger turn.

A queer ghost horror story filled with devastating secrets

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"Summer Sons" by Lee Mandelo, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $18.99

Andrew and Eddie were deeply bonded best friends until Eddie left for his graduate program at Vanderbilt, leaving Andrew behind. When Eddie dies of an apparent suicide six months later, Andrew is left to search through the secrets and rubble of his friend's life to find the truth as something paranormal lurks nearby. 

A terrifying ghost book

ghost book read

"I Remember You" by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.99

"I Remember You" is a chilling horror story about three friends who discover a presence as they renovate a rundown house. In a nearby town, a young doctor investigates the suicide of an elderly woman who was obsessed with the doctor's missing son. The two stories collide into one terrifying tale in this ghost story perfect for anyone in search of a good scare.

The tale of one family's stay in a haunted house

ghost book read

"The Amityville Horror" by Jay Anson, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.36

"The Amityville Horror" uses a journalistic style of writing to tell the Lutz's family story of 28 terrifying days living in an evil haunted house. In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into what seemed like their dream home, despite the gruesome murders that took place inside only one year prior. This book details their horrifying experiences and is great for any horror or true crime fan.

A queer ghost romance novel

ghost book read

"Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.30

When Yadriels sets out to find and free the ghost of his murdered cousin in order to prove himself to his family, he accidentally summons the wrong ghost and is left with the spirit of Julian Diaz, a recently deceased boy from his school. Determined to find out what happened that could have led to his death, Julian asks for Yadriel's help in tying up his loose ends.

A YA horror book about a ghost hunting boy

ghost book read

"Anna Dressed in Blood" by Kendare Blake, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.99

Cas Lowood learned how to hunt ghosts from his father, who was murdered by the very ghost he was hunting. Now, Cas is following in his father's footsteps, hunting for a ghost the locals call "Anna Dressed in Blood" when he encounters a curse and vengeful ghost more powerful than he's ever faced before.

A collection of classic ghost stories

ghost book read

"Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories" by Roald Dahl, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.89

First published in 1983, this book is a collection of 14 of Roald Dahl's favorite ghost stories. Though Roald Dahl is best-known for his magical and beloved children's tales, he personally loved the "spookiness" of a good ghost story and read nearly 800 tales before selecting the stories in this collection.

ghost book read

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Table of Contents

Reading group guide, about the book.

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About The Author

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1  New York Times  bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a UK Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, an Odyssey Award Winner and two-time honoree, the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award. He was also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include  All American Boys  (cowritten with Brendan Kiely);  When I Was the Greatest ;  The Boy in the Black Suit ;  Stamped ;  As Brave as You ;  For Every One ; the Track series ( Ghost, Patina, Sunny , and  Lu );  Look Both Ways ;  Stuntboy, in the Meantime ;  Ain’t Burned All the Bright  (recipient of the Caldecott Honor) and  My Name Is Jason. Mine Too.  (both cowritten with Jason Griffin); and  Long Way Down , which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (August 29, 2017)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481450164
  • Grades: 5 and up
  • Ages: 10 - 99
  • Lexile ® 730L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

Browse Related Books

  • Age 12 and Up
  • Lexile ® 691 - 790
  • Children's Fiction > Social Themes > Adolescence & Coming of Age
  • Children's Fiction > Social Situations > Friendship
  • Children's Fiction > Social Situations > Adolescence
  • Children's Fiction > Sports & Recreation > General

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Awards and Honors

  • National Book Award Finalist
  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • William Allen White Children's Book Award (KS)
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • William Allen White Children's Book Award Reading List (KS)
  • Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (IN)
  • Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee
  • Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee (AZ)
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
  • Maine Student Book Award Reading List
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Master List (IL)
  • Great Lakes Great Books Master List (MI)
  • Nene Award Nominee (HI)
  • Buckeye Children's Book Award Nominee (OH)
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List (VT)
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee (MD)
  • Georgia Children's Book Award Finalist
  • Mark Twain Award Final Nominee (MO)
  • ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
  • South Carolina Picture Book Award
  • Nutmeg Book Award (CT)
  • Sasquatch Book Award Nominee (WA)
  • Cybils Award
  • ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Recording
  • Odyssey Honor for Audio
  • Pennsylvania Reader's Choice Award Nominee
  • Amazing Audiobooks for YA
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List
  • Golden Sower Award Nominee (NE)
  • NCTE Charlotte Huck Outstanding Fiction Award
  • Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Multicultural Books List
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
  • South Dakota Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Sunshine State Young Readers Award, Grades 6-8 List (FL)
  • Minnesota Youth Reading Awards, Maud Hart Lovelace Honor Title
  • Oregon Reader's Choice Award
  • Virginia Readers'' Choice Award
  • North Carolina Young Adult Book Award

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10 Books About Ghosts That Will Scare the Shit Out of You—and Make You Smarter

These ghoulish tales ask us to interrogate our past and question our prejudices. They're also really, really scary.

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To revel in the spooky side of fall, we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite ghost stories, which exemplify all that the modern version of such stories can do and be. These novels make us think; they ask us to interrogate our past and question our prejudices. They’re also really, really scary, so keep the lights on while you read, lest you start looking for ghosts around the dark corners in your own home. (And if you need more terrifying page-turners after, check out our favorite horror books as well. Many of these have been adapted into works for the screen , no less haunting.)

Random House Trade Paperbacks Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

One night in February 1862, as the Civil War ravaged the United States, Abraham Lincoln snuck into a tomb at Georgetown Cemetery to cradle the body of his 11-year-old son, recently dead of typhoid fever. This historical fact was the catalyst for Saunders’ miraculous imagination, turned loose on a fictive landscape both supernatural and historical. After his death, Willie Lincoln awakens in the bardo, a spiritual limbo between death and rebirth, where he encounters a veritable Greek chorus of spirits. Trapped in the bardo by his father’s grief, a confused and uncertain Willie is counseled by the spirits, who share their stories of love, death, and remembrance. Saunders links the overwhelming grief of one historically important man to the suffering and salvation of all in this polyphonic story of our shared humanity.

Penguin Classics The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

If you’ve seen the Netflix series of the same name and haven’t read the source material, described by many as the greatest haunted house story ever written, it’s past time to dive into The Haunting of Hill House . In this seminal classic, written by the queen of creep, four seekers arrive at the dilapidated Hill House, where spooky phenomena abound, to participate in a parapsychological study. Jackson’s genius lies in the linkages she makes between haunted houses and haunted minds, which crescendo into an unforgettable ending. Whether you’re a first-time reader or a dyed-in-the-wool Jackson fan, The Haunting of Hill House remains a master class in horror fiction.

Anchor The Shining, by Stephen King

King’s landmark ghost story , published way back in 1977, legendarily cemented his bona fides in the horror space. The novel opens with a fresh start for Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who’s packed his family off to the Overlook Hotel, an isolated resort in the Colorado Rockies. As the new off-season caretaker, Jack plans to get his life back on track, but the haunted hotel has other ideas. Danny, Jack’s five-year-old son, is blessed (or cursed) with a “shining”—a psychic gift that allows him to see the hotel’s malevolent ghosts, who want to possess him. When Danny proves too tough a mark, they turn to Jack, teeing up a bloodchilling showdown between a snowed-in family and the spooks who want them dead. Through the haunted house trope, King explores Jack’s personal demons—and delivers an unforgettable thrill ride of paranormal activity.

Vintage Beloved, by Toni Morrison

When Beloved was published in 1987, literary critic John Leonard wrote, “I can’t imagine American literature without it.” Decades later, Morrison’s masterpiece remains as essential to the U.S. canon as ever. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, the story centers on Sethe, a woman who escaped slavery eighteen years ago, but still hasn’t found freedom from its horrors. Sethe is haunted by the disturbing apparition of Beloved, the nameless baby daughter she killed long ago to save her from a life in chains. Years later, Beloved has come from “the place over there” to claim retribution for the life that was taken from her. Tormented by grief and love, Sethe wrestles with the impossible choice she made. Written in dense, poetic prose that verges on the sublime, Beloved is a masterwork about remembered trauma, both personal and national.

Quirk Books Horrorstor, by Grady Hendrix

Who says ghosts have to live in creaky Victorian houses? In Hendrix’s wildly inventive Horrorstor , the scene is set at ORSK, an IKEA-esque furniture superstore. When strange acts of vandalism start occurring, three employees form an overnight patrol to investigate, but what they find defies belief: wannabe ghostbusters, an unhoused man living secretly in the store, and yes, real ghosts. As these scrappy patrollers square off against the sinister ghosts who want to imprison them in the showroom forever, Hendrix delivers both a palm-sweating horror story and a laugh-out-loud satire of retail. If you’ve ever wished an eternal curse on IKEA while constructing their furniture (who among us hasn’t?), then Horrorstor is the novel for you.

Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Set in Mexico circa the 1950s, Mexican Gothic opens with an alarming letter: newlywed Catalina writes in desperation to her cousin Noemí, claiming that her husband is poisoning her, and that “fleshless things will not let me go.” Glamorous and tough Noemí travels to High Place, the countryside home of Catalina’s new husband, Virgil Doyle, to investigate. There she encounters the “essentially macabre” Doyle family: English aristocrats who colonized the mining town where High Place is situated, and their frightening patriarch, a dastardly eugenicist. Plagued by frightening visions of ghosts and violence, Noemí plots to make her escape with Catalina, but High Place won’t let them go so easily. In this dreadful and spellbinding novel, Moreno Garcia delivers Gothic horror at its finest, with a brilliant layer about the scourges of racism and colonialism.

Image Comics Infidel, by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell

In a run-down apartment building, Aisha, a Muslim woman living with her white fiancé and his daughter, begins having strange dreams about the building’s past. Not too long ago, a Muslim neighbor hoarding explosives in his apartment caused a catastrophic accident, leading to a rise in Islamophobia among the building’s multiracial residents. The explosion awakened hateful spirits that feed off xenophobia; now, Aisha must turn to her neighbors to defeat the ghosts tormenting her. In this modern reimagining of the haunted house trope, the authors illuminate chilling truths about the monsters that live within and without humanity.

ChiZine Publications Experimental Film, by Gemma Files

Struggling with her son’s autism diagnosis and axed from her teaching job, Lois Cairns’ life takes a turn for the worse when she becomes obsessed with a snippet of silent film that may hold the key to a century-old mystery. Lois believes the film proves that an eccentric socialite, who vanished under mysterious circumstances early in the 20th century, was in fact a pioneering female filmmaker. Lois’ all-consuming investigation into the mystery revitalizes her career, but puts hers and her family’s lives on the line, because the past doesn’t want to stay dead. Suspenseful and thrilling, Experimental Film meshes old world folklore and modern filmmaking to argue that every movie is a ghost story.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Third Hotel, by Laura van den Berg

When Clare arrives in Havana to attend a horror film festival, she finds her husband Richard there, dressed in a white linen suit she’s never before seen. There’s one other problem: Richard was killed in a hit-and-run months ago. Grief-stricken and astonished, Clare follows Richard through the bustling streets of Havana, slipping into a dissociative state that sends her spiraling backward into the past. “Maybe a person became even more themselves when away, liberated from their usual present tense,” Clare wonders. In this slippery novel of liminal spaces and second selves, van den Berg weaves a lyric story about tourism, marriage, and grief.

Ecco Press The Removed, by Brandon Hobson

Each year, the Echota family gathers for a bonfire to mark the Cherokee National Holiday and the memory of their son Ray-Ray, a teenager killed in a police shooting. On the fifteenth anniversary of Ray-Ray’s death, the annual bonfire sees the family members’ private grief transform into something elemental and new. As reality and the spirit world blur, Hobson braids the Echotas’ loss with the traumas of their heritage, ceding parts of the story to an ancestor named Tsala. Tsala recounts his own murder for his refusal to be removed from his homeland, while thousands of other Indigenous people forcibly walked the Trail of Tears. Steeped in magical realism and Cherokee lore, Hobson’s mystical story of injustices old and new is a poignant act of reclamation.

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15 Best Ghost Books About Things That Go Bump in the Night

Are you ready to get spooked?

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Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories Paperback Box Set: The Complete 3-Book Collection

Scary Stories Paperback Box Set: The Complete 3-Book Collection

I don't know which is scarier in this three-book series: The stories or the creeptacular art that accompanies them. They're not all ghost stories, and they're technically for kids, but every one is a gem regardless.

RELATED:  20 Scary Books for Kids Who Like Sneaking Flashlights Under Their Blankets

Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House

If you loved the Netflix series, check out the book by one of the best voices in horror. It follows four people who arrive to decide the fate of Hill House: occult scholar Dr. Montague, his assistant Theodora, the fragile Eleanor and future heir Luke. Soon enough, they realize the house has it out for them and it'll be all they can do to escape.

Henry James The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories

The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories

After losing their parents, a pair of siblings move into a remote mansion with their uncle who hires a governess to care for them. But it soon becomes apparent that the children have a connection with ghosts that inhabit the house. This version pairs the spine-tingling story with other, lesser-known tales for a truly terrifying read.

Stephen King Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary

No list of spooky stories is complete without the King himself, and this one has often been called his scariest ever. Ludlow's a tranquil enough town, except for the pet cemetery where the locals bury their dearly departed. But there's worse lurking under the ground than a few bones.

RELATED:  The 35 Best Psychological Thriller Books to Scare Yourself Silly

Sarah Waters The Little Stranger

The Little Stranger

When a doctor calls on a formerly grand old house in the country, he discovers the family living there is struggling to keep up with society. But there's more going on than meets the eye, something the good doctor soon learns firsthand. 

Mark Z. Danielewski House of Leaves

House of Leaves

This highly unusual book's form is almost as engrossing as its subject matter, and that's saying something. Part love story, part haunted tale, part exploration of mental illness, it attempts to suss out what happens when a family moves into a house that's bigger on the inside than the outside. Then their children disappear, and the plot gets even darker.

Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia and Jeff Powellage Comics Infidel


This graphic novel about a Muslim woman and her diverse cast of neighbors who move into a haunted house is scary on two levels. The spirits that live in the house feed off xenophobia and hatred and the creepy renderings will stamp themselves on your brain.

Emma Files Experimental Film

Experimental Film

Film buffs will love this feminist horror story about a struggling critic who discovers lost film by Iris Dunlopp Whitcomb, who she believes was the first female filmmaker in Canada. But as she embarks on a project to prove it, the echoes of the past become more and more real.

Richard Matheson Hell House

Hell House

Stephen King once called this one "the scariest haunted house novel ever written," and he's not wrong. Physicist Dr. Lionel Barrett travels with two mediums to the Belasco House in Maine to figure out exactly why the locals call it the Hell House. The house quickly lives up to its name.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic

Glamorous Noemí Taboada may seem like an unlikely rescuer, but when her cousin begs her to rescue her from an unnamed menace, she heads off to the isolated High Place in the Mexican countryside. Noemí's tough, smart and determined but the house's enigmatic residents, not to mention the secrets it harbors within its walls, soon get under her skin. 

Tananarive Due Ghost Summer: Stories

Ghost Summer: Stories

From one of the masters of horror comes a hair-raising short story collection perfect for sharing around the campfire. There's a tale for every taste in this book. Just pray you don't have to leave your sleeping bag in the dark afterward. 

Peter Straub Ghost Story

Ghost Story

Four old men pass the time in their sleepy town the way they do in towns all across America: telling each other stories. But one of those is coming back to haunt them and remind us all that nothing wicked ever stays buried forever.

Laura van den Berg The Third Hotel: A Novel

The Third Hotel: A Novel

Clare arrives in Cuba to find her husband Richard. There's just one problem: He's dead. As she follows him around the city, the lines between reality and fantasy start to blur. We learn more and more about their marriage, his death and reappearance in this novel that's as eerie as it is beautifully written. 

Jesmyn Ward Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing

A young boy named Jojo is finding his way in the world, his mother Leonie tormented by the ghost of her dead brother when she's high (which is often). When they travel to pick up Jojo's father from prison, another spirit surfaces who has a lot to teach the boy about what it means to survive. It's more engrossing than scary, but absolutely worth a read. 

Brandon Hobson The Removed: A Novel

The Removed: A Novel

Not all stories that stray into the spirit realm are scary. This sad, lyrical book about loss, addiction, family and how they can all tear us apart draws on Cherokee legend to bring us a haunting meditation on trauma. 

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Beyond the Bookends

A Book Blog for Women and Moms who Love to Read

The 23 Best Ghost Books: Spooky and Not So Spooky

Ghost Books

There is something about ghost books that I love to read in the fall. Colder nights, crunchy leaves, and Halloween all scream ghost stories to me. This year, we read so many great paranormal books that we could not wait to share them with you.

Whether the ghosts in these books are the main characters or make a small appearance, we read and loved every book on this list of paranormal books.

*Ghost Books Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Table of Contents

Best Ghost Books of 2023

on fire island

On Fire Island by Jane L Rosen

I absolutely adored this magical realism book. It is a delightful magical realism book. Do not let the fact that it is a paranormal book throw you off if this is not your usual genre. The book is narrated by Julia Moore, a book editor who died at thirty-seven.

She follows her husband to Fire Island, her happy place, to spend one last summer with him and their friends on the Island. I absolutely loved this book. This is a powerful story about love, friendship, and happiness. It is one of the best picks for Ultimate Beach Reads 2023. This paranormal book is a heart-warming, feel-good book rather than spooky or creepy.

The Library of Shadows

The Library of Shadows by Rachel Moore

This romantic, paranormal book is a great YA debut. Este Logano has enrolled in Radcliffe Prep, the third spookiest school around, on a mission to uncover the truth about her deceased father.

Along the way, she encounters Mateo, a charmingly annoying ghost, and together they embark on a wild journey through trapdoors, hidden passages, and ghost-filled halls to solve a mystery that started decades before.

If you love books set in a library , we have an entire list for you as well! Some of this young adult fantasy novel was definitely creepy and I could not stop turning the pages.

The Witches of Bone Hill

The Witches of Bone Hill by Ava Morgyn

Cordelia and Eustace are sisters who have inherited a large Victorian mansion. The catch? In order to collect their inheritance, they must live inside the quirky mansion.

With a dash of mystery, a touch of romance, and a sprinkle of spooky ancestors, the sisters must navigate the house, a captivating groundskeeper, and the secrets that have been haunting their family for generations. The sisters will need to embrace the powers that they have been taught to ignore in order to mend their bond, uncover the truth, and save themselves.

This is one of the witch books that is not only spooky but completely captivating from the first page.

Best Ghost Books of 2022

Ghost 19 by Simone St. James

Ghost 19 by Simone St. James

This is the first short story by Simone St. James and I loved it. Ginette Cox has moved to a suburb of NY from NYC. Her doctors have told her that she needs a break. Slowly, she becomes obsessed with watching the people in her neighborhood all the while feeling that she cannot leave her house.

As time goes by, Ginette cannot figure out of she is suffering from severe anxiety or if it is the house that has a hold on her. This short, paranormal book is perfect for Halloween. It is also perfect for isolation books with unreliable narrators- is she agoraphobic or is there something else going on?

The witches of moonshyne manor

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

I am a huge fan of Ms. Marais’ writing. I read her previous two books and was so excited to read this one because fantasy is my favorite genre. This book did not disappoint. The writing is beautiful and very much Marais’ style and the witches in this book are hilarious. They are witty and funny and there is never a dull moment in the Manor.

The magic in this book is woven seamlessly into the story that has non-stop surprises. The book begins with the people of the town descending onto the manor with a wrecking ball to destroy it and the distillery and leave the witches homeless. They are left with less than two weeks to save their house but in order to do so, they must reveal long-kept secrets.

I do not want to give anything away. This family drama book made me laugh out loud often and shed a few tears as well. I absolutely loved this witch book and it is a definite must-read from our list of ultimate beach reads 2023. And, what would a book about witches be without a ghost or two haunting the manor? This is why we included it on our list of ghost books!

The House Across the Lakew

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Casey Fletcher is an actress who is fleeing bad press after the death of her beloved husband. She retreats to the family’s lake house, despite the fact that this is where he husband drowned.

Casey spends her days drinking and spying on the house across the lake. When she saves former supermodel, Katherine Royce from drowning, the two strike up a friendship. It becomes clear that Katherine and her husband are having some serious issues

Some points in the story moved slowly for me and at one point, the story nearly lost me. But, I am so glad that I kept reading this pick from Lake Books. There were definitely surprises that I did not see coming.

We LOVE Riley Sager. Be sure to check out The Best Riley Sager Books Ranked by Super Fans . This haunted house book is such a great pick from our ultimate beach reads 2023 and is a perfect pick from paranormal books.

Paranormal Romance Books

The Dead Romantics

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Gma book club pick july 2022.

This book was a complete delight to read from the very first page. Florence Day is a ghostwriter for one of the most successful and well-known romance authors in the industry. The name is apt seeing as how she can also see ghosts. But, after a terrible break-up, she no longer believes in love.

When her new editor will not give her an extension on her deadline, she is in a panic and is on the verge of losing her career. Now, the unthinkable has happened. Her beloved father has died and she must return home to bury him. When she sees the ghost of her editor outside the funeral parlor, she cannot understand why he is there with her, and her life is turned upside down.

If you are looking for a book for fall, I love this adorable paranormal book that is one of the best romances of the season. Ashley Posten is quickly becoming my go-to for summer reads.

One Last Stop and other May 2021 Novel Ideas books.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

I absolutely loved Casey’s first book and had very high hopes for this one.

August moves to NYC and into a house filled with weird roommates. When she meets Jane on the subway, sparks fly immediately, and riding the subway becomes the best part of her day. The twist? Jane is displaced from the 1970s and cannot get off the train. As paranormal romance books go, this one is not to be missed.

I enjoyed this book but, I felt that there were some parts that dragged on a bit. It is very hard to find new ways to talk about a relationship that can only take place on the train. I loved the premise of this time travel romance book.

the medium

The Medium: A Romantic Historical Fantasy Ghost Story by CJ Archer (Emily Chambers Spirit Medium Book 1)

These are such a guilty pleasure for me.  They are quick, paranormal books with a little bit of paranormal activity and not a lot of substance.  The books are fun with a little bit of action and a little bit of romance as well.  What do you do when you fall in love with a ghost?

This is just one of the paranormal books that is perfect as a guilty pleasure read.

Award-Winning Ghost Books


Beloved by Toni Morrison

HOW HAVE I NEVER READ TONI MORRISON BEFORE? I swear I thought I had read this book, but after reading The Toni Morrison Book Club, I realized I hadn’t. When my library hold finally came up for this one, I realized I was so excited to read this book about motherhood.

Morrison is easily one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever read. Beloved haunted me while I was reading it. I can’t wait to read more of her work. It is crazy to think that award-winning books can be paranormal books as well. This is the definition of a magical realism book at its finest.

sing unburied sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This book is an award winner and the writing is undeniably wonderful. The story itself has elements of magic that add to the difficult subject matter.  The story deals with drugs, violence, and poverty- all of which are completely relevant in today’s society. 

The characters did not develop throughout the story as much as I would have liked, but this ghost book is a worthwhile read when considering the wonderful writing. The paranormal aspect makes this a great book for fall.

lincoln in the bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Strange, but probably one of the most imaginative novels I have ever experienced. It’s about the night that Abraham Lincoln buried his son and takes place entirely in the cemetery.

I listened to this full cast audiobook  which was great because it used 166 voices including David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Kat Dennings, and Don Cheadle among others. As ghost books go, this one is not to be missed! it’s truly one of the best fantasy audiobooks ever! If you are looking for a book for fall, this pick is fantastic.

Under the Whispering Door and more family drama books

Under the Whispering Door by T.J Klune

How many stars can I give? T.J Klune has done it again with the wonderful book. House on the Cerulean Sea was my favorite book last year and I am not sure that anything will top it. I read this paranormal book in a day and loved every minute of this wonderful family drama book that is truly about found family.

Wallace is dead. When the reaper collects him at his funeral and brings him to a strange tea shop, Hugo is waiting with the promise of helping him cross over. This light fantasy will make you smile until the last page.

Christmas Books with Ghosts

Just Like magic and more Christmas romance books

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

If you only read one Christmas book this holiday season, let it be Just Like Magic. I adored this funny paranormal romance book and it is one of the best holiday books ever! The premise is amazing. Down-on-her-luck Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the magical Holiday Spirit, who can’t leave her until he raises her spirit level.

So going by the name of Hal, he poses as her boyfriend for her week-long family Christmas vacation. His use of magic throughout the week is hysterical. It also helps that the chemistry between Hal and Bettie crackles. It’s unlike any other Christmas story I’ve read in the best way possible! If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this should be at the top of your list. Gifted by Putnam

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

This YA book was quite clever as a modern retelling of Dicken’s classic. 17-year-old Holly was visited by the ghosts of Christmas because she was a total scrooge.

But she woke up unaffected by the visit and died shortly thereafter. Now she has to work for Operation Scrooge as she tries to help other poor scrooges like herself.

She’s been the ghost of Christmas past for 5 years now but this year is different…this year something changes…and it might just be her! This paranormal book is such a great read and a perfect YA book for Christmas.

More Ghost Books

The Hotel Nantucket

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

This is my favorite Elin Hilderbrand EVER. As usual, Elin’s storytelling revolves around a large cast of characters, this time employees of The Hotel Nantucket.

As we spend a summer with the staff and select hotel guests, we get to see what goes on behind the scenes of a luxury hotel. We see romances unfold and fall apart multiple scandals, demanding guests, and a ghost story!

The narrator of this book is the ghost that haunts the hotel. This is one of the most original paranormal books we have ever read!

Girls of Brackenhill

Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

Holy gothic thriller, batman. This haunted house book is literally the stuff of paranormal legend.

Missing girls, ghosts, murder, and a legit creepy castle where it all goes down? Cue images of me staying up past my bedtime as I tried to get over the scary things happening in this book. I had chills a few times while reading and is one of the scarier books on this list of ghost books.

I wish I had a few more answers at the end, but I think that’s part of the point, to leave the reader to decide what they think happens next in this paranormal book.

Broken Girls

Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The story moves back and forth between Vermont in the 1950s and 2014. Idlewild Hall is a school where girls were sent to be forgotten.  It was shut down decades ago and is rumored to be haunted but, is suddenly bought by an unknown benefactor who intends to restore it and reopen it. 

Fiona Sheridan is a journalist, whose sister died on the property of Idlewild in the 90s.  She cannot let go of the past and decides to write a story about the school and its history. 

What they discover on the property of Idlewild takes the reader on a thrilling mystery and Idlewild slowly gives up its dark secrets.  I loved the mystery and could not put the book down.  The paranormal component wasn’t over the top which made it readable with just the right amount of fear factor. There is something about ghost books that take place at schools that are extra creepy.

Ghost Books for Teens

house of yesterday

House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur

In this paranormal book, Sara is the descendant of Afghan-Uzbek refugees dealing with the impact immigration has had on her family for generations.

Whilst experiencing the divorce of her parents, she begins helping her mother flip a home. But whenever Sara goes into that home, she is literally confronted by the ghosts of her past.

She can’t stop searching for answers from the ghost she realizes is a much younger version of her grandmother, Bibi Jan. But as she tries to untangle the secrets her grandmother has held tight to her chest, her own grib on familial relationships starts to unravel.

While I was frustrated at Sara numerous times for acting like a teenager (which she is as is the audience for this book) I found the story to be a lovely tribute to the bonds of family and the traditions we never leave behind.

storm and fury

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I loved the Disney cartoon Gargoyles when I was a little girl, so when I saw a YA Fantasy book that is also a paranormal romance book, I knew I needed it. I read this to help ease me out of my House of Earth and Blood book hangover and it was a perfect read. This pick from fantasy romance books for

It’s actually a spin-off of one of Armentrout’s other YA fantasy book series, which I didn’t know until after I read the story. I didn’t feel like I missed anything having read this first. Gargoyles are Wardens out to fight demons and protect humans, and one special human in particular. This urban fantasy is as much romance as fantasy.

lost in the never woods

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

I loved this unique Peter Pan story that had me thinking about the true meaning of Neverland and the stories of the lost boys. Wendy Darling and her parents have never been able to move on after her brothers disappeared mysteriously five years ago.

Wendy has no memories of the 6 months she was gone and no explanation for why she came home and her brothers didn’t. Now, as children start to go missing again, it feels too similar to be a coincidence.

This is a smart, well-written, well-thought-out, twisted Peter Pan fairy tale retelling. This pick is perfect for a list of the best teen fantasy books and it is also one of the best paranormal books for teens.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This book started so strong for me, I was completely enraptured with this world. As the story continued, I found the story changed tones. What was once a hopeful story, slowly became a story of unreachable love.

200 years ago Weep was cut off from the world, so much so that nobody can even remember the city’s real name. When Lazio starts dreaming of a blue-skinned woman, he cannot forget her.

This YA fantasy book has warriors and magic, but is it also a completely original paranormal book. It is unlike any other.

Middle-Grade Ghost Books


Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

We like to listen to books as a family when we are in the car together or doing a puzzle. The standout book for me this month was Winterhouse. It’s such a fun hotel novel!

This middle grade mystery was as enthralling to me as it was to my boys. I loved the slight bits of magic in the story and the captivating setting of an expansive ski hotel on a snowy mountain at Christmas time. If you love a cozy mystery book for a 10-year-old, pick this one up! We also included this in our list of paranormal books and it is one of the best.

City of ghosts

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

While this is technically a middle-grade book, this paranormal book was SCARY.  I absolutely loved it but, it should not be read by anyone who is afraid of ghost stories or ghost books. 

When Cass is rescued from drowning, she is suddenly able to maneuver between the land of the living and the other side of the veil. The boy that rescued her is a ghost and he becomes her best friend. 

Her parents are ghost hunters and then they get a job filming a TV show in Scotland, they all pack up and go, including Cass’s ghost.  What they find is scary, creepy, and a fabulously fun young adult fantasy novel.

Greenglass House and more family audiobooks for road trips

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

This middle grade mystery reminded me of Harry Potter in some ways. A child is trying to uncover the secrets of Greenglass House, a hotel for smugglers and spies before the adults do.

We read this as a family read-aloud and it was wonderful. It’s one of the books for an 11-year-old that younger readers might struggle with.

Harry potter and the sorcerer's stone and more fantasy books for tweens

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling

I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about. I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published. 

This is the book that introduces us to Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger; our fearless trio.  We also meet the other favorite beloved and detested characters that make the Harry Potter book series so special. After all, what would Hogwarts be without Hagrid, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, and Draco Malfoy?

Harry Potter shows up on our list of books like Percy Jackson too ! And if you love Harry as we do, check out our 17 Books like Harry Potter for Kids Obsessed with Magic or 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic .

If you are interested in starting Harry Potter, head to our guide on the Harry Potter Books in order to get a free printable!

Adult Fantasy Novels

Ultimate List of Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read

If fantasy books are your favorite books, then these are the perfect book lists for you. We carefully divided them into sub-genres.

Ultimate List of YA Fantasy

YA Fantasy Header 1

Ultimate List of Thrillers

Love Thrillers? We created this list and carefully divided it by sub-genre. These will definitely keep you on your toes.

What is your favorite ghost book?

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Jackie is the mother of three children and a Speech-Language Pathologist who uses her love of books to create language-based learning opportunities in her speech therapy practice and with her own children. Her 20+ years of experience in regular and special education classrooms ensures the website content is relevant and informative. She started this website with Kirsten to share their passion for literacy with other moms and kids.

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100 Best (and Scariest) Horror Books of All Time

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Blog – Posted on Monday, Feb 04

100 best (and scariest) horror books of all time.

100 Best (and Scariest) Horror Books of All Time

The definition of scary changes from person to person. For some, it might be ghosts and haunted houses. For others, serial killers. For still others, the most frightening things are the ones that go bump in the night, unseen.

Despite the width of this spectrum, what unites all lovers of horror is the thrill that horror novels inspire within us: that universal sensation of your heart thumping out of your chest, as cold sweat breaks on your forehead when you turn the page.

To create this list, we went to the darkest, most ghostly corners of the literary world. Without further ado, here are the 100 best horror novels of all time — it's safe to say that we hope they'll keep you up at night. Happy reading!

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great horror books out there, you can also take our 30-second quiz below to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized horror book recommendation  😉

Which horror book should you read next?

Discover the perfect horror book for you. Takes 30 seconds!

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

Is there a name more synonymous with horror? The story of Dr. Frankenstein and the anguished, tragic monster he unwittingly creates has become a cultural icon, both macabre and quintessential. When Mary Shelley set out to write Frankenstein over two centuries ago, she said that she wanted to create a book that would “speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.” We can safely say that she succeeded.

2. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (1838)

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is a mixture of Moby Dick-esque maritime detail (it later inspired Herman Melville) and H.P. Lovecraft-style cosmic horror . The titular Pym stows away on the Grampus, a whaling ship headed for southern waters. But after mutiny breaks out on the upper deck, Pym is left stranded by one of his friends, only to face a series of gruesome situations once he’s retrieved.

3. The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (1839)

Could you really call a list of the best horror books complete without a nod (or two) to the genius of Edgar Allan Poe? Sibling dynamics are given new meaning in The Fall of the House of Usher , a work of gothic fiction that centers on a spooky household. Roderick is a sick man with acute sensitivity to everything, who lives in constant fear he is about to die. His sister, Madeline, suffers from catalepsy (a sickness involving seizures). An unnamed narrator visits them both and gets more than he bargained for.

4. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell (1851-1861)

Just as the tin says! Gothic Tales is a collection of (surprise!) gothic tales — more specifically, fairy tales intertwined with short stories. Written by 19th-century author Elizabeth Gaskell, these stories deliver everything: disappearances, Salem witch hunts, mysterious children wandering lost in the moors, and local legends that may or may not return to haunt the townspeople. And with every story, Gaskell shows her uncanny talent of blending reality and the supernatural with spine-tingling dexterity.

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5. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)

Before Dracula , there was Carmilla . This tale of a female vampire who attracts a lonely young girl served as the foundation for the “lesbian vampirism” trope (and, no doubt, inspired Bram Stoker to some extent as well). So fans of the emerging cult classic Jennifer’s Body , you’ve found your literary horror match.

6. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

Meet the most famous vampire of all time. Dracula was born out of Bram Stoker’s imagination over a century ago — yet he still lives on today in our collective consciousness. Dracula is his story, one in which he roams from Transylvania to England to spread the curse of the undead amongst innocents. More than a simple tale about vampirism, Dracula is an era-defining masterwork about sexuality, technology, superstition, and an ancient horror that’s too terrible for words.

7. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898)

The Turn of the Screw is the original children of the damned! When a governess is hired to take care of Miles and Flora, the niece and nephew of a wealthy Englishman, she has no idea what she’s in for. As she discovers the tragic fate of her predecessor, she starts seeing things that can only be explained in one of two ways: either she’s mad… or the specter of the late governess wants her job back!

8. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft (1928)

Perhaps the most influential of American horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft was responsible for creating an entire mythology of elder gods, sinister sea-dwellers , mysterious cults, and men of science who are driven to the edge of their sanity. The Call of Cthulhu remains one of the most accessible entry points into Lovecraft’s works — some of which, if we’re being honest, are a bit hard for the uninitiated to follow.

9. Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James (1931)

M.R. James essentially originated the “antiquarian ghost story.” Indeed, his writing was revolutionary for its time, discarding old Gothic clichés and using more realistic settings — which as we know by now, only makes a scary story scarier. His Collected Ghost Stories includes a whopping 30 tales, most of which involve a mild-mannered academic stumbling upon an artifact that calls forth some malevolent, otherworldly presence. Yes, the ghosts are fascinating; but what’s really admirable here is James’ signature subtlety of style.

10. At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft (1936)

This post-Cthulhu novella by Lovecraft is so long and twisty that even Lovecraft himself couldn’t get it published at first. At the Mountains of Madness relates the horrifying details of an Antarctic expedition gone wrong, in which the remains of a prehistoric species seemingly came to life and slayed humans. As the narrative spirals further, both the characters and the reader come to realize that instead of a life-changing discovery, the explorers may have brought about a death-wracking monster.

11. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

“Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Perhaps the most famous first line of any novel in the 20th century, this intoxicating blend of romance and suspense was seemingly made for Alfred Hitchcock, who went on to direct Rebecca 's silver screen adaptation. After a whirlwind romance, a shy American marries a wealthy Englishman and returns to his estate in Cornwall. She soon realizes that she’s now living under the (literal or figurative) shadow of her husband’s first wife: the seemingly perfect and recently deceased Rebecca de Winter.

12. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

One man’s hero is another man’s villain. If there’s only one lesson we learn from Matheson’s survival classic, let it be that. Doctor Robert Neville is the last man left alive. In the daylight, he hits the streets, stocking up on supplies and vanquishing the vampiric creature that lurk in the shadows. But when night falls, he squirrels himself away in his fortress of a home and works desperately on a cure for an epidemic that has ended the human race.

13. The Bad Seed by William March (1954)

Now synonymous with any misbehaving child, the original “bad seed” was Rhoda Penmark, the sociopathic eight-year-old. Her mother Christine suspects her of hurting and possibly killing a classmate, an elderly neighbor, and even her own dog — and as Christine discovers the truth about her own mother’s dark past, she realizes that Rhoda has to be stopped at all costs, before The Bad Seed sprouts any further.

14. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

You know how some people say that the setting is almost like another character in the story? Well, in the case of this spooky classic, that’s the literal truth. When a parapsychologist invites a group of volunteers to stay at an old mansion with a bloody mystery, he hopes to uncover evidence of the supernatural. As the tension ratchets up, each of the guests is confronted by inexplicable phenomena. Listed by Stephen King as one of the best horror books of the 20th century, The Haunting of Hill House is a must-read for any fan of the genre.

15. Psycho by Robert Bloch (1959)

If you’re into horror, you’re no stranger to Psycho . But let’s recap one of the best horror plots of all time anyway: inspired by the real-life story of psychotic murderer Ed Gein, Norman Bates and his Mother own the Bates motel, with the unlit neon sign out front. When a woman checks into the motel one night, Norman can’t help but spy on her. Displeased, Mother plans to rectify her son’s behaviour by eliminating the woman, and anything that might purge Norman of his dark thoughts.

16. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

We learn three things in the first paragraph of Jackson’s final novel: Mary Katherine Blackwood lives with her sister Constance; she loves the death-cap mushroom; and everyone else in her family is dead. From the supreme master of shivers-down-your-spine horror comes a tale of Gothic surroundings and even more sinister, yet inscrutable, inner lives. You’ll be guessing the wicked truth about Mary and Constance right up to the very end.

17. The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell (1962)

Bearing strong superficial resemblance to a certain classic, Russell’s novel also features a pair of priests tasked with examining a young girl who may be possessed by the devil. Between The Case Against Satan , The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, contemporary readers can sense a Catholic-tinged fear of the devil pervading through American horror of the 60s. If you like the other two, why not give this one a chance?

18. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1962)

At the beginning of Something Wicked This Way Comes , twelve-year-olds Will and Jim can’t wait to visit “Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show.” But during their visit, they witness something odd: ol’ Cooger riding backwards on the carousel, which turns him into a boy of their own age. As Will and Jim tail the Benjamin Button-ized Cooger, searching for answers, they find that the mysteries of the carnival are even darker than they anticipated — and that that darkness may not be limited to the carnival alone.

19. Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin (1967)

If, for some reason, you’re doubting whether Rosemary’s Baby is one of the best horror books of all time, let us remind that it was the bestselling horror novel of the 1960s, launching a boom in the commercial success of horror fiction in general. As with many stories in the genre, Rosemary’s Baby starts out pretty innocently, and then things take a turn for the worst: Rosemary and Guy have just moved into a beautiful Manhattan apartment, and life is good. That is, until their dream home starts to turn into a living nightmare, and they begin to feel that the devil lives only a few doors down.

20. Hell House by Richard Matheson (1971)

In Hell House , the I am Legend scribe reaches terrifying new heights by expertly combining his flair for suspense with an intuitive eye for horror. The story opens on a dying millionaire who pays $100,000 each to a physicist and two mediums for them to retrieve “proof” of life after death. The group’s plan: travel to Maine and spend the week in the Belasco House, the most haunted house in the world. Whether any of them make it out alive — without going mad — is another question altogether.

If you don’t trust us, believe Stephen King, who once said: “ Hell House is the scariest haunted house novel ever written. It looms over the rest the way the mountains loom over the foothills.”

21. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (1971)

No author creates sensation quite like William Peter Blatty and no story has satisfied a nation’s capacity for horror quite like The Exorcist . A literary landmark of the 21st-century , The Exorcist is the deeply troubling tale of one child’s demonic possession and two priests’ attempts to save her from a fate worse than death. Part family drama and all horror, it delivers on all fronts.

22. Carrie by Stephen King (1974)

Allegedly fished out of the trash by his wife, it’s hard to believe that this classic was only the first novel published by Stephen King. As one of the most put-upon teenage girls in literature, the title character struggles with school bullies, a puritanical mother, and unusual (to say the least) physical changes. Even before it went on to become a famous film, Carrie gave early fans a glimpse of King’s greatest gifts: his ability to write sympathetic, fully fleshed characters while also delivering on the big shocks. (Want more King? Check out this list of every Stephen King novel , ranked from most popular to least popular.)

23. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976)

Speaking of debuts that made a splash: with her first published novel, Anne Rice redefined Southern Gothic for a new generation. The titular interview takes place in modern day, as the vampire Louis recounts his story to a cub reporter. Once a plantation owner in pre-Civil War Louisiana, his life as a creature of the night is marked by his various encounters with Lestat, the vampire responsible for his undeath. Interview with the Vampire went on to be an incredible success, spawning a series of popular novels and a film adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

24. The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

What do you get when you take a frustrated writer, a creepy old hotel, and a blizzard that locks everyone inside? An absolute cornerstone of horror, that’s what! If you’ve never read The Shining , brace yourself for a marathon of mounting tension and terrifying twists, with a family fighting for their lives, even as they’re not exactly sure who or what they’re fighting.

25. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (1979)

Angela Carter is one of the preeminent magical realist writers of the twentieth century, female or male. The Bloody Chamber , a collection of darkly reimagined fairy tales and folktales, takes a distinctly feminist slant with its portrayal of female characters: many of the heroines in these stories save themselves, rather than waiting for a hero on a white horse. Of course, they have to go through some pretty scary stuff first. Horror lovers who also enjoy a bit of Holly Black or Marissa Meyer, this is unquestionably the collection for you.

26. Ghost Story by Peter Straub (1979)

A group of old men in a quiet town call themselves The Chowder Society. Every so often, they gather to share ghost stories with each other. It’s all just fun and game… until it isn’t. In the wake of a horrific accident, the men are forced to confront one of their stories — and the consequences of the worst thing that they’ve ever done in this brilliant homage to “Night of the Living Dead.”

27. Whispers by Dean Koontz (1980)

Whispers stars Thomas, a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. One day, she is attacked by Bruno Frye, the proprietor of a vineyard she recently visited. She forces him to leave at gunpoint and immediately calls the police — who then call Bruno’s home, where he answers, not more than seconds after the attack. Later on, she is once again attacked by Bruno but manages to get injure him as he escapes. When she called the cops again, she learns that her assailant was found dead hundreds of miles away. But if you think that will put an end to her assaults, then you’re in for a big surprise.

28. The Mask by Dean Koontz (1981)

Not to be confused with the Jim Carrey comedy, The Mask is a shudder-inducing novel from Koontz follows Carol and Paul, a hopeful couple who welcomes a young, amnesiac foster girl into their home. But though “Jane” (who can’t remember her real name) seems angelic at first, her increasingly strange behavior and the mystery of her true identity begins to worry her potential adoptive parents… who may have a closer connection to her than they realize.

29. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (1983)

Now a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe ( as well as a long-running stage play in London), The Woman in Black is often described as “if Jane Austen wrote horror.” This take on a classic ghost story follows solicitor Arthur Kipps as he travels to the English moors to settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. What he finds really finds is a mansion haunted by the elusive “Woman in Black”. Readers who love a slow build-up and the sensation of being watching will be thrilled.

30. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (1984)

Frank Cauldhame is sick in the head, even by the standards of the horror genre. Though only sixteen, he lives in isolation and has developed a number of sociopathic tendencies, including torturing wasps in a machine he calls “the wasp factory.” As the reader gets to know more about Frank’s twisted past, they begin to understand why he’s like this — and another twist toward the end of The Wasp Factory makes Frank’s everyday activities seem practically banal.

I look at these pieces and I don't think the man who wrote them is alive in me anymore.... We are all our own graveyards I believe; we squat amongst the tombs of the people we were. If we're healthy, every day is a celebration, a Day of the Dead, in which we give thanks for the lives that we lived; and if we are neurotic we brood and mourn and wish that the past was still present. Reading these stories over, I feel a little of both. Some of the simple energies that made these words flow through my pen--that made the phrases felicitous and the ideas sing--have gone. I lost their maker a long time ago.

These enthusiastic tales are not ashamed of visceral horror, of blood splashing freely across the page: \'The Midnight Meat Train,\' a grisly subway tale that surprises you with one twist after another; \'The Yattering and Jack,\' about a hilarious demon who possesses a Christmas turkey; \'In the Hills, the Cities,\' an unusual example of an original horror premise; \'Dread,\' a harrowing non-supernatural tale about being forced to realize your worst nightmare; \'Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament,\' about a woman who kills men with her mind. Some of the tales are more successful than others, but all are distinguished by strikingly beautiful images of evil and destruction. No horror library is complete without them. --Fiona Webster

31. Books of Blood by Clive Barker (1984)

As Britain’s leading purveyor of shocking horror, Clive Barker has made a bit splash as both an author and a film director. While cinephiles may recognise his works Candyman and Hellraiser , he first appeared on the horror radar with his short story collection, Books of Blood . Compulsively blood-curdling, these contemporary stories see regular people sucked into grotesque, disturbing, and often comic scenarios. A brilliant gateway for Barker newbs.

Ghosts and The Locked Room are the next two brilliant installments in Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy .

32. City of Glass by Paul Auster (1985)

City of Glass is the first installment in Auster’s landmark New York Trilogy , and a genuinely psychedelic work of intertwining narratives. It begins with a private investigator and former fiction writer who’s driving himself crazy trying to solve a case, then unspools into countless more intertextual threads and questions — the possible answers to which will have readers questioning their own sanity and stability by the end of this book.

33. It by Stephen King (1986)

In the story that injected clowns straight into the nightmares of an entire generation, the title character is a demonic entity that disguises itself while pursuing its prey. And for the children of Derry, that mostly involves taking the form of Pennywise the Clown. Alternating between two time periods (childhood and adulthood), It is packed with fascinating tangents that expertly flesh out the sad, traumatized, and occasionally nostalgic natives of this quiet Maine town.

34. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

The horrors of Beloved , considered by many to be Morrison’s seminal work, are thoroughly intertwined with the ghastly history of America. Sethe is a former slave who had to slit her infant daughter’s throat to prevent her from enduring the same profound injustices and trauma as her. Eighteen years later, the child still haunts her — in some ways more than others. Between the intensely surreal atmosphere that pervades the entire book and Morrison’s deep-cutting prose, Beloved is a masterpiece beyond that of most contemporary horror novels.

35. The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing (1988)

In the 1960s, Harriet and David Lovatt are normal parents with four normal children in England — until Harriet gives birth to their fifth child. Ben is the devil incarnate: he is too strong for his own good, insatiable when it comes to sustenance, and abnormally violent. As he grows up, the family becomes increasingly paralyzed by fear and indecision. Underneath the thrills and agony of The Fifth Child lies a dangerous question about parenthood and the obligations of family.

36. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988)

The basis for the Oscar-winning film, The Silence of the Lambs is the follow-up to Red Dragon , which was the first novel to feature cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this sequel, FBI trainee Clarice Starling enlists the help of Dr. Lecter to find “Buffalo Bill” — another killer on the loose. In order to do so, the inner workings of a very dark mind are probed, and spine-chilling suspense ensues.

37. Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (1989)

Carrion Comfort is based on a brilliantly unique premise: that throughout history, a select group of individuals with psychic powers (known as “The Ability”) have compelled humans to commit horrific violence. Acts such as the cruelty of Nazi guards, John Lennon’s assassination, and the Iranian Hostage Crisis can all be attributed to people with The Ability — and they may be planning something even worse. It’s up to one man, a Holocaust survivor, to extinguish this ancient evil before they do any more harm.

38. Ring by Kōji Suzuki (1991)

The premise is a modern-twist on a classic trope: there is a videotape that warns viewers they will die in one week unless they perform an unspecified act. And, yes, the videotape does keep its promises. This Japanese mystery horror novel was the basis for the 2002 film, The Ring , a film which kickstarted the trend of adapting Asian horror for English-speaking markets. Indeed, the nineties was when international readers really started to pay attention to the chilling work being produced by Japanese genre writers like Suzuki.

39. Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite (1993)

In Drawing Blood , Trevor McGee avoids his childhood home in North Carolina for a reason. Years ago, when he was only five years old, his father murdered his mother and his younger brother before hanging himself. Now he’s determined to return and confront his past, but there’s a small problem: the demons that drove his father to insanity might never have left the house.

40. Parasite Eve by Hideaki Sena (1995)

Described as a “medical fantasmagoria,” comparable to Frankenstein in its scientific acuity, this Japanese sci-fi horror follows Dr. Nagashima, who is overwhelmed with grief at the loss of his wife. To cope, he begins the process of reincarnating his wife using a small sample of her liver. What he isn’t prepared for is when her cells begin to mutate, and an ancient, unseen consciousness starts rising from its long sleep.

41. Uzumaki by Junji Ito (1998)

Uzumaki is a seinen horror manga series. Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is plagued by a supernatural curse in the form of uzumaki — spiral, otherwise known as the hypnotic secret shape of the world. As the hold of the curse over the town strengthens, its inhabitants begin to fall deeper and deeper into a whirlpool of madness.

42. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (1999)

The peerless Alan Moore put aside V for Vendetta and Watchmen to write this graphic novel, bringing to life the world of Jack the Ripper and his reign of terror in the 1880s. From the grisly theories surrounding the Ripper to the personalities that stood tall during the desperate investigation, Moore spares no gruesome detail as he examines the motivations and identity of the most famous serial killer of all times. With Eddie Campbell’s stark illustrations, this extraordinary graphic novel is a reminder that the most horrifying truths lurk inside the depths of the human soul — and that not all monsters live in Hell.

43. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)

Though Danielewski’s experimental debut remains largely uncategorizable, it definitely contains strands of horror DNA. This mammoth 700-page novel follows "The Navidson Record" — a documentary about an apparently haunted house (if by "haunted" one actually means "alive"). The Navidson house seems to mutate, changing size and sprouting corridors in a dizzying labyrinths, all while emitting an ominous growl. But what makes House of Leaves truly frightening is Danielewski’s intertwining of plot and structure, the latter’s chaotic layout mirroring the former.

44. Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson (2001)

Skin Folk is a short story collection that includes science fiction, Caribbean folklore, passionate love stories, and downright chilling horror. While not all the stories would be described as horror, the darkest of the collection is “Greedy Choke Puppy,” which features a bitter woman who discards her skin at night, and replenishes herself by killing children for their life force.

45. Coraline by Neil Gaiman (2002)

There’s a mysterious door in Coraline’s new house. The neighbors all warn her that she shouldn’t open it under any circumstances… but Coraline never was a girl who listened to other people’s advice. From the mind of the bestselling author who brought you American Gods and Neverwhere comes a novel of wondrous and chilling imagination. Coraline is one of the staples in Gaiman’s remarkable oeuvre for a reason.

46. 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith (2002)

This dramatic comic book miniseries brings supernatural terror to life: for a town in Alaska, prolonged periods of darkness means that vampires can openly kill and feed upon humans at almost any time. Their victims are rendered helpless by both the incapacitating darkness and the vampires’ vicious attacks — attacks that Ben Templesmith depicts with such gory immediacy that his illustrations could almost be crime scene photographs.

47. Come Closer by Sara Gran (2003)

Come closer, indeed. This 2003 novel by Sara Gran revolves around a woman named Amanda, who has an ostensibly perfect life. But one day she realizes that some things are a little off. Like the quiet but recurrent tapping in her apartment. And the memo that she sent earlier to her boss that was somehow replaced by a series of insults. Then there are the dreams: those of a beautiful woman with pointed teeth, and a seashore the color of blood. As this mystery escalates in size and terror, Amanda is forced to confront nothing less than her own self.

48. The Good House by Tananarive Due (2003)

The Good House is named after a Sacajawea, Washington home that was much-beloved… until a young boy died behind its doors. Two year later, Angela hadn’t planned on returning to the house that bore silent witness to her son’s death, but then terrible things start happening to the community. Now Angela has the chance to lay to rest once and for all what exactly happened to Corey — and what it has to do with a curse that Angela’s grandmother may or may not have placed on the community decades ago.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik's Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night.

49. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2004)

Oskar is a young boy living with his divorced mother in a suburb of Stockholm. Mercilessly bullied by kids at school and increasingly insular, he makes a much-needed connection when Eli, a child of a similar age, moves in next door. Little does he know that his new bestie isn’t as young as he thinks… and that he has a peculiar set of appetites. Titled after the lyrics of a Morrissey song, this sweet but frightening novel has been adapted twice into film and once as a stage show.

50. Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler (2005)

To read one of Octavia E. Butler’s book is to become a fan for life. In Fledgling , Butler demonstrates her mastery of horror once again. On the surface, Shori seems to be a young girl who suffers from severe amnesia. Yet a discovery leads her to the horrifying revelation that she is in fact a 53-year old vampire who has been genetically modified by someone who wants her dead. Now she must decide whether to pursue more answers, even though it might lead her to her own doom.

51. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (2005)

Kostova’s debut novel is a complex interlacing of spooky fiction and chilling historical fact. It follows a professor and his daughter who become entrenched in the folklore of Vlad the Impaler, a major inspiration for Dracula. They soon realize that their connection to Vlad goes far beyond the scholarly. This connection becomes especially critical when their father disappears, and his daughter (our narrator) must use her knowledge to track him down.

52. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

Cormac McCarthy is no slouch when it comes to publishing gripping tales, and The Road is one of his most haunting books. Spurning an equally well-received film adaptation, the story follows a father and son as they make their way through barren, post-apocalyptic America. They’re headed for the coast, not sure of what they will find there, but in the hope that they will find, well, something . All they know is that the road is dangerous, and all they’ve got to protect themselves is a single pistol and each other.

53. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

This tantalizing thriller from Norwegian crime writer Nesbø is about a series of brutal murders all connected by snowmen, and the jaded former FBI agent who tries to understand why. As Detective Harry Hole delves further and further into the investigation, he starts to believe that the murderer may be someone he knows… but who can say for certain when so much of the evidence has melted away?

54. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (2007)

Heart-Shaped Box centers on Judas Coyne, a retired rockstar who now spends his days collecting “items of the macabre” — snuff films, confessions, anything deathly and disturbing. Naturally he jumps at the chance to acquire the suit of a dead man (with his ghost still allegedly attached). But when it arrives in a heart-shaped box, Coyne realizes that this addition to his collection is less of a novelty than liability. If he can’t control it, he’ll suffer the dire consequences of its wrath.

55. Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory (2008)

Del Pierce has been possessed by a demon with a penchant for deadly mischief. Desperate to rid himself of the demon, Del turns to three sources: a likewise possessed former sci-fi writer, a nun who tends to inspire unchaste feelings rather than an inclination to pray, and a secret society devoted to the art of exorcism. Can he find the cure to the plague of demonic possessions hitting society? And if so — at what cost? Pandemonium gives us the spine-chilling answer.

56. Last Days by Brian Evenson (2008)

Meet Kline, a former detective with an amputated hand. However rather than giving him a handicap in the gumshoe business, it makes him the perfect candidate to investigate a dismemberment-based cult — the ghastly nature of which even Kline can’t foresee. Evenson’s brilliantly economic writing depicts this story in such a way that each sharp, shocking revelation of Last Days does indeed feel like a knife to one of your extremities.

57. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009)

You might not expect the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife to deliver on the creepiness front, but Audrey Niffenegger will outdo your wildest expectations in Her Fearful Symmetry . Julia and Valentina Poole are 20 year-old twins and best friends when they’re told that their aunt has died of cancer. She bequeaths her London apartment to them, on one condition: that Julia and Valentina live in the flat for a year — alone — before selling it. Easy, right? And yet Julia and Valentina are visited by a host of unnerving characters while there… including their aunt, who may not be entirely gone after all.

58. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi (2009)

There’s just something about a seemingly sentient house. If you agree, you’ll surely enjoy White Is for Witching . Four generations of Silver women have lived in the big house in isolated Dover, England. The house has witnessed a lot of history — much of which has been tragic or outright horrific — and seems to cope by working mischief. Check it out for a modern take on Gothic horror.

59. Mr Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett (2010)

The widespread and severe poverty created by the Great Depression has carried thousands of people to the American railroad system, desperately looking for work. But one more has been driven by more than just poverty — he’s on revenge-fueled journey, and will not rest until he makes one Mr. Shivers pay for the brutal murder of his daughter. Mr. Shivers tells his horrifying tale of vengeance.

60. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (2010)

One of the eeriest ghost stories in recent memory, Dark Matter tracks a five-man expedition to a remote part of the Arctic, where there is no sunlight whatsoever for months during the “polar winter.” All the men are optimistic going into the expedition; it’s only when they get there that they realize something is terribly, terribly wrong. And not only will they have to get to the bottom of it if they want to survive, they also have to do it in complete and utter darkness.

61. Feed by Mira Grant (2010)

The Rising: the moment when the world froze in horror and watched as the dead came back to life, driven by genetically engineered viruses. The infected move with only one motivation in mind: to feed. Now it’s twenty years later and two journalists are determined to uncover the truth behind the origins of the catastrophe. More than a zombie horror novel, this blockbuster work transcends the form to ask serious questions of politics, power, and the right to information.

62. The Passage by Justin Cronin (2010)

In The Passage , a governmental experiment to develop an immunity-boosting drug based on a South American bat goes horribly wrong. Suddenly the world is dealing with a highly contagious virus that turns people into vampire-like beings — beings that are always on the hunt for fresh blood. At the center of it all is Amy, a young girl abandoned in a terrifying world, and the key to saving humanity.

63. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (2011)

One of National Public Radio’s Top 5 YA Novels of 2011, this highly unusual and vividly imagined horror story centers around Cas Lowood, an exorcist’s son who carries on his father’s legacy by expertly killing ghosts. But when Cas sets off to vanquish a violent spirit known by the locals as “Anna Dressed in Blood,” he has no idea what he’s getting himself into — especially when Anna starts communicating with him, spilling the secrets of her past.

64. Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman (2011)

In Those Across the River , failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife move to the sleepy Georgian town of Whitbrow. There, Frank intends to write about the history of his family’s old estate and the horrors that took place there. But as Frank knows, history is not easily forgotten — and under the small-town charm and southern hospitality lurks an unspoken presence that has been waiting for a debt of blood to be paid.

65. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (2011)

This sexy thriller centers on Jacob Marlowe, a werewolf with class: he reads Kant, drinks Scotch, and enjoys all means of modern sophistication. However (like so many intellectuals), he’s also undergoing an existential crisis: Jacob has to kill and eat a person every time there’s a full moon, and he doesn’t want to do it anymore. Fully prepared to commit suicide, he’s stopped in his tracks when he learns one of his friends has been murdered, and embarks on a path of fatal vengeance — which, ironically, just might give him a reason to live again.

66. Zone One by Colson Whitehead (2011)

The pandemic that wreaked havoc on Earth is finally starting to subside, and the first goal for civilization is to start rebuilding Manhattan, aka Zone One . In order to do so, they need to start by getting rid of those who have been infected but not yet died, aka zombies. But what seems like a fairly straightforward first step in reclaiming the Big Apple is about to take an (even more) chilling turn.

67. The Croning by Laird Barron (2012)

Fans of H.P Lovecraft and Richard Matheson, this one’s for you. In The Croning , Laird Barron has crafted a weird horror story for the ages: one in which affable geologist Donald Miller discovers dark things existing in the shadows of our vision… and savage secrets about his family that will make him re-examine everything that he thought he knew. Creepy and atmospheric, this novel from the rising star of cosmic horror will make you understand that we are all Children of the Old Leech.

68. The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle (2012)

New Hyde Hospital has a psychiatric ward that keeps its patients up in the evenings: they claim that a hungry monster prowls the hallways at night. According to them, it has the body of an old man and the head of a bison. And Pepper, the newest resident who was falsely accused of mental illness, is about to meet it for himself. Victor Lavalle knocks it out of the park again in this riveting read in which the most horrifying thing might not even be the horrifying Devil in Silver — but your own mind.

69. The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan (2012)

Caitlin R. Kiernan is one of the finest horror writers out there when it comes to blending the gothic and the fantastic. She elevates her game even more with this ghost story about India Morgan Phelps, a schizophrenic girl who one day picks up Eve Canning on the street — and who, in turn, might be a werewolf, mermaid, or siren. Kiernan is one of the rare authors who can up the suspense quotient to insane levels while writing about mental illness with the sensitivity that it deserves.

70. Fiend by Peter Stenson (2013)

A zombie apocalypse novel with a twist, Fiend presents a universe where the people turned into zombies are the ones who aren’t crystal meth junkies. For some reason, meth has granted Chase and his friends against the plague. More than anything else, it almost seems like a second chance… but as the excuse to continue using meth presents itself, Chase starts to question what separates him from the zombies.

71. Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (2013)

Countless monsters inspired by Frankenstein have cropped up in the 200 years since Mary Shelley first published her seminal novel, but none have come closer to recreating the surrealist terror than Frankenstein in Baghdad . Black humor and true fright clash in Ahmen Saadaw’s chilling retelling about a man named Hadi who aimlessly stitches together the body parts that he finds on the streets of Baghdad. It’s then that a wave of brutal murders begins to overwhelm the city… and Hadi realizes at the same time that his corpse has gone missing.

72. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (2013)

The town of Black Spring, New York is haunted — not just by any old ghost, but by a centuries-old entity called the Black Rock Witch. She roams Black Spring with her eyes and mouth sewn shut, vestiges of when she was first put to death for her crimes. And even as the townspeople (who are cursed to remain in Black Spring forever) put practical measures in place to avoid her — such as a mobile app to keep track of her movements — her wrath cannot be quashed. This supremely scary mashup of both old-school witch hunting and the consequences of new-age technology is perfect for fans of Black Mirror and Robert Eggers’ The Witch alike.

73. Night Film by Marisha Pessl (2013)

Night Film stars Stanislaus Cordova, a reclusive cult-horror film director who hasn’t been seen in public for over thirty years. His daughter, 24-year old Ashley Cordova, has just been found dead in an abandoned warehouse — and while her death has been ruled a suicide, investigative journalist Scott McGrath isn’t buying it. Especially when another strange death connected to the Cordovas occurs shortly after. Scott is now on a mission to uncover and expose the family’s deadly secrets.

74. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (2013)

The Kings of Maine are thoroughly represented on this list — and with good reason. Having established his own reputation with Heart-Shaped Box and Horns , Joe Hill’s third novel contains countless nods to his father’s works while also leaning on his own brand of chilling prose. The book opens with Vic McQueen, a girl with an ability to magically create bridges to things she’s looking for — a talent that brings her into contact with a serial killer with a penchant for abducting children.

75. The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher (2013)

A paranormal take on western fiction, The Six-Gun Tarot takes place in 1869 Nevada, in a tiny desert cattle town called Golgotha. The residents of Golgotha are no stranger to the supernatural — the mayor is guarding a hoard of mythical creatures, a banker’s wife is part of a secret order of assassins, and the town deputy is half human, half coyote. But what’s really strange about this town is the abandoned silver mine, out of which an ancient evil seems to be spilling. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Deadwood , the Golgotha series is for you.

76. Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (2014)

Described as a “nightmare come to life,” Fever Dream will grip you in the throes of a dread that lasts for days. A young mother lays dying in the hospital and a boy sits next to her bedside — only he isn’t her son. Indeed, this story about broken souls and family unraveling might just shake you to the core. Note that Fever Dream was originally written in Spanish by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin, but this English translation is no less unsettling, disturbing, and electric.

77. The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith (2014)

Based on traditional Vietnamese ghost stories, The Frangipani Hotel is a fantastical collection of short stories that functions on another level as a meditation on the lasting legacy of the Vietnam War. From beautiful women who’re oddly attached to bathtubs to truck drivers who pick up mysterious hitchhikers, the short stories never stray far away from the supernatural that lurks in the shadows nearby.

78. Bird Box by Josh Malerman (2014)

Recent memes notwithstanding , the original source of the Netflix film Bird Box was none other than this innovative work by Josh Malerman. In the book version, something has arrived on the scene, and no one knows what it is, how it got there, or why it’s targeting civilians: all they know is that its appearance drives people mad with violence, leading them to attack others and commit suicide. Mother of two, Malorie must decide whether to keep her young children enshrouded in darkness for all their days, or risk all of them dying at the hands of “The Problem” in order to find a better shelter.

79. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (2014)

No matter how many Greek myths you’ve read, there’s no way to prepare for the broken monsters that Beukes puts on display in this book. The creature that catalyzes the action of this book is a malformed half-deer, half-human hybrid that Detective Gabriella Versado finds dead in an abandoned warehouse — and if you can believe it, things only get more upsetting from there. Versado is set on tracking down the perpetrator of this grotesque science experiment, but that doesn’t mean she’s happy with what she finds.

80. Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest (2014)

Few American figures have taken on such mythical status as Lizzie Borden, the woman tried and acquitted for murdering her parents with an ax. This fantastical, Lovecraftian take on the urban legend sees Borden (post-acquittal) and her sister take up residence in a seaside manor, only to find an evil spirit bubbling up from the ocean deep.

81. The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley (2014)

Nate is a “storyteller” in a society wherein women have become extinct. As his clan craves more and more details about these women of yore — all of whom died of a mysterious fungal disease — Nate realizes that stories will never be enough. But the men’s wishes for physical manifestations of women turn into a horrific reality when curvaceous mushroom-like creatures, known as The Beauty , join the tribe and quickly upend the fragile life they’ve built.

82. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (2014)

Ever wondered what it’d be like to get trapped in a haunted IKEA? The characters of Horrorstör know. When furniture store “ORSK” starts experiencing strange acts of vandalism, its employees decide to stay overnight to investigate. Little do they know that, rather than getting to the bottom of the mystery, they’ll be unleashing a reign of terror upon both themselves and their beloved customers…

83. The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman (2014)

In this twisting tale told by self-described unreliable narrator Joey Peacock, the vampires of 1970s NYC have a perfectly organized (if violent) system of getting the sustenance they need. That is, until a group of vampire children appear on the scene — kids who require way more blood than the other vampires to survive, and whose presence will threaten not only the vampiric hierarchy, but also the lives of Joey and his companions. If you thought vampires weren’t afraid of anything, think again…

84. Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville (2015)

The world is a strange place, and humans, perhaps, are strangest of all; this strangeness is the very core of Miéville’s collection. One story begins with the city of London waking up to find icebergs floating in the sky. In another, an anatomy student find intricate designs carved into the bones of a cadaver he is examining. Stranger things follow.

85. Shutter by Courtney Alameda (2015)

In Shutter , Micheline Helsing is one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing family, and is an expert at destroying monsters. One day, a routine ghost hunt goes awry and Michelina finds herself plagued by a curse that spreads “ghost chains” through her body — turning her into one of the very monsters she’s spent her life hunting. Deemed a renegade agent by her own monster-hunting father, she must now find a way to rid herself of the curse before it’s too late.

86. Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (2015)

Violet is a ballet dancer on the cusp of stardom; Oriana was Violet’s friend and once stepped in between Violet and her tormentors in a self-sacrificing act; and Amber has been living in the Aurora Hills juvenile center for so long that she scarcely remembers what it’s like to be free. This suspenseful story is told from two of these perspectives — one living and one dead. But all three women are tied together together through a dark and terrible secret.

87. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (2015)

Is 14 year-old Marjorie Barrett schizophrenic or is she possessed by a demon? This is the question at the heart of the Barretts, an otherwise normal suburban family. When a reality television production company catches wind of Marjorie’s strange condition, they sense a business opportunity — one that Marjorie’s cash-strapped father cannot easily turn down. With each page evoking blood-curling dread, the unraveling of this book’s events become a gripping tale of psychological horror. Winner of the 2015 Bram Stoker Award, A Head Full of Ghosts might just leave you with a head full of fear.

88. Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw (2016)

Cassandra Khaw’s “banging” debut novel takes the traditional detective P.I. story and gives it an appealing Lovecraftian makeover. In this fascinating blend of noir and cosmic horror, private investigator John Persons gets an unexpected client one day — a ten year-old boy who asks Persons to murder his stepfather. As Persons delves deeper into the case, he realizes that his subject might not actually be human. But that’s fine, because Persons isn’t all that he appears to be, either. As the saying goes, it sometimes takes a monster to kill a monster.

89. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (2016)

Lovecraft Country breaks down the complexities of American racism in the mid-twentieth century, and how Lovecraft himself was complicit in that racism. Our hero, Atticus Turner, is a young black man who must seek out his missing father, facing countless horrors along the way — both to do with the color of his skin and mysterious, mythological threats that seem to have escaped the pulp fiction he reads. The closely related nature of these two elements becomes more and more clear over the course of Ruff’s book, and the shocking twist at the end will ensure that you never see Lovecraft (or America) in the same way again.

90. Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones (2016)

The unnamed young narrator of Mongrels faces an unusual quandary: while he’s aware that he carries the werewolf gene, he has no idea whether or not it will come to fruition. As a mongrel, he lives life in limbo, uncertain of his destiny, constantly being shuttled around. This werewolf bildungsroman of sorts is pretty much the only one of its kind, and Jones' sharp, moving prose will have you sympathizing with monsters (or almost-monsters) in a way you never thought you could.

91. Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez (2016)

Fans of the macabre should be sure to add this collection to their list of best horror books of all time. In Argentina, violence and corruption are the laws of the land for people who vividly remember recent military dictatorships and masses of disappeared citizens. Within these fiercely disturbing stories, three young friends distract themselves with drugs in the middle of a government-enforced blackout, and encounter dark supernatural forces themselves.

92. The Changeling by Victor LaValle (2017)

Fairy tale meets horror in Victor Lavalle’s critically acclaimed The Changeling . Apollo Kagwa’s life is full of disappearances — first, his father goes missing when he is four. Then his wife vanishes, right after she commits a terrible act of violence. Now Apollo must journey through a dark underworld to bring back a family that he might not have really known in the first place. Be warned: this is a novel where nightmares lurk in every nook and eeriness is perpetual, right up until the terrifying crescendo of a climax.

93. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (2017)

Named after the recurring catchphrase of all Scooby-Doo villains, this comic horror novel finds the members of a worryingly young detective team reunited in their twenties to reinvestigate an unsolved mystery. Pitched by the author as “Enid Blyton meets H.P. Lovecraft”, Cantero’s novel has also been compared to Stranger Things and Stephen King’s It , as his young protagonists face off against a danger that’s somewhat more menacing than an old prospector in a rubber mask.

94. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (2017)

Called a “love letter to an obstinate genre that won’t be gentrified,” Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection was heralded when it was published. And it’s easy to see why: Machado deftly stretches the borders of horror, as evidenced in “The Husband Stitch” (a retelling of “The Green Ribbon” in which the wife refuses her husband’s pleas to remove a green ribbon around her neck) and “The Resident” (in which a writer’s time in the mountains goes horribly wrong). It’s a book that seriously examines the pre-set narratives that women are forced to live and breathe in society. And it’s a must-read for anyone who’s tired of heteronormativity in horror.

95. Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys (2017)

In this homage to his cosmic horror, Lovecraft’s Deep Ones are brought to life, and the government isn’t a fan. In 1928, Deep One Aphra and her family are captured and banished to the desert… until the government becomes certain that Russians is attempting to win the Cold War with dark magic. With the promise she will help the people that stole her community’s way of life, Aphra returns home to contend with her lost past, and a potentially dark looming future.

96. The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell (2017)

The Silent Companions combines spine-chilling thrills with compelling characterization. When her husband dies just weeks after their wedding, Elsie feels more alone than ever. This is made worse by the fact that her new servants are resentful and the local villagers are openly hostile towards Elsie; she starts to believe her only companionship will come from her husband’s awkward cousin. Until she opens a locked door and finds a painted wooden figure that not only bears uncanny resemblance to Elsie, but also seems to be watching her...

97. The Grip of It by Jac Jemc (2017)

You probably know of couples like James and Julie: young and optimistic, they’re looking to leave behind their home in the city to get a fresh start in the country. But something is amiss with their new house. The air becomes suffocating. Children’s voices are heard, but the children themselves are never seen. The forest seems closer than it was before. And the stains on the walls are somehow appearing mapped as bruises on Julie’s body… to say too much is to ruin the impact of this novel, but rest assured that you will get a full night’s worth of terror when you pick it up.

98. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (2018)

When the dead start walking on the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, the fate of the nation suddenly doesn’t seem quite so important anymore. As the country is thrown into disarray and scrambles to erect combat schools to learn how to put down the dead, Jane McKeene studies to become an Attendant to protect rich white people… but her true motives are much more revolutionary. Jane is indeed the star of this stunning alternate history novel: a black zombie hunter who defies society’s expectations, fighting against a conspiracy that threatens to overwhelm all of America.

99. The Hunger by Alma Katsu (2018)

The Hunger will have you on the very edge of your seat with its story of a group of travelers who are slowly unraveling. Not only do they face obstacle after obstacle of basic bad luck — low food rations, freezing weather, and a general predilection to take every wrong turn — but there also seems to be something darker, even more menacing, lurking in the mountains. And is it their imaginations, or does it all seem to be linked to beautiful, mysterious Tamsen Donner? You may have heard of the Donner Party before, but not like this: Katsu’s historical horror novel will cast both the people and the situation in a whole new, terrifying light.

100. Obscura by Joe Hart (2018)

This incisive work from Joe Hart demonstrates that new horror can be just as thrilling as classic. Obscura speculates about a near-future in which dementia afflicts people of all ages, rendering scientists and doctors powerless to even try and stop it. Dr. Gillian Ryan, who’s still of sound mind, determines that she will travel to a space station to gather unique data points that could help her cure the disease… not knowing that in embarking on this mission, she’s only putting herself in more danger, and not necessarily from the ravages of the disease.

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Ghosts With the Most: 8 Great Haunted Books

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Liberty Hardy

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

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This list of books about ghosts is sponsored by Tor Books .

ghost book read

Let’s (see-through) face it: there are a lot of ghosts in literature. Both good and bad ghosts. There’s Hamlet’s dad, Nearly Headless Nick, and a whole bunch of them in A Christmas Carol . They are not on this list of books about ghosts, but they still get props.

I love scary books . It takes a lot to scare me. I really like ghost stories! I have a few favorite ghosts, including the kitten ghosts in Her Fearful Symmetry  and the sister’s ghost in Beloved . And below I have several novels I love that happen to feature ghosts.

There’s also a lot of books I would love to add to this list, but telling you they had a ghost would be a spoiler. I will say, if you want to read a creepy early example of horror, pick up Wieland: or, The Transformation: An American Tale . It’s widely (wiedly?) considered the first American gothic novel. But I won’t tell you if it has a ghost or not.

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Here are eight books that most definitely do have ghosts!

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

One of the most famous ghost novels of all time, with good reason. Jackson was an expert of creep, the queen of the unsettling. The novel is about four strangers who stay at Hill House for various reasons, but will all be subjected to the spooky that resides there. GULP. I do want to see the Netflix series based on the novel that came out last year. And I do not recommend the 1999 film with Owen Wilson and Catherine Zeta-Jones that is based on the novel.

Ring by Koji Suzuki, translated by Glynne Walley

Despite the fact that this series has been a HUGE bestseller in Japan, a lot of people still don’t realize that those spooky movies with the creepy girl who climbs out of the television are based on a book. Remember those? Where whoever watches the video tape is cursed and will die unless they do something horrible? And hey, remember videotapes?

I Remember You: A Ghost Story by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, translated by Philip Roughton

This book is effed up AND scary. It’s two stories: One is about three friends who have purchased an abandoned house on an island. They plan on converting into a B&B. Nothing spooky about that, right?? The other story is about a doctor whose son has been missing for a long time. Then he receives a call from the police: they’ve just found the body of an elderly woman and she mentions his son in her note. That’s not spooky, either, right??? Eventually, the two stories will meet, which means double spooky. I do recommend the adaptation of this one. I thought they did a great job.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

An aging rock star buys a haunted suit off the internet. Yes, he 100% deserves everything he gets for doing that, but it’s still fun to watch him get it. The ghost is going to chase him across the country until he figures out how to put it to rest. I remember reading this book in the middle of the night and being scared out of my wits when my cat suddenly jumped up on my bed. Lulz, cats.

The Good House by Tananarive Due

In this novel, Angela moves into her grandmother’s home, called The Good House. But it is anything but good. Turns out, her grandmother was a healer who expelled spirits from a cursed woman seven decades earlier. The spirits really didn’t appreciate her taking away their toy, so they’ve been waiting to get revenge. Which they do, in the form of Angela’s teen son. Two years later, she returns to the house to settle the score.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

It really doesn’t seem fair that Matheson has one of the best vampire novels and one of the best ghost novels, but here we are. A wealthy magazine and newspaper publisher offers a physicist and two mediums $100,000 each to prove there’s life after death. So they go to a supposedly haunted house in Maine. (Maine is the setting for a lot of spooky books, because we’re weird here, for sure.) The house is nicknamed Hell House, and they’re about to find out why. (Spoiler: It’s not because it’s a friendly happy place.)

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Ohhhhhhh, how I love this one. It’s huge and scary and gothic. It also has one of those endings you will immediately need to discuss with someone. It’s about a country doctor who is called to a former stately mansion to assist a sick servant. He becomes friendly with the family, and learns they have had several spooky encounters recently. Like, REALLY unhappy ghosts. I loved it! I even have a line from this novel tattooed on my arm: “What a punishing business it is, simply being alive.” That’s the truth, Ruth. I have not seen the recent adaptation yet, but I hope to watch it soon!

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

This one is soon to be a Netflix series. It’s about a woman in China in the 19th century. With no dowry or marriage prospects, she accepts a family’s offer to wed their dead son, so his spirit will be at peace. But when you purposefully seek out spirits, you are sure to get spirits. She becomes involved with two men, one alive and one dead, and learns all about the Chinese world of the dead.

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  • Quiz: Which 2019 Horror Book Should You Read?
  • 10 Creepy, Captivating Horror Poetry Collections
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ghost book read

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35 Seriously Creepy & Spooky Books For Adults

Are you looking for seriously spooky books for adults? Uncover favorite creepy books guaranteed to keep you awake at night.

Stinky farting unicorns, zombie teenagers, true crime podcasts, murderous obsessions, ghosts, and folktales gone grim.

From graphic novels and translated literature to fantasy and nonfiction, these are just a few of the themes that await the brave reader on this seriously spooky novels reading list.

We dare you to pick up one of these horror books for adults late at night alone in the house.

Dim the lights, light a few candles, and try not to be terrified out of your mind. Heck, we need a glass of wine just thinking about it.

This eclectic spooky books reading list is also perfect for Halloween, October, or the fall. Find something for every type of reader.

Uncover the newest suspense novels, vampire books, and even a few psychological thrillers. We love our creepy classics and riveting and popular ghost and haunted house books.

Plus, our favorite bloggers, bookstagrammers, and authors brainstormed to share their top creepy books for adults.

Lastly, find horrifyingly scary books for adults and teens that still sit on the milder side.

So, what are the best spooky books according to the TUL community? What are your personal favorite spooky reads?

Be sure to tell us in the comments, and let’s get started!

Love scary books and paranormal stories? You might cackle for these wickedly witchy books .

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P.S. A few ways to read these creepy novels:

  • Audible Plus : From Amazon, listen to Amazon Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks. They add new titles every week.
  • Book of the Month : Get the month’s hottest new and upcoming titles from Book of the Month. You might snag an early release or debut author. Along with selecting a book a month, find terrific add-ons, both trendy and lesser-known titles.
  • Amazon Prime Video – Stream thousands of ad-free movies and TV series on demand with Prime Video.
  • Express VPN – Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allows you to view movies worldwide – and they help keep your information safe. Our writers couldn’t have such diverse film reviews without using a VPN.

Table of Contents

Seriously Spooky Books For Adults: Thrilling & Chilling Mysteries

2021 spooky murder mysteries, The Maidens by Alex Michaelides book cover

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Literary Cult Fiction Featuring Greek Mythology & Set In The UK (Cambridge)

Don’t miss one of the most anticipated 2021 murder mysteries and spooky books, The Maidens . You may recognize Michaelides from his popular debut, The Silent Patient .

If you seek out horror books on cults, crave Greek mythology , and love dark academia , this one is for you. Michaelides is best known for his signature surprise and twisted endings.

A novel set mostly at Cambridge, watch as a group of impressionable young women hang on a handsome professor’s every word.

When these young undergrads end up brutally murdered, one by one – just like the Greek tragedies that they are studying – the murderer seems quite obvious. Yet, something is off.

As Mariana fights to overcome the death of her husband in Naxos – a man she idolized – she can’t help but think that she is cursed. Others question her sanity.

Can Mariana solve the mystery before the murderer comes for her?

This is a nail-biting and fast-paced mystery. Some were disappointed by the ending, but not us. Amazon | Goodreads

2021 creepy books, We Were Never Here by  Andrea Bartz book cover with rainbow title and palm trees in dark background

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

Michigan, Chile, & Cambodia Suspense Novel

In one of the newer creepy books (2021), head to Cambodia and Chile for one deadly good time.

Best friends Emily and Kristen are adventurous travelers, but men always end up dead in their path.

Are these truly random accidents of self-defense, and will these women get caught?

Back home in Wisconsin, Emily starts to question why Kristen’s life is filled with so much tragedy and death, including her parent’s demise in a home fire. Kristen’s grandparents seem pretty on edge, too.

Full of chilling suspense, watch as Kristen manipulates Emily and her new beau while slowly putting together all of the pieces.

What’s going on here? And is someone else about to die? Spoiler: the answer is YES.

Although you might find some parts of We Were Never Here a bit slow and not quite tidied up, the last lines of this suspenseful novel will get you.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good book on toxic and deadly friendships in the fall? Witness the long-term effects of childhood trauma at their worst, too. Amazon | Goodreads

Best horror books The Ring by Koji Suzuki red book cover with lines yielding into a circle

Ring by Koji Suzuki

Translated to English by Robert B. Rohmer and Glynne Walley | Creepy Book Set In Japan

If you are looking for scary books for adults that are also movies, don’t skip Ring , a deadly murder mystery.

A cursed videotape lands at an unsuspecting viewer’s home.  If a certain, unknown act is not performed, the viewers die from heart attacks. And die they do.

After his own niece falls victim to the tapes, journalist Asakawa decides to investigate. 

Finding hidden messages in the tape, Asakawa heads out across Japan for answers that appear related to a disappearing woman. 

Unless Asakawa figures out how to stop the curse, more will die.  Is he immune to the consequences of the tape ?

Ring is a contemporary classic and Japanese horror book for adults . Amazon | Goodreads

Also, don’t miss Ringu, the Japanese movie version.

Creepy book and 2020 murder mystery, Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane book cover with blurred white woman's face

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Murder Mystery & Thriller Set In Ithaca, New York

We don’t recommend reading Pretty Little Wife right before bed… This is a fast-paced, creepy thriller that didn’t leave us with the most soothing dreams at night.

If you enjoy true crime podcasts, eerie feminist revenge, and dysfunctional families, we think you’ll speed-read through Pretty Little Wife , one of the best creepy books of 2020.

Head to Ithaca, New York where it’s pretty clear that ice queen Lila Ridgefield offed her scumbag husband, Aaron. However, the police cannot prove it.

Both Lila and Aaron grew up drowning in trauma and tragedy. Unfortunately for Lila, her scheme doesn’t go quite as planned.

Her supposedly dead husband is MIA. Is he alive? And more importantly, is he coming for her?

While you are waiting for Aaron to pop up in the shadows of their house, the story grows darker. Something more sinister is in the backdrop as police have also been searching for missing college students.

We are still shivering. Lila is the perfect but troubled vigilante hero.

With the goal to emphasize survivors versus predatory men, you’ll find more depth in this thriller than you expected. Amazon | Goodreads

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse book cover with gray hued hotel with mountains behind it

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Murder Mystery Set In Switzerland

Travel to the Swiss Alps in Pearse’s The Sanatorium . For spooky books, this one will leave you with nightmares of people wearing reconfigured gas masks.

Imagine getting trapped by an avalanche at a historic sanatorium – now converted hotel – with a serial killer on the loose.

The former sanatorium has an iffy and secretive past; yet, its architects created a new design laden with the fetishization of the space.

Maybe that’s why the lead architect mysteriously disappeared and is presumed dead…

As Elin and her boyfriend head to the hotel for her somewhat estranged brother’s engagement party, more people end up missing, injured, and dead.

Is her brother connected to the murders? Did he kill their younger brother?

While Elin must battle the demons from her traumatizing past, she’s also faced with finding the killer(s) before they find her.

Uncover even more winter novels to read . Amazon | Goodreads

Breathless by Amy McCulloch book cover with shadow of person in blue and white snow

Breathless by Amy McCulloch

Mountaineering Suspense Thriller Set In Nepal

If you are looking for the best spooky books for hikers , Breathless will take you to the top of the 8th highest peak in the world, Manaslu in Nepal.

A 2022 book release , join journalist Cecily Wong as she attempts to summit this deadly mountain just to score a once-in-a-lifetime interview with mountaineering god, Charles McVeigh.

Why was she invited on this trip when she has little experience as well as a series of mountaineering mishaps behind her?

And, who is lurking outside her tent with that creepy whistle?

With multiple mysterious deaths, the mountains are indeed the perfect place for a killer to hide. Read Breathless : Amazon | Goodreads

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney book cover with house on dark cliff hill with fog and stormy ocean

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Locked-Room Mystery Set Along The Cornish Coast

If you covet locked-room mysteries, Daisy Darker is a creepy fun retelling of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None .

A foreshadowing that Nana will die on her 80 th Birthday, she invites her dislikeable Darker family members to her home on a private island for a final celebration.

When Nana is found dead and family members start dying off one by one, the remaining siblings and their family friend realize that one of them is the killer. But who?

Along with rhyming poems and a famous children’s book, the killer could be anyone.  All of these people are pretty wretched, selfish, and – well – total liars.

Although the big reveal isn’t our all-time favorite ending, Daisy Darker is an engrossing and fast-paced mystery. You cannot help but deeply enjoy these flawed characters – and their untimely demise.

Sly horror books for adults with grotesque characters don’t get any better than this. Plus, we can never resist books set on islands – remote and tropical.

We also loved Feeney’s Rock Paper Scissors – and she is a must-read author for any creepy books reading list. Amazon | Goodreads

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Murder Mystery Set In Pikeville Submission from Hayley of  Backpacking Bookworm

Don’t be fooled by the title.

For seriously spooky books, The Good Daughter is full of blood, gore, and murder – as in internal body parts from a mother’s gruesome death splattering her children square in the face.

The author does not hold back on psychologically disturbing descriptions. The dark nature pushes the boundaries of typical psychological thrillers, drawing out the horror to create graphic imagery.

Karen Slaughter’s The Good Daughter is a turbulent family drama following the Quinn family.

The first part of the book reveals the harrowing murder of Gamma witnessed by her two daughters, Samantha and Charlotte.

They are helpless in trying to save her, as their father is a successful defense lawyer with plenty of local enemies.

The second part of the book is set 28 years later when Charlotte, now a successful defense lawyer, is first on the scene of a school shooting.

The culprit is a teenage girl who is quite clearly holding the gun that killed two people.

Charlotte knows there is always more. With the help of her father and begrudging sister, they must work against the clock to help the vulnerable teen.

They also must still face the unspoken demons lingering from the events 28 years previous. Amazon | Goodreads

2020 scary books for adults, The Girl From Widow Hills Megan Miranda book cover with golden hair floating in blue water

The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Psychological Thriller & Suspense Set In North Carolina & Kentucky

Olivia is trying to move on from her infamous past by starting over in North Carolina.

It’s the 20-year anniversary of her well-known sewer drain rescue, an occasion that has transformed her life for both good and bad.

When Olivia trips over a body in her yard during a sleepwalking episode, she realizes NC won’t be the escape she hoped for. Now a suspect, is someone trying to send Olivia a message?

The clues are everything in this mystery and thriller, and as for creepy books, this one will have your heart racing.  Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Book Information→

Save The Best Creepy Books For Adults For Later:

Scary Books For Adults Pinterest Pin with book covers for The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, The Exorcist by William Beatty, Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, Come Closer by Sara Gran, The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter, and Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Mystery Book Set In Vermont | Ghost Thrillers

If you love creepy books with haunted houses and Ouija boards, don’t miss Home Before Dark  by Riley Sager.

With Maggie’s father’s recent death, she must reconcile her childhood haunted house, Baneberry Hall. Her father’s bestselling book about the home changed all of their lives, mostly for the worst.

Did Maggie’s father lie about the paranormal occurrences at Baneberry just to make money?  Or was he hiding something more sinister?  

Against her mother’s wishes, Maggie returns to the haunted house, even though it foreshadowed her imminent death on the property. Will Maggie come out alive?

This spooky book will have you looking in your dresser before bed…

Home Before Dark is also one of our favorite ghost books for adults on this list. Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Book Information→

2020 Spooky Books, The Guest List Lucy Foley book cover with mansion on an island in the rain

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Whodunit Mystery Set In Ireland

One of the best fun and light spooky books of 2020 , we loved The Guest List  by Lucy Foley.

Set on a haunted island off the shores of Connemara, Ireland , watch spoiled frat boys fall apart.

If you love Agatha Christie novels, you’ll enjoy  The Guest List , which has a little comedic relief too.

The story begins with the discovery of a dead body during yuppie AF wedding festivities. All of the guests are extremely vile, rich snobs.

The ushers grew up together in a weird cult-like prep school filled with secrets and lingering immaturity.

The women have destructive relationships with the men in their lives. Everyone has secrets and a motive…

For books set at hotels , this one will make you rethink your accommodations.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good wedding suspense novel ? Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Book Information→

Seriously Creepy Books: Psychological Thrillers & Suspense Novels

2020 Creepy books and thrillers, Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel pink book cover with gray and black butterfly

Darling Rose Gold By Stephanie Wrobel

Women’s Psychological Thriller & 2020 Debut

Darling Rose Gold is one of our favorite creepy books of 2020 . Talk about dysfunctional families. This novel is also perfect if you are looking to read books with colors in the title .

Poisonous Patty is serving a 5-year prison sentence: she would shave her daughter Rose Gold’s hair, pull her out of school, and convince Rose Gold that she needed a wheelchair.

In reality, though, Patty was poisoning her daughter’s food.

On Patty’s release day, Rose Gold picks her up with a new son in tote. Patty moves in, against everyone’s wishes, and you wonder what the heck Rose Gold is thinking.

From here on out, though, watch a vindictive game unfold. The toxicity and manipulation make Darling Rose Gold one of the best fast-paced thrillers and spooky books of 2020.

You’ll also hate everyone. Amazon  |  Goodreads | Read More→

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd book cover with picture of mom and child on broken phone

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

Social Media Thriller Set In London

People Like Her is an especially creepy book if you are a blogger and Instagrammer. Hello, The Uncorked Librarian .

Thrilling and terrifying, this is one of the most #relevant 2021 books about social media so far.

InstaMom Emmy Jackson is a famous mom influencer. Her popularity isn’t always good, though; she seems to have a revenge-seeking stalker.

Is it because she gives out vomit-worthy, fake advice? Doesn’t practice what she preaches? Is caught making her house look messy to be more ‘relatable?’

Let’s be real, Emmy is a crappy influencer lacking ethics and a soul… We don’t really care for her; she makes the rest of us look really bad.

Emmy doesn’t care, though . She is bringing in 6 to 7-figures and transforming moms’ lives. Until she isn’t… Toxic and unprofessional advice can be deadly.

Told from three perspectives – Emmy’s ‘author’ husband, a spooky stalker, and her own – you’ll wonder how much sympathy you have for Emmy. Everyone in this story is quite detestable.

We are pretty sure you will hate-love People Like Her and will crack up at the hysterical Instagram references.

Unlike Emmy, let’s be real here: We are 200% all-in for #blessed social media-related spooky books. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

Spooky Books Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes book cover with telephone jack

Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Horror Novel Set In The UK | Contribution by Eliza Stopps of Eliza Stopps .

Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst, which gives her terrifying insight into abusive relationships and criminal behavior.

Because of this, In the Darkest Corner is one of the best spooky books and thrillers about a woman whose dream man turns into a nightmare.

Their relationship slowly transforms into something violent and controlling. By the time Catherine finally figures out her ex-boyfriend’s motives, it’s almost too late.

Catherine manages to leave her ex, Lee, and starts to see another man. Just as she starts to feel better, Catherine is forced to question her own sanity.

Strange things start happening around her apartment.

Her spoons are in the wrong spot in the drawer, a curtain pulled to the side when it shouldn’t have been, and the feeling that someone is always watching her… Amazon | Goodreads

Scary books for adults, The Safe Place by Anna Downes book cover with blue pool and lounge chairs facing the ocean

The Safe Place by Anna Downes

Psychological Thriller Set In England and France

If you are looking for spooky books that start out “normal,” don’t miss  The Safe Place  by Anna Downes. Wine by the pool never looked so manipulating.

Emily’s life is a wreck, making her an easy target to CEO Scott Denny. Scott preys on Emily’s weaknesses, offering her a dreamy nanny/housekeeper position in France.

Heading to a secluded mansion where Scott’s wife and sick daughter live, Emily begins to see all of the red flags. Of course, she ignores them until it’s too late.

Eerie and mysterious, you will frantically turn the pages of this dark debut.

Will Emily get out alive? Why the isolation, misery, and secrets? Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Book Information→

Best spooky books like Come Closer by Sara Gran book cover with white brunette woman's face covered in splattered blood

Come Closer by Sara Gran

Scary Novel Set In New York | Submission by Jessica of We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone

Come Closer by Sara Gran is an incisive look at the dangers of ignoring your true nature and trying to mold yourself into the kind of person you think you should be.

It’s also one of the best scary books for adults about demonic possession.

Amanda has a steady job and a sensible marriage.  She even owns the stylish loft that she dreamed of.

To achieve this, though, Amanda has incrementally erased who she is at her core.

When strange things start happening and Amanda notices changes in her personality, she chalks them up as signs that she is becoming herself again.

The demon who has claimed her has far more insidious goals. Amanda’s behavior shifts from unusual to alarming and then downright terrifying.

The fact that the early parts of the book are so relatable makes you wonder if the same thing could happen to you.

If, like Amanda, you hear mysterious scratching in your walls and start having nightmares about oceans of blood, find yourself an expert in demonology. Fast. Amazon | Goodreads

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin book cover with waves breaking on a beach with half woman's face

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Psychological Thriller Set In North Carolina

One of the most talked-about spooky books of 2020 includes Megan Goldin’s  The Night Swim . Who knew so many creepy books took place in North Carolina ?

Rachel Krall, a true crime podcaster, has a reputation for inadvertently solving murders and affecting trial outcomes. Some judges and lawyers despise her.

With a successful podcast and die-hard fans, listeners seek out Rachel’s help and coverage of their stories.

Rachel heads to smalltown North Carolina for a sexual assault trial when she learns about an unsolved death that is seemingly not an accident.

Caught up in the drama of both cases, Rachel risks her life for her passion and to help the victims.

This spooky book will keep you guessing and places readers in the jury box…

We loved the relevancy of podcasting and blogging as well as the appeal of our trending true crime fascination. Are you a Murderino?   Amazon  |  Goodreads | Book Information→

Creepy book set in Long Island, Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam book cover with diving board and pool

Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Thriller & Suspense Novel Set In Long Island

Are you ready for one of our favorite suspense novels with a slow-burn plot and limited action? Leave The World Behind is a seriously creepy book and thriller.

Alam’s vocabulary and mastery of repetition fascinated us. Be sure to read this spooky book to prep for the SATs.

Alam draws readers into his characters through their honest revelations and flaws. Everything and everyone is a (dreadful) mystery.

By the end, readers understand that this is a story about life, living, and inevitable death. The blackout in NYC is an intense metaphor.

The ‘plot:’ Amanda and Clay rent an Airbnb on Long Island for their vacation. When the older owners randomly return, they warn them that there is a devastating blackout in the city.

Ruth and H.G. want their second home back early and end up staying with their temporary tenants who, quite frankly, disgust them. They disgust us, too…

With no cell phone reception or cable, Amanda and Clay along with their two children are at a loss of what to believe. Can we survive without technology?

In the course of just a few days, a haunting tale unfolds questioning how we live, what we rely upon, privilege, and human nature.

We personally think Alam despises us all – with some hope in our children – and we were all here for it. Amazon  |  Goodreads | Book Information→

The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware book cover with boat port hole and rainy sea

The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Thriller Set On A Boat

If you are looking for scary books for adults and like Agatha Christie you’ll enjoy any of Ruth Ware’s spooky titles.

Lo Blacklock writes for a travel magazine and has been invited out on a luxury cruise. One evening, Lo insists that she hears a woman being thrown overboard.

None of the guests appear to be missing or perturbed, though, and as Lo investigates, she begins to find that her gorgeous cruise is a fancy nightmare.

The Woman In Cabin 10 makes for a fantastic murder mystery if you covet books set on boats . Amazon | Goodreads

Infamously Scary Books For Adults

Seriously spooky books for adults The Shining By Stephen King gray book cover with eyes

The Shining by Stephen King

Spooky Book Set In Colorado

If you are looking for popular and seriously spooky books for adults and love haunted houses, you definitely want to check out anything written by Stephen King. 

Find creepy clowns (especially on our 1980s reading list ), pet cemeteries, and high school blood baths.

In The Shining, welcome to the Colorado Rockies, home to the Overlook Hotel resort.  Sounds pretty safe, right?!

An infamous horror novel, meet recovering alcoholic and writer, Jack Torrance. 

With the acceptance of an off-season position as a caretaker for the hotel, Jack and his family move onto the resort grounds.

Jack’s son, Danny, possesses ‘special’ abilities unbeknownst to his parents along with the chef. 

Weird and deadly occurrences start happening at the hotel. 

Grab a copy of this scary AF book to see who survives, and uncover even more popular ’70s books . Amazon | Goodreads

P.S. Be sure to watch the hotel-set movie too; it’s one of the most iconic hotel horror movies of all time.

Best Horror Books Ever The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty book cover with red glowing face of a woman

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Terrifying Book Set In Washington, D.C. | Submission by Becca

Talking about one of the best scary books for adults, The Exorcist   by William Peter Blatty tells the horrifying story of young Regan MacNeil as she   literally   battles her demons.

While Regan’s famous actress mother, Chris MacNeil, works on her next big film, strange and poltergeist-esque activities begin wreaking havoc in the MacNeil household.

Regan starts displaying   psychological and physical symptoms, landing her in multiple psychiatric and medical treatments.

With no success, Chris MacNeil turns to a local Jesuit priest, Father Damien Karras, for assistance.

The Exorcist has been remade over and over again for the big screen, including a new 2023 movie release . Amazon | Goodreads

Gothic Horror & Historical Fiction Spooky Books

Gothic horror 2020 books, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia book cover with Mexican woman wearing a maroon dress holding flowers

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Gothic Horror Set In Mexico

One of the hottest creepy books of 2020, head to the 1950s and the Mexican countryside in Mexican Gothic . Noemí Taboada receives an upsetting letter from her cousin at High Place.

Catalina believes that the walls are filled with ghosts and deadly secrets.

Is it just the drab atmosphere that is making Catalina and now Noemí feel ill, or is something more sinister at play?  This home is alive with death.

The details in Mexican Gothic are dazzling with gore and brilliant golden darkness, making this one of the best new scary books for adults.

Feminists will cheer for the cousins along with lovers of historical gothic fiction and horror.

If you covet haunted houses, this is one of the best contemporary ghost books for adults as well as a fabulous novel set in Mexico .   Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Book Information→

Spooky books for adults Perfume by Patrick Suskind yellow, orange, and red book cover with naked person swaying

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

Translated by John E. Woods | Horror Book Set In Paris | Submission by Jella of Asiana Circus

Perfume is not your everyday thriller, and unlike the other creepy books on this fall reading list, it doesn’t have a lot of blood or a cruel and crazy serial killer.

However,  Perfume has a perfectly characterized, curious antihero, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille.

Born into the slums of 18th-century Paris, Jean-Baptiste’s mother leaves him to die in the middle of the fish market. Despite the low chances of survival, his loud crying saves his life.

Jean-Baptiste lives a tormented and emotionless life until he finds his passion: scents and perfume-making.

Since he cannot connect with people, Jean-Baptiste decides to create a fragrance so perfect that it makes him instantly lovable.

His newfound passion quickly turns into an obsession that will lead him to commit multiple murders. Read more Paris books . Amazon | Goodreads

Spooky books for adults and teens Cauldron's Bubble book cover with cauldron on a fire

Cauldron’s Bubble by Amber Elby

Spooky Book Set In Shakespearean Time | Submission by the author, Amber, of Amber Elby

Witches? Check. Ghosts? Check. Magic? Check. Candy? Well, it’s BYO, so check your cupboards. What more could you want for spooky books for YA-loving adults?  How about a dash of Shakespeare, too?

Cauldron’s Bubble is a fast-paced adventure novel that integrates stories from Bard’s plays with original characters in a new, fantastical world.

Join Alda, a teenage orphan who just learned that she may or may not be a witch as she is whisked into a magical realm of sorcery, spirits, and nymphs. 

On the other side of the world, a cabin boy called Dreng helps a mysterious Danish prince escape from pirates before being shipwrecked on an enchanted island. 

The two come together to combat an evil sorcerer and save their realities, and themselves.

Although Cauldron’s Bubble can be read and enjoyed by young adults, it is edgy and nuanced enough to satisfy more mature tastes looking for creepy books to read that are much lighter.

Along the way, readers will meet characters from Macbeth ,  Hamlet , and  The Tempest , so new and established Shakespeare fans will have something to enjoy. Amazon | Goodreads

If you love magic and spells, don’t miss our witchy reading list , too.

Best Creepy Books For Classic Lovers

Creepy Classics Frankenstein by Mary Shelley book cover with face of green monster that almost looks human

Frankenstein By Mary Shelley

Creepy Classic Set In Switzerland

We all know about this wacky and grotesque science experiment gone wrong. 

Truly one of the best spooky books with a strong moral, watch as an effort to cheat death goes completely awry. 

When Victor creates a Creature that he can no longer handle or contain, he decides to abandon him.

The lonely Creature learns to take on true human capabilities but is consistently shunned by society.  Ultimately, the Creature decides to take revenge on his maker and tormentors.  

Frankenstein  is one of our favorite creepy books to read around Halloween. Discover even more great monster books for adults . Amazon | Goodreads

Scary Books For adults Dracula by Bran Stoker red book cover with path leading up to Dracula Castle

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Spooky Classic Set In Transylvania (historic Romania) & England

Dracula is one of the best classic vampire books . Going door to door for sales is always a risky business, especially when Jonathan Harker finds himself at Count Dracula’s castle. 

Inside, phantom women roam the dark halls. Jonathan even witnesses the Count transform from a human into a bat.  Left with the female vampires, Jonathan barely escapes.

Soon after, horrific and mysterious ailments start happening in England where Dracula is rumored to have landed.

With vampires clearly lurking around, find romance, horror, and a whole lot of bloodsucking. 

Personally, Dracula has always been one of our favorite spooky books since high school.  Stoker’s version is not quite HBO True Blood, but it’s still just as sexy. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

Creepy Classics The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde book cover with Dorian Gray portrait, a white brunette man

The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Creepy Classic Set In London

A horror novel about hedonism and luxury, The Picture of Dorian Gray is another one of my favorite creepy books and high school classics. 

The first room in the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom always makes me think of Dorian.

Basil, a coveted artist, believes that Dorian is one handsome creature. He paints a full-length portrait of him. 

Vain and sensual, Dorian wishes that his portrait would age and fade away instead of his body.  To Dorian, beauty is all that is worth pursuing in life.  Forget being a gentleman.

When Dorian’s deepest desire is granted, the painting begins to not only soak in Dorian’s years but also his nastiness and crimes. Selfishness only leads to self-demise. 

Readers watch as Dorian falls victim to his own narcissism.  Eerie but poignant, you’ll find murder, scorned love, and guys who are jerks in this creepy classic. Amazon | Goodreads

Strangers on a train by Patricia Highsmith book cover

Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith

Horror Book Set On Train Between D.C. & NYC

One of the most famous creepy books set on a train , don’t skip Highsmith’s Strangers On A Train .

This 1950s train thriller gained popularity when Alfred Hitchcock transformed the book into a terrifying movie.

And yes, the movie is different and, for us, better. *Gasp.*

Guy Haines wants to divorce his cheating, pregnant wife when he meets Charles Bruno on a train. A renowned architect, Haines wishes to marry his new love.

Bruno is, well, a psychopath. Hindsight is everything.

When rambling Bruno suggests that he and Guy swap murders of their ‘beloved’ ones – he’ll kill Haines’s wife Miriam if Haines kills his father – Haines brushes him off.

Until Miriam is strangled to death at a fair…

Haines finds himself owing relentless Bruno a deranged favor. The characterization in Strangers On A Train is everything.

Although a bit dry and excessive at times, you can’t help but get drawn into this wild and intense plot. Amazon | Goodreads | Read More→

P.S. If you are looking for a more modern spooky retelling of Strangers On A Train , try Confessions On The 7:45 by Lisa Unger .

Nonfiction & True Crime Spooky Books For Adults

True Crime Horror, In Cold Blood By Truman Capote black and white book cover with picture of a small rural town

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

True Crime Set In Kansas | Submission from Rachael of Booklist Queen

Truman Capote is one of the first authors to write nonfiction that reads like fiction. A true crime classic – published in the 1960s – and one of the best scary books for adults, In Cold Blood will engross you.

In 1959, a typical all-American family is savagely murdered in their home in Holcomb, Kansas.

With no apparent motive, the murders seem to be completely random. Yet, the Clutter family was intentionally targeted.

Capote follows the case through the agonizing weeks before the murderers are caught. Over the ensuing years, he covers the case beginning with the trial all the way to the executions of the murderers.

Through his extensive interviews,  In Cold Blood provides a disturbing peek into the minds of two killers. What could be scarier than that? Amazon | Goodreads |  Read More→

Graphic Novel Horror Books For Adults & Teens

Spooky Books From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell red and white book cover with building in the distance

From Hell by Alan Moore

Illustrated by Eddie Campbell | Graphic Novel Set In Victorian London | Submission by Jella of Asiana Circus

From Hell is a lesser-known Alan Moore work, but it’s still widely acclaimed and has quickly become one of the most beloved spooky books of all time.

From Hell  tells a fictionalized version of the Jack the Ripper story in a gripping and daunting style. It takes place in a slum in Victorian London. 

If you love the legend of Jack the Ripper, you are probably going to fall in love with this comic’s beautiful design and dark and deep thoughts. Why does he kill?

This work also gets political, asking how we choose who is worthy in society.

Moore created a creepy classic that has messages that are more relevant and important today than they were back in the Victorian era. Amazon | Goodreads

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll book cover with black and white woods and red sky

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Spooky Graphic Novel

Through the Woods  by Emily Carroll is a haunting YA and equally gripping adult-appropriate graphic novel .

Discover five short stories with gothic, macabre illustrations perfect for fans of chilling folk horror tales .

Readers walk through the unforgiving woods and find re-written fairy tales and love gone astray.

We read this one for a grad school lit class, and out of all of the spooky books on this reading list, this one will take you the least time to read but fulfill your creepy book needs.

It’s eerie and unsettling but not too gory or terrifying.

If you are craving scarier plots, be sure to head over to our horror graphic novels reading list. Amazon  |  Goodreads

YA Spooky Reads

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong book cover with sword covered in golden dragon and red roses

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

YA Romeo & Juliet Retelling | Political Fiction Set In Shanghai, China

Looking for a creepy book perfect for teens and adults?

Published at the end of 2020, don’t miss this multicultural Romeo and Juliet retelling set in Shanghai, China in the mid-1920s.

Full disclosure that we have mixed feelings about These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong.  This 3.5-star romance is a solid political fiction novel.

However, the plot is a tad on the overkill/lengthy side paired with a bit of sloggy storytelling at the beginning. The ending won us back, though.

Juliette Cai returns from America and is trying to avoid her family enemy, Roma Montagov. 

Although in rival gangs that shoot each other on sight, Juliette has never really fallen out of love with Roma…even though he betrayed her.

With a violent monster plaguing the streets of Shanghai – insects that cause people to rip out their own throats – the Communist Party moving in, and European foreigners trying to carve out their piece of the county, Juliette and Roma decide to team up to go up against them all.

Can they save the people of Shanghai?  What about their destined doomed love? Amazon | Goodreads | Book Information→

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier book cover with red and orange "Z" on fire

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Spooky YA Fantasy

Just a fair warning since we do not typically read short stories: Zombies vs. Unicorns is an anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.

Authors include a few of our YA favs like Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, and Maureen Johnson.   These are mildly scary stories.

And yes, guys, this is TUL so you know that we are going to recommend a few young adult titles for this spooky books for adults reading list.  Come to the dark side.

Get ready for serious comedic banter as Black tries to convert you to Team Unicorn and Larbalestier to Team Zombie.  Which team are you?

Sometimes it is harder to find a virgin than a unicorn in NYC.   You should always follow instructions—no matter how odd—when babysitting. 

Cute and fluffy animals are not always cute and fluffy animals, and it is best not to dig up someone unless you plan on marrying them.

We loved Zombies vs. Unicorns and fantasy-loving adults and teens will too.

Zombies vs. Unicorns ultimately brings together childhood unicorns and matures them with Walking Dead-worthy zombie drama and gore.

Discover even more great unicorn books . Amazon | Goodreads

Best spooky books for adults and teens The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco black and white book cover with girl walking out a doorway

Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Horror Book Set In The U.S. & Japan | Submission from bookstagrammer Jennia

Most of us are familiar with the classic J-Horror remakes and their uniquely haunting imagery.

Rin Chupeco plays with and blends these well-known stories to craft an original and wistful retelling in The Girl from the Well , a lyrical narrative told from the point of view of legendary Japanese specter Okiku.

Okiku descends upon those who thrive from misusing and slaughtering children.

When Okiku departs from her first victim’s home, she finds herself drawn to a mysterious boy named Tarquin who is covered in striking and unsettling tattoos.

A malevolent spirit is attached to Tarquin. He has coped with self-deprecating humor and by avoiding close relationships for fear that friends may come to harm.

Okiku becomes committed to protecting Tarquin, coming to his aid numerous times.

As their unusual friendship progresses, mysteries surrounding Tark’s life and bad fortune are gradually sprinkled throughout the storyline.

Chupeco has flawlessly mixed folklore with the young adult horror genre, ultimately giving us an intriguing take on the classic ghost story and representing one of the best spooky books that adults will love, too. Amazon | Goodreads

Good YA horror books to read Alive by Melissa Woods book cover with brunette white woman holding bleeding organs

Alive? by Melissa Woods

Zombie Novel | Submission from the author, Melissa Woods, of Melissa Woods

Alive? is the story of Violet, a seventeen-year-old girl who has the misfortune of getting bitten during the zombie apocalypse. Luckily for Violet, she doesn’t die.

Unluckily, she’s picked up a few little quirks along the way. Like the inability to get a decent tan and a somewhat troubling hunger for human flesh.

Alive? is about more than just zombies (though there are plenty of those!). It’s a story about friendship, survival, and the different ways to hide the corpse of the guy you just accidentally ate.

Violet, known to everyone she meets as clumsy, unfit, and constantly unlucky, must navigate her way through a world that’s slowly falling to pieces around her while attempting to hide her terrible secret from her closest friends.

The debut YA novel from Melissa Woods blends zombie horror, post-apocalyptic survival, and a dash of humor, in a story that will leave you wondering: “How long would I last in the zompocalypse?” Amazon | Goodreads

Don’t forget to grab your favorite spooky books here:

Save These Spooky Novels For Later:

Creepy Books And Spooky Books Reading List Pinterest Pin with book covers for The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam, Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, The Night Seim by Megan Goldin, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda with picture of spooky ghosts clawing at window

What are the best spooky books to read?

Creepy books creep us out. 

Note that we also wrote about unicorns and zombies.  We cannot handle anything more terrifying than a nasty rainbow pony. 

We would never be able to fall asleep at night. Jessica Jones’s mom gave us night terrors for weeks.

Which of these novels do you consider to be the best spooky books of all time? Which will you add to your fall reading list?

Are there any scary books for adults that you didn’t love or weren’t scary enough?

We also hope that you find new authors, bloggers, and friends to follow online.  Thank you to all those who contributed with their favorite horror books for adults.

You May Also Enjoy:

Books About The Salem Witch Trials Best YA & Tween Vampire Books Werewolf Stories Creepy Horror Novellas

Christine Owner The Uncorked Librarian LLC with white brunette female in pink dress sitting in chair with glass of white wine and open book

Christine Frascarelli

Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.


Dracula. Hands down the greatest spooky novel. The constant sense of urgency in this novels makes it a quick read and frightening . Not just a scary classic but one of the all time best classic novels .

It really is a great classic! Thanks for sharing!

The Silent Companions is one of my favorite reads. A gothic style story, it’s old fashioned in the best of ways.

We’ll have to check it out. Thanks so much for the spooky book rec.

The Ring is my favourite…

Did you watch the movie, too?

This is an interesting list. I tend not to read horror books very often, not because they scare me but because I find them bland – I’m strange, I know. Even authors like Stephen King, I just find myself bored out of my wits when reading what people claim are some of the scariest books. I think I desensitized myself to horror after watching too many horror movies as a kid. However, I still do have the odd craving to read something scary from time to time, so next time that happens, I’m going to use this list as a reference. I do have dracula and Frankenstein on my TBR, so those books I do intend to read at some point.

Haha, that isn’t strange at all. I actually never enjoyed horror books or creepy books until the pandemic. Suddenly, this year, I found myself into rom-coms along with thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels.

The creepy classics are a must, and I *think* you might like the scary books from 2020 — those are less just about the horror and more psychological thrillers. I ate up Darling Rose Gold, and The Guest List was funny, creepy, and relevant (the bridge-to-be is a blogger). I didn’t love the Riley Sager as much as others did, and The Night Swim is in my pile – everyone is raving about that one. I forgot to add The Sun Down Motel, but I enjoyed that one as well.

I love this blog but there are so many ads that it’s very distracting and hard to navigate through.

Thanks so much for saying that you love my blog, Liz. I appreciate it! I’m sorry the ads are troublesome for you–I definitely understand, but I also put out endless free content; these ads are how I earn money as a full-time blogger. My site (hosting, mailing lists, apps to smoothly run TUL, fees to hirer a developer to help maintain its speed for users), etc cost me at least 5,000 a year to maintain; those ads help pay off those expenses. You can always use an ad blocker, but please also know those ads support my small business.

I LOVE that you added so many horror classics to this list as seriously the oldies are oldies but goodies. I want to read The Good Daughter! It sounds like it could be made into a movie. Did they make it into a movie?

And can we talk about these unicorns?! I’m dying laughing at your descriptions. Nasty rainbow unicorns! Bahahahah

Yes, The Good Daughter was made into a movie in 2008. I will have to watch it too!

God, I am a sucker for unicorns…even dirty ones.

I’m glad that you love the creepy classics too. I might do a post just for them since they are very location-specific.

Yasssss! GIMME HORROR! It probably says a lot about me that I’ve read most of these… Like, I do not like most classics, but I love all of the ones on this list…

I’m actually impressed you managed to read any of these since I know scary stuff isn’t always your cup of tea. I like to imagine you reading behind a wall of hands and perhaps a cup of hot cocoa.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my all time favourites. Although it’s funny because I never think of it as scary… but it’s totally a horror story, isn’t it… haha. In Cold Blood is also fantastic! It’s actually the first true crime book I ever read… at the very old age of like 7.

Also, the Japanese are totally the masters of horror. There are plots I’m not even comfortable describing on a public space but SO GOOD! I’ve read Rings , but will definitely be checking out The Girl from the Well !

If you’re looking for a fun (i.e. terrifying) historical one, Jeremy and I just finished reading The Widow Killer by Pavel Kahout which we both thoroughly enjoyed. (And yes, we read books together… that’s not weird…)

There are definitely certainly classics I can’t stand: Moby Dick kills me, and I didn’t love Of Mice and Men , for example. I feel you. I do love the creepy classics along with Around the World in 80 Days.

Lol, my book suggestion was zombies and Zombies vs Unicorns when this list first published last year so what does that say?! The classics I can handle. I’m working my way into scarier things. Right now I am reading an ARC that is a little haunted with dead crows popping up. Shiver… Witches are more my jam.

Do you read books together at the exact same time or one after the other? That sounds like fun! It’s like your own private book club.

If you want to ease your way into horror, I can recommend some comedy horrors like Breathers by S.G. Browne or one of Christopher Moore’s ‘horror’ series ( Dirty Job is quite good, and I’ve heard good things about You Suck ). Or, I have more haha. Also some short story collections, not sure if that’s your thing?

We take turns reading to each other, so we literally read it together. We always have a book we’re reading together in addition to whatever else we’re reading.

I think I used to own You Suck by Moore but sadly never read it before I did a round of home library downsizing. I just applied for my new library card for NC today so I will have to check it out.

I do like short stories if they are fun.

Awww, that’s kinda cute!!

I have the girl from the well and still haven’t read it. Some of the other books on this list sound really interesting!

I’ve been meaning to read Girl from the Well too!

I really need to read THE EXORCIST! I love the movie and have seen it numerous times, but I’ve never actually read the book, which I’m sure is even better than the movie. Thanks for the reminder with this list!

I second COME CLOSER. I’m posting my own list of Scary Stories next month on my blog, and COME CLOSER will be one of the titles I recommend. It’s so creep-tastic.

Also recommending THE BIRD EATER by Ania Ahlborn. It freaking TERRIFIED me.

All of those are way too scary for me, haha!

Looking forward to your scary stories post–guaranteed I probably haven’t read a book on that list yet. Wimp right here!

Thanks for the recommendation!

Oooo, I love a good thriller or mystery book. I actually grew up reading a lot of mysteries. Do you remember the RL Stine Goosebump series of books? Those were my favorite as a kid!

I have to get start on this list! -Kathy @ Tasty Itinerary

I loved the R.L. Stine books. I still have some of my really old copies back from when I was kid. When they came out with the movie a few years ago, I was stoked. Did you see it? Stine’s a classic writer of my youth. They weren’t too scary either but they were just enough to make me squirm. I always wondered if I could write like him. The books are so simple yet so great.

Love how this list has come together! I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for a good horror-induced tale so I’m excited to add some of these to my TBR. Thanks for having me as a contributor!

Thank you so much for contributing again! I am so excited because more and more bloggers want to be returning contributors. I did notice readers clicking on everyone’s contact links, too, which is great. Hope you find your next great spooky read. Horror is so not my thing (hence the zombie unicorns), and I appreciate that other bloggers and readers (like you) can still help me provide eclectic and diverse lists for followers.

“Stinky farting unicorns” made me literally snort ??? goodness gracious!! I’ve been meaning to read Perfume for ages now, I’ve GOT to add it to my next reading list. And In Cold Blood is the winner for me, that book absolutely captivated me – like watching a car crash, I was horrified but I quite literally could not put it down.

I definitely want to read Perfume too. I think that I can handle that type of scary.

I watched the movie for In Cold Blood (and maybe read the book long ago), but I do need to revisit soon.

I’m not sure that you’d love the stinky farting unicorns based on your blog niche ; )

The book shits all over the movie from a great height, in my humble opinion (I did love Capote, the later film starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman though – if you haven’t seen it yet, definitely add it to the list!). And I might be mired in the classics for now, but there’s always room for stinky farting unicorns, as far as I’m concerned 😛 hahahaha x

There is always time for stinky farting unicorns…in all aspects of life! Words to live by!

I love to read. #5 sounds interesting. I am going to have to read it.

I am glad that you found a new interesting read. Thanks for perusing the list!

This is such an amazing list!

Thank you so much, book bestie!

Amazing list, perfect for this time of year! “The Good Daughter” is so good. My book club read it and we had a great discussion. Of course, “In Cold Blood” is a classic. Some on here might freak me out too much, but def added to my “to-read” list!

Thank you! I know; some of these seem so scary! I don’t usually read too many terrifying books so I was more than happy to do a group list ; ) Glad you found a new title or two.

Thanks for the collab opportunity! 🙂 I even found new books to add to my want to read list.

Thank you for contributing! I love your book suggestions, and I have to add a few of the least scary ones.

A few of these I don’t know if I could read…I love scary books but am a chicken for some. I’ve been dying to read In Cold Blood forever. I think the top of my list though is The Good Daughter and In The Darkest Corner. I’ll also have to give your Zombies Vs. Unicorns a try 🙂

I feel you, 200%. I cannot do scary before bed.

I have wanted to read In Cold Blood too. I think Perfume sounds incredibly intriguing.

Zombies vs Unicorns was my balance for this list LOL. I always wait until I get in all of the submissions. Then, I try to pick something that evens everything out–less scary and fun for this group. It’s definitely a quirky title.

I just submitted my murderous book suggestion for a guest post for another blogger–that’s as scary as it gets (people getting their heads chopped off).

Thanks for perusing the list. Let me know what you read, and what you think of it.

May pick up Come Closer based on this list. Read a few of the others. In Cold Blood is a must-read.

I am such a wimp; I want to read them all, but I will have to try a few of the lighter ones first. In Cold Blood is definitely on my list.

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13 Ghost Stories Books to Read Around the Halloween Campfire

Light your campfires and get your flashlights ready. here are 13 ghost stories books filled with the best campfire stories….

  • 1 Light your campfires and get your flashlights ready. Here are 13 ghost stories books filled with the best campfire stories…
  • 2.1 1. 50 Real American Ghost Stories
  • 2.2 2. The Worlds Favorite Ghost Stories
  • 2.3 3. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • 2.4 4. Ghost Stories (Paranormal Locations Series)
  • 2.5 5. Classic Campfire Stories: Forty Spooky Tales
  • 2.6 6. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories
  • 2.7 7. Collected Ghost Stories
  • 2.8 8. Complete Ghost Stories
  • 2.9 9. 50 States 500 Scary Places to Visit
  • 2.10 10. A Haunted Road Atlas
  • 2.11 11. Civil War Ghosts
  • 2.12 12. The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories
  • 2.13 13. Campfire Stories for Kids
  • 3 15 Easy Campfire Snacks & Treats
  • 4 New ebook from Mike and Jennifer Wendland – the Natchez Trace

Faces only partially visible by firelight. A pitch-black backdrop of the wild outdoors. Sounds of the unknown surrounding you. 

All that’s missing is an ominous voice telling a tale of horror to all those brave enough to listen!

The following ghost stories books are filled with scary, spooky (and sometimes silly) campfire stories. With them, you can be the ominous voice that scares adults and children alike!

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our  full affiliate disclosure here.

13 Best Ghost Stories Books

Like what you see in these videos?  We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel ( easy to do right here ) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

As you can see from this video, Jennifer and I are fans of spooky stories. We love to hear about the local tales and myths of monsters, ghosts, and mysteries wherever we travel. (Whether we believe them or not.)

From stories based on real events to creative fiction, this list of the best ghost stories books has something for every RVer. Some can even be used as guides to plan your next road trip!

1. 50 Real American Ghost Stories

50 real American ghost stories book

This book of 50 Real American Ghost Stories is a collection of America’s haunted heritage. It is written by bestselling author and ghost historian MJ Wayland.

As described: “From the downright chilling, to scary and the weird, this collection of REAL ghost stories is ideal for a Halloween thrill or an insight into a unique haunted history.”

2. The Worlds Favorite Ghost Stories

The World's Favorite Ghost Stories

The World's Favorite Ghost Stories is an illustrated anthology that includes 13 creepy tales from around the world. They include ghost stories about the jikininiki from Japan, sinister specters from South Africa, the ominous silence in Russia, and more.

The stories “are so vivid that they almost feel real. But they couldn’t be—could they?…”

3. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

13 Ghost Stories Books to Read Around the Halloween Campfire 1

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a 3-books-in-1 collection with original artwork and jacketed hardcover. It's even been made into a major motion picture.

The stories are “some of the most terrifying tales of horror, revenge, and supernatural events of all time, collected and retold by Alvin Schwartz.”

4. Ghost Stories (Paranormal Locations Series)

Ghost Stories (Paranormal Locations)

The first book in the series, Ghost Stories is a collection of the world’s scariest haunted locations, paranormal encounters, and demonic possessions. 

Who knows, maybe you’re camping in one of those haunted locations now! The only way to find out is to look inside this book…

5. Classic Campfire Stories: Forty Spooky Tales

5. Classic Campfire Stories: Forty Spooky Tales

Written by a doctor (of what, no one knows!), Classic Campfire Stories is a collection of scary classics and frightening folktales is for young and old.

The ghost stories are all fun and easy to read, remember, and retell!

6. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

The Amazon description for Roald Dah's Book of Ghost Stories says it best:

Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected? From the author of such beloved books as James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Witches comes a collection of spooky tales carefully curated by the author himself, Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories.

Of the many permutations of the macabre or bizarre, Dahl was always especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. As he relates in the erudite introduction to this volume, he read some 749 supernatural tales at the British Museum Library before selecting the 14 that comprise this anthology. “Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story,” Dahl writes. “It should give you the creeps and disturb your thoughts.”

7. Collected Ghost Stories

Collected Ghost Stories

Though the book cover looks similar to #2 on this list, it is a different book by a different author.

Collected Ghost Stories is a collection of classic ghost stories are written by the “finest ghost-story writer England has ever produced,” M.R. James. They are described as “superb examples of beautifully-paced understatement, convincing background and chilling terror.”

This book has certainly caught my interest… they sound quite elegant for ghost stories!

8. Complete Ghost Stories

Complete Ghost Stories

The Complete Ghost Stories is another collection by M.R. James, which we referenced as the “finest ghost-story writer” in the previous description. He was an English author, medievalist scholar, and provost of King’s College, Cambridge, and Eton College.

James is known for his ghost stories because they abandoned “many of the formal Gothic clichés of his predecessors and using more realistic contemporary setting.” Even though these stories were written in the early 1900s, they still stand up today.

Most Haunted Places in Colorado

9. 50 States 500 Scary Places to Visit

50 States 500 Scary Places to Visit

Hardcore ghost story fans can use 50 States 500 Scary Places to Visit as a travel guide for their next RV adventure. Organized by state, it takes you on a tour of the scariest haunts in every state. 

Creepy destinations include the House of the Seven Gables, the LaLaurie Mansion, the Winchester Mystery House, the Bell Witch Cave, and many more. It also features full-color photos to bring the tales to life.

10. A Haunted Road Atlas

A Haunted Road Atlas

A Haunted Road Atlas is another possible travel guide for horror-loving RVers. It’s created from the hit true crime podcast And That’s Why We Drink . 

The book is “Jam-packed with illustrations, fun facts, travel tips, and beverage recs, this guide includes some of the country’s most notorious crime scenes, hauntings, and supernatural sightings.”

11. Civil War Ghosts

Civil War Ghosts

If you’re traveling in Civil War territory, Civil War Ghosts is for you. It’s a book of real ghost stories reported in newspapers at the time of the Civil War, covering 1860-1865.

“Civil War Ghosts is a unique supernatural look at America while the states battled each other.”

haunted places in utah

12. The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

13 Ghost Stories Books to Read Around the Halloween Campfire 2

This unique collection of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories were printed in newspapers and magazines during the Christmas season. Some of the authors are very well-known, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Elizabeth Gaskell, while others are “anonymous and forgotten.” 

It's a nice twist on ghost stories to read at Halloween and prepare you for the oncoming Christmas season.

13. Campfire Stories for Kids

13 Ghost Stories Books to Read Around the Halloween Campfire 3

To end this spooky list on a lighter note, I’m including one of the best ghost stories books for kids . Aptly named, this book is perfect for telling scary and funny tales around the campfire. 

It includes 21 stories and urban legends that will “make you laugh out loud, or have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering how it will end.”

15 Easy Campfire Snacks & Treats

Campfire stories are always better when enjoyed with treats! That's why planning one of these Easy Campfire Snacks & Treats is a must for your spooky evening.

For more campfire fun, check out these articles:

  • How to Tell a Good Campfire Story
  • 30 of the Best Campfire Songs

New ebook from Mike and Jennifer Wendland – the Natchez Trace

13 Ghost Stories Books to Read Around the Halloween Campfire 4

The Natchez Trace Parkway  will capture your imagination, soothe your jangled travel nerves, open your mind and inspire you with the history that unfolded along its 444 miles.

Each of the 7 Days of the ebook has:

  • Suggested Mileposts to explore
  • Places to Eat in each area of the 7 sections
  • Campground descriptions and links
  • Links to all the special places and information
  • Links to videos that show more in detail
  • and a lot of highlighted information for each section

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a printed, hard copy guide.

Whether you want to follow the footsteps of explorers, discover natural beauty, or visit historic sites, the Trace has something to grab your attention and leave you eager to see what’s at the next milepost.

You can see why this is one of our favorite US routes to explore.  We’ve traveled it a half dozen times!

Last update on 2024-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ghost book read

Published on 2023-10-07

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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Ghost Stories!

Books featuring ghosts can be enjoyed at any time of the year. However, for those who love this kind of Books, there's nothing quite like reading a good bone-chilling and supernatural story over the spooky season. 

So, we have compiled our Best Books on Ghosts for you to enjoy this Halloween! 

Warning: If I were you, I'd leave all the lights on!


Henrik Ibsen | Drama Classics

A powerful psychological drama by Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, that exposes the hypocrisy of social conventions through the events in the life of Mrs. Helen Alving--a Captain's widow who is haunted by her husband's infidelities and the disease that he has passed on to their son. Download it now!

Ghost of Dalmos

Ghost of Dalmos

Omoruyi Uwuigiaren | Fiction

Dalmos was sucked into a world inside of a tree where he tasted misfortune. It is a tragedy to remain in a world you cannot control and all the more tragic if you do not have control over your own life. People who have surrendered leadership of their lives to others are always at the mercy of those they serve. As Dalmos quests to regain his freedom, he found a powerful man whom he thought would rescue him. But it would have been better if they had never met.

The Phantom Rickshaw and Other Ghost Stories

The Phantom Rickshaw and Other Ghost Stories

Rudyard Kipling | Fiction Classics

Includes the following short stories: The phantom 'rickshaw - My own true ghost story - The strange ride of Morrowbie Jukes - The man who would be king - The finest story in the world.

The Ghost in the Darkness (The Ghost Files#4)

The Ghost in the Darkness (The Ghost Files#4)

Holly Vane | Horror-Gothic

The Finale to the best selling series: The Ghost Files is finally here! Sam and Star West have given everything to help the lost souls of this world, now Sam has vanished, dragged down to the depths of hell by the darkness, and Star is slowly losing her mind. In her haste to get her brother back Star makes a choice that will change, not only the siblings lives, but the world too. To save Sam Star must doom the world to a second darkness. Aided by a mysterious seer that shares the name of a Greek God can Sam stop Star before she goes too far, or will the darkness be the end of them?Find out in the finale!

True Ghost Stories

True Ghost Stories

Webmaster of www.trueghoststories.co.uk | General Non Fiction

Download this FREE e-book that contains a collection of true ghost stories from around the world. Download it today!

Famous Modern Ghost Stories

Famous Modern Ghost Stories

Emily Dorothy Scarborough, Editor | Short Stories Classics

Famous Modern Ghost Stories by E. D. Scarborough, Editor.

The Best Ghost Stories

The Best Ghost Stories

Various | Short Stories Classics

The Best Ghost Stories by Various authors.

Life as a Ghost

Life as a Ghost

Frank Siegrist | Fiction

A young man who does not believe in anything, dies in a freak accident and returns as a certain type of ghost. From that point on, he lives through the lives of other people, learns a lot about them, and ultimately learns a lot about himself; which leads him to tentatively formulate an idea of the “purpose” of life. Download this FREE e-Book today!

Grosvenor Lane Ghost

Grosvenor Lane Ghost

Jeremy Tyrrell | Horror-Gothic

As the Professor's assistant, it was my duty to perform whatever tasks he laid out for me. It was a simple enough arrangement, until he took me on my first investigation at a run-down house in South Entrance. The house at Grosvenor Lane showed me a brief glimpse of the world beyond, a world that exists with or without my blessing. But my investigations also revealed that the application of science to an ethereal plane is anything but straightforward.

Three Ghost Stories

Three Ghost Stories

Charles Dickens | Fiction Classics

When he heard a voice thus calling to him, he was standing at the door of his box, with a flag in his hand, furled around its short pole. One would have thought, considering the nature of the ground, that he could not have doubted from what quarter the voice came; but instead of looking up to where I stood on the top of the steep cutting nearly over his head, he turned himself about, and looked down the line. Download this FREE e-Book today!

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

Charles Dickens | Horror Classics

After a spirit offers to rid Redlaw of his guilt over his past transgressions, he loses all memory of the painful events but continues to feel an unexplainable anger.

Jolimont Street Ghost

Jolimont Street Ghost

From the events this past autumn, I am compelled to relate my perilous trial. The supposition that darkness is merely the absence of light is both popular and false, as those who practice the occult can affirm. In the dark cellar of number thirteen Jolimont Street, a house the Professor had assumed benign, I unwittingly brought forth an ancient evil that first threatened our reputations, then our souls. This is the fourth book in the Paranormology Series.

The Ghost Files Box Set

The Ghost Files Box Set

Meet Sam & Star West, they are not your average siblings. After surviving a near fatal car accident that claimed the lives of their parents, the two woke in separate hospital beds with the gift (and curse) of communicating with the dead. Devoting their lives in helping trapped spirits move on, they gear of a highway with a tragic past. Will the pair solve the haunting of the highway? Or will the road claim another victim? The second outing see the delicious duo tackle a manor full of secrets and in the Deathly Depths they encounter a ghost with a bloody and violent past. A fiendishly epic mini-series from the acclaimed author of the Eternal War Series.

The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost

Oscar Wilde | Short Stories Classics

The Canterville Ghost is a popular 1887 novella by Oscar Wilde, widely adapted for the screen and stage. “The Canterville Ghost” is a parody featuring a dramatic spirit named Sir Simon and the United States minister (ambassador) to the Court of St. James's, Hiram B. Otis. Mr. Otis travels to England with his family and moves into a haunted country house. Lord Canterville, the previous owner of the house, warns Mr. Otis that the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville has haunted it ever since he killed his wife, Eleonore, three centuries before. But Mr. Otis dismisses the ghost story as bunk and disregards Lord Canterville’s warnings. When the Otises learn that the house is indeed haunted, they succeed in victimizing the ghost and in disregarding age-old British traditions. What emerges is...

The Dark Key

The Dark Key

Graeme Winton | Horror-Gothic

A librarian witnesses a supernatural event close by his hometown. The result of which sends him looking for answers to the vision. The answers, however, come looking for him in the form of ghosts of renegade monks who strayed from their faith, and the thugs of a demon-worshipping order. He finds out through Jonas, a spectre of one of his ancient ancestors, he has to find a key used to close a portal to the Dark Realm. He must destroy it before the dark forces find the key and use it to open the gates. Matthew also finds out, and the story unfolds, about a feud between good and evil which has rumbled through the centuries. The feud takes in some turbulent times in history before at last coming to an explosive end in the grounds of a historic abbey and the neighbouring cliffs.

The House on Strathderry Hill

The House on Strathderry Hill

Robert Alex Gibb | Flash Fiction

A haunting tale of a man who buys a house only to find that it is haunted by a ghostly woman.

The Haunting of Reindeer Manor

The Haunting of Reindeer Manor

Kevin Guest | Horror-Gothic

See the video trailer on YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bznv-3hNQUc PART 1 OF: THE HAUNTED HOUSES OF ANDERSON The Haunting of Reindeer Manor: Dr. Jonathan Anderson, chair of the psychology department of Dallas's most prestigious university, received a rejection letter for his life's work. The next day, October 31, 2008, he got a second chance, an article confirming the existence of ghosts at the infamous Reindeer Manor. The current owner, who only goes by Andy, has been running the property as a Halloween attraction for years. However, it's not the attraction that is of interest to Anderson, but rather its true history. Upon visiting the manor, he strikes a deal with the owner to rent the entire property for five days, under the condition that all Halloween props are removed. Unfortunately Dr. Anderson got his way...

A House of Haunted People

A House of Haunted People

Alan Combes | Horror-Gothic

The title story, itself a novella about a strange house in my village, leads into a collection of modern ghost stories in unusual, often cosmopolitan settings. 'Mia' is about putting down a much-loved dog. 'Going to the match' is about a supernatural presence amid the crowd. 'The make of sticks' concerns a mysterious character who is mistaken for a good Samaritan. 'Overcoat' tells of a haunted garment. 'Dr Singh' is the worst kind of doctor; one who ignores his patients' pain. 'Ginny Spring' tells of a mysterious local pond...

Ticking Nightmares

Ticking Nightmares

Frank Atanacio | Poetry

A collection of short haunting poetry that tells stories of war, murder, and ghosts. Probable explanation of why death was dumped into dreams and contributed to the creation nightmares. A Brief Sample: He was a stranger, but she took the ride, she was lured into one of the homes on the North side, molested and murdered, only her ghost lost its pride......

Dream Rider

Dream Rider

Wilf Voss | Mystery

What starts as bad dreams leads to changed personalities, bullying and finally death in this supernatural novella - Caroline Gibbs a young riding instructor, loved by all of her friends changes after a series of nightmares which seep from her dreams into reality. It is a race against time to get back her life and save those around her. What she thinks is a bad nights sleep and a series of nightmares leaves her personality changed, colleagues suspect that an accident has caused some hidden brain injury but the truth is more terrifying as a ghost from the past takes over her mind and body until she is left struggling to survive.

Sentinel Event: a paranormal thriller

Sentinel Event: a paranormal thriller

Samantha Shelby | Sci-fi Fantasy

The dead are not indifferent to the living. They have arrived among us in a peaceful invasion to haunt people, not places. Their purpose is to help and not harm us… but one man is their enemy, for reasons he can’t explain. For years, Aidriel has been helpless to protect himself from ghostly violence. Now a chance encounter in a hospital has set into motion a series of attacks the likes of which he has never before seen. DeTarlo, a manipulative shrink, tries to hide him, but no matter where he goes, Aidriel can’t escape the spirits. An aggressive ghost expert, Chester, attempts to placate the dead, but nothing he does has any effect. The only way to avoid danger is to keep moving.The greatest race of Aidriel’s life has begun, and even with the help of a well-meaning medical worker.

Matt Legend:  Veil of Lies

Matt Legend: Veil of Lies

Denis Mills | Youth

All Matt Legend wanted to do that dangerous summer was win the affections of a certain mysterious small town girl and get back to L.A. But when they discover a 26-foot human skeleton that is horrible to behold inside an ancient burial mound, he is warned if he tells anyone terrible things will happen and terrible things do. They don’t believe in ghosts but all that is about to change. They encounter a deadly cover-up that extends far beyond the archaeological world and into the supernatural one. They have stumbled upon a stasis giant, an entity Abraham Lincoln warned mankind about and what the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal as one of the millions of offspring of the Fallen Ones, who become evil spirits upon the death of their physical bodies.

Tales of Horror and the Supernatural 2

Tales of Horror and the Supernatural 2

More stories from the Dark Side by Graeme Winton where an inter-dimensional ghost hunter rubs shoulders with a demon soul. A crazed murderer preys on people who come to his door and another picks on the clergy among many others. Don't read last thing at night!

O'Heavenly Murder

O'Heavenly Murder

Jennifer Northen | Mystery

A Dark Spirit comes to Saint Cloud, Oklahoma in 1956, bringing death to the sleepy little township. Detective Thomas Miller and rookie Officer Sherry Hendrix seek to solve the series of murders, with help from their fellow officers. Their investigations reveal Psychics, Seances, Ghosts and all manner of Occult and Paranormal manifestations; not to mention the murderous intentions of the locals themselves. The lively townsfolk provide their own brand of small town shenanigans and hilarity as the death toll mounts.

Keeper from the Koffins

Keeper from the Koffins

Maremerchant | Horror-Gothic

A Team of Marines Ordered to search a long lost time forgotten village deep in Mexico. They will come face to face with a monster that resembled a gargoyle. A large zombie army that will eat the rodents and animals that they catch. This team of soldiers will encounter more than they bargained for. But before it ends. This small army of marines will find ghosts demons zombies and that creature that lives on revenge.


Mary Ann Moody | Youth

“I didn’t discover the plot to murder me until it was too late. I never saw it coming.” –Regina Roth. Since she was a child, fifteen year old Regina Roth has been the victim of disturbing reoccurring nightmares of a house, and a murder. In the summer of her sixteenth birthday Regina leaves her posh life in New York for her mother’s hometown in Texas to bury her mysterious grandmother. Regina discovers the small town of Lee is literally the scene of her nightmares. Haunted by a vengeful ghost and the lies told by her parents, Regina has no choice but to accept her new life in Lee. After a shocking incident leaves her shaken with fright, Regina is forced to discover the secret behind her dreams and discovers the horrifying truth.

Halloween Magic & Mayhem

Halloween Magic & Mayhem

Stella Wilkinson | Short Stories

How on earth did I end up here? I was supposed to be at a party kissing the boy of my dreams. Instead I’m dancing naked at the town common on Halloween, with a Coven of strange women who might be witches, a bunch of zombies that I have to return to their graves, a talking crow, and my pet ghost thrown in for good measure. Just yesterday I was an ordinary teenager… On her sixteenth birthday Emily Rand discovers that she is a witch. Unable to control her spells she unwittingly raises zombies, and corporealizes the ghost haunting her house. She finds herself in a race against time to put everything right if she has any hope of getting to a certain Halloween party and seeing a certain boy again. Halloween Magic and Mayhem is a young-adult paranormal comedy romance.

Reflections In Broken Eyes

Reflections In Broken Eyes

Victor Malone | Horror-Gothic

“The man couldn't remember his name. He lived in a garden of hidden leaves with a large black dog who talked. He had but one friend in the world, but he wasn't a true ally, but in fact a spectral interloper who sought to steal his secrets. ”And so begins a journey through the hall of mirrors which is the past - a trip through 107 ultra short stories - hunting for clues like slivers of glass in the snow: a forgotten memory, the ghost of a note, a darkened deed from the halcyon days of frontier injustice, a beguiling game of tiles, a manuscript that no one will ever read, a demon in the kitchen, a witch behind a window, a serial killer in a shack, a ghost in a well… And all these things will come back to haunt you, like reflections in broken eyes...

Chatterton Place: The Inheritance

Chatterton Place: The Inheritance

Patricia C Garlitz | Mystery

After purchasing a set of china that matched her Grandmothers, Emma Chase finds her world turned up-side down by an inheritance no one knew about. The Chatterton Estate was all she had ever hoped for. BUT AT WHAT COST? Even when the living go to bed, she’s left to struggle with ghost’s and visions and perhaps, she even slips in to the past ------------ Note from the author: I would like to apologize to the almost 700 people that downloaded my unedited version of Chatterton Place the Inheritance. Try the book again this time with editing in place. It should be online tomorrow 7-14-2014. Thank You.

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20 scariest horror stories you can read for free online

Featuring authors like H.P. Lovecraft and Daphne du Maurier, this list of terrifying tales are only considered cheap thrills because they won’t cost you a penny.

Horror novels are wonderful if you have time to spare. But if you need a quick fix of fright, short stories can have just as much (if not more) impact in their devastating brevity. Thankfully, you don't need to fork over any money to access some of the best — look no further than the World Wide Web, where you can read these chilling tales by familiar greats ( Stephen King , Neil Gaiman , and Shirley Jackson, for example) — and some unknown talents.

We've assembled a list of our favorite horror short stories, all of which you can find for free on the internet in the links provided.

"Premium Harmony" by Stephen King

Set in King's fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine (also the setting for The Dead Zone , Cujo, and many others ) , this story follows a couple whose bickering—he nags her for her weight, she chides him about his smoking—is cut short by the wife's sudden heart attack. Read it in The New Yorker .

"Shiva, Open Your Eye" by Laird Barron

What Barron's admitted homage to H.P. Lovecraft lacks in plot, it makes up for in unsettling and unforgettable atmosphere. Read it at Nightmare Magazine .

"Abraham's Boys" by Joe Hill

Originally published in his collection 20th Century Ghosts , Hill's tale follows two boys who find a terrifying photograph in their aggressive father's study. Read it at Fifty-Two Stories .

"The Doll" by Daphne du Maurier

This story from du Maurier, first published in 1937, was lost for over 70 years—but now, readers everywhere can delve into the saga of a man's obsession with a violinist named Rebecca. Read it at The Guardian .

"Carmilla" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Le Fanu's 1871–72 gothic novella about a female vampire who preys on a young woman was written even before Bram Stoker's Dracula. Read it at Project Gutenberg .

"Puppet Boy" by z0mbies

This tale about a teen boy and girl who end up captured by a masked man who practices human puppetry found a wide readership on Wattpad , where you can read it today.

"The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire" by Poppy Z. Brite

After infidelity, a woman and her partner seek out an unsavory operation. Read it at Nightmare Magazine .

"Sunbleached" by Nathan Ballingrud

Ballingrud's story, originally written for a YA audience, follows a vampire (who's been nearly burnt to death by the sun) hiding in the crawlspace of a decaying house. Then, a young boy finds him. Read it at Nightmare Magazine .

"The Sloan Men" by David Nickle

For a sense of how chilling Nickle's tale is, you need only read the goosebump-inducing opening line: "Mrs. Sloan had only three fingers on her left hand, but when she drummed them against the countertop, the tiny polished bones at the end of the fourth and fifth stumps clattered like fingernails." Read the full story here .

"A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman

A blend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft, Gaiman's story follows a detective and his friend trying to solve the murder of a German noble—a game that readers can play as well. Read it at NeilGaiman.com .

"The Thing on the Doorstep" by H.P. Lovecraft

"It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend," our narrator Daniel Upton says, "and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer." So begins Lovecraft's classic tale of a woman who may or may not have someone else's soul within her. Read it here .

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

You'll never look at small towns (or rocks) the same way again after reading Jackson's haunting, memorable classic. Read it in The New Yorker .

"The Tractate Middoth" by M.R. James

A wealthy clergyman makes two different wills, and as one of his supposed heirs searches for the hidden second one, which might be concealed in an old Hebrew book, he's shocked by the results of his search. Read it here .

"A Short Guide to the City" by Peter Straub

Straub's "A Short Guide to the City" recounts the tale of the "viaduct killer," so named for the place he leaves his victims' bodies. Read it in Nightmare Magazine .

"The Empty House" by Algernon Blackwood

If you're looking for a haunted house tale, you can do no better than this Blackwood classic. Read it here .

"Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due

This post-apocalyptic "outbreak" story is told through diary entries of a young boy who's confined to a hospital...but doesn't quite understand why. Read it in Lightspeed Magazine .

"The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood

Another of Blackwood's most influential stories, "The Willows" follows two boys on a canoe trip as the nature around them—which Blackwood personifies—grows increasingly menacing. Read it at Project Gutenberg .

"The Pale Man" by Julius Long

As Long's story reminds us, little is creepier than a mysterious hotel guest (especially an unnaturally pale one). Read it here .

"The Residence at Whitminster" by M.R. James

Comprising two timelines, this ghost story tells of the death of two boys who grow fascinated with the occult—and then the results of their death and practice in the same house 100 years later. Read it here .

"Philomel Cottage" by Agatha Christie

A woman has disturbing recurring nightmares about her new husband being murdered—and the murderer is a kind man to whom she was once engaged. Read it here .

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Ghost: The Halloween Boys

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Ghost: The Halloween Boys Kindle Edition

Awarded Best of #BookTok #1 Bestseller in Horror, Occult Fiction, Occult Horror, Bisexual Romance, and Holiday Romance. Ash Grove is a fine place to die.

I wanted to shake her and scream, “ You don’t have to be afraid anymore, you have me .”

And then chain her to my bed and yell, “ You should be very afraid now that you have me .”

I inhabited a form that was what every legend and dark tale warned little girls like her about. I’d slaughtered a thousand times over and I’d do so a thousand more. But the worst thing I’d ever do… would be what I did to her.

If kept running, I wouldn’t break. If I kept hiding, I wouldn’t cry.

If I kept moving he wouldn’t find me.

Running from an impossible evil landed me between the claws of something ancient and horrifying. I went to the masquerade as a fox. How ironic, because I didn’t feel clever, sly or brave. I was a wounded rabbit waiting for teeth. And more than one set of fangs found me. The worst part of all? I liked it.

The grown-up ghost story for anyone who loves Halloween and is ready to meet and fall in love with their new favorite monster.

Tricks and treats lurk around every jack o'lantern and gravestone in this grown-up Halloween-themed paranormal monster romance. Meet witches, vampires, wolves, ghouls, and maybe a few odd birds and pirates too. Sink your teeth into this paranormal urban fantasy romance and get ready for all the Halloween vibes. Come to Ash Grove with an open mind, choose your mask, sit, and stay a spell... if you dare.

Ghost: The Halloween Boys is book one in a polyam monster romance series. There will be no choosing between the love interests, though they're each possessive, and it will be a journey to get to their final pairings. HEA with no cliffhanger, only questions leading into book two. Dual POV, spicy, and spooky, intended for ages 18+. This is a dark romance. Please see the detailed list of content information on author’s site before reading.

  • Book 1 of 4 The Halloween Boys
  • Print length 374 pages
  • Language English
  • Sticky notes On Kindle Scribe
  • Publication date October 1, 2022
  • File size 5032 KB
  • Page Flip Enabled
  • Word Wise Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting Enabled
  • See all details

See full series

  • In This Series
  • By Kat Blackthorne
  • Dark Romance

Ghost: The Halloween Boys

From the Publisher


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From the author, product details.

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B26KLSJ4
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dark Hearts Press, LLC (October 1, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 1, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 5032 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 374 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ B0BCSDQ417
  • #1 in LGBTQ+ Horror eBooks
  • #28 in Occult Fiction
  • #42 in Bisexual Romance

About the author

Kat blackthorne.

Kat Blackthorne is a queer bestselling author of haunting romance. She writes passion, characters, and worlds that linger past the last page. Her tales embrace cozy darkness with magical and spooky twists. Catnip for her is banter, begging, challenging norms, and beings who worship their women.

Kat lives somewhere deep in the mountains in a witch's cottage with her talking feline. She has a collection of quotes and character names a mile long, her favorite holiday is Halloween, and her favorite book is whatever she read last.

Join her spooky reader coven on Facebook: Kat Blackthorne and The Black Hearts Coven

Follow her on Tiktok where The Halloween Boys hashtags have over six million views: @katblackthorne

Find her on Instagram: @katblackthorneauthor

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Kat Blackthorne

Ash Grove is a fine place to die.

Blythe has accepted her fate and is tired of running. Who would miss her anyway? She attends her new and eccentric town’s month-long Halloween masquerade for one last party before meeting her end. But what will she find…and what will find her?

A man in a skeleton mask is watching… and he’s not the only one.

She’s being hunted by a devil she knows and a ghost she doesn’t. But all is not what it seems in Ash Grove. Not all masks are made of paint and leather. Some are made of flesh and smiles. What’s lurking behind the ordinary facade in this space that swings between Mayberry and Gotham?

Ghost has killed before, he’ll kill again, and his sights are set on Blythe.

The grown up ghost story for anyone who loves Halloween and is ready to meet and fall in love with their new favorite monster.

Tricks and treats lurk around every jack o’lantern and gravestone in this grown up Halloween themed paranormal romance. Meet witches, vampires, wolves, and ghouls, and maybe a few odd birds and pirates too. Sink your teeth into this paranormal urban fantasy romance and get ready for all the Halloween vibes. Come to Ash Grove with an open mind, choose your mask, sit, and stay a spell… if you dare.

Dual POV, spicy, and spooky.

ghost book read

Coming soon!

Blood play, Breath play, non con, biting, bondage, dubious consent, occultism, monster sex, graveyard sex, church sex, size difference, virginity, biting, witchcraft, demon possession, stalking, homicide, suicide (not on page), suicidal ideations, domestic abuse, drugs, mentions of self harm, death, hauntings, graphic descriptions of murder, graphic sexual encounters including MF and MM, no protection, fluids, light degradation play, voyeurism, kidnapping, alcohol, themes and mentions of satanism and religious culture, researched and accurate depictions and descriptions of demonic entities some readers may find disturbing. 

Please note, due to increased demand, there is a 6-8 week shipping delay from order date on signed paperbacks and for preorders, from release date. Dismiss

January 6 Is Exactly What the Fourteenth Amendment Was Talking About

And ignoring its clear dictate is a dangerous choice to make.

Number 14 in Roman numerals with the "I" revealing Trump's face in red

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Produced by ElevenLabs and NOA, News Over Audio, using AI narration.

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, concerning his role in the January 6 coup attempt, began on February 9, 2021. Almost exactly three years later, on February 8, 2024, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over whether that last, desperate effort to illegally hold on to power might now disqualify Trump from returning to the Oval Office.

Many commentators have argued that the nine justices should overturn the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision barring Trump’s candidacy for reasons of prudence alone. “Keeping Mr. Trump off the ballot could put democracy at more risk rather than less,” the law professor Samuel Moyn warned in The New York Times . “To deny the voters the chance to elect the candidate of their choice … would be seen forever by tens of millions of Americans as a negation of democracy,” the New York columnist Jonathan Chait wrote .

But these arguments ignore that keeping Trump on the ballot is also a choice—one forced by Trump’s own actions—and that just as there are risks to barring him, there are also risks to disregarding the clear command of the Fourteenth Amendment. The section of the Amendment at issue—Section 3—sets certain conduct outside the bounds of what’s acceptable for public officials in a democratic society. Congress made that determination not on a whim, but in the years following a bloody conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and demonstrated just how serious the implications of violating that boundary can be. As a brutal effort to unlawfully derail the peaceful transfer of power, January 6 falls well within the range of conduct forbidden by Section 3. What message would the Supreme Court send if it closed its eyes to that prohibition—especially in the months before yet another presidential election with the threat of violence hanging over it?

Hiding beneath the surface of many of the arguments against disqualifying Trump is the sneaky suggestion that January 6 wasn’t all that bad —unpleasant, perhaps, but nothing worthy of being called an insurrection. This ignores both the horror of that day and the risk posed by a presidential candidate who continues to insist that he won in 2020, refuses to say that he will accept the results of the 2024 election , and routinely eggs his supporters on to further violence. “I just hope we get fair treatment,” Trump commented after the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling. “Because if we don’t, our country’s in big, big trouble.” The Fourteenth Amendment establishes that such conduct is unacceptable for a potential president, and it is in the interests of American democracy— unless you define democracy as mob rule —to reaffirm that determination. If the Court balks at this, then Trump will once again take away the message that he can act with impunity.

Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Trump again

Just months ago, the idea that the Fourteenth Amendment might have real force as a tool to bar Trump from the ballot seemed outlandish. The question of his disqualification rests on a dense tangle of legal and practical questions, many of them barely touched since Reconstruction. But as The Atlantic ’s contributing writer George Conway has argued , once you read through the legal documents and scholarship, it’s hard not to be convinced.

In the century and a half since the end of Reconstruction, Section 3 had become somewhat of a ghost—to the extent that Eric Foner, the prominent historian of the Civil War and Reconstruction, described it in 2019 as having “long since faded into history.” Just days after January 6, 2021, though, Foner argued in The Washington Post that Section 3 offered a viable tool for “dispensing some justice” for Trump’s betrayal of his office.

The path to disqualifying Trump is a thorny one, in part because the text of Section 3 is somewhat confusing to begin with and in part because clever lawyers have recently done their best to make it more so. There’s the question of who has the authority and responsibility to implement Section 3’s ban on insurrectionist officeholders. One argument, buttressed by a poorly reasoned 1869 court opinion known as Griffin’s Case , is that the only entity with such power is Congress—and so Colorado can’t bar Trump from the ballot without the federal legislature indicating explicitly that Section 3 may be enforced by those means. But recent scholarship from the law professors William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen—originalists whose methodology is likely to be appealing to the Supreme Court’s conservatives—has cast this view into serious doubt .

Another set of arguments relies on fine-grained distinctions between the specific wording used in Section 3 to exclude former presidents from the onetime officeholders to whom the amendment applies, and possibly also to exclude the presidency from the offices that insurrectionists are barred from holding. This position has the disadvantage of being absurd. Among other things, an enormous body of evidence indicates that contemporary Americans understood Section 3 to bar former Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the Oval Office.

This is only a small selection of the thicket of legal problems surrounding the case. But at the center is a very simple question: Was January 6 an insurrection? And did Donald Trump engage in it?

For all the debate over disqualifying Trump under Section 3, and the hubbub among pundits eager to downplay January 6 , the arguments against defining the Capitol insurrection as such remain remarkably feeble. Although three Colorado justices dissented from the state supreme court’s ruling barring Trump from the ballot, none of them did so on the grounds that the majority was wrong in deeming January 6 an insurrection. Even during oral arguments before that court, Trump’s legal team offered only the weakest of rebuttals, at one point suggesting that an insurrection must take place over “longer than three hours” and that the “geographical scope has to be broader than one building.” (Would a riot that took place over four hours and two buildings suffice?)

As the Colorado Supreme Court wrote, January 6 meets the bar for insurrection “under any viable definition” of the term. The legal scholar Mark Graber, who has closely studied the Fourteenth Amendment’s history, argues that “insurrection” should be understood broadly —an act of organized resistance to government authority motivated by a “public purpose.” That certainly describes the Capitol riot, in which a violent mob attacked law enforcement and threatened members of Congress and the vice president in order to block the rightful counting of the electoral vote and illegally secure the victory of the losing candidate. The historical record also suggests that the amendment’s requirement that a prospective officeholder must have “engaged in insurrection” should also be understood broadly—meaning that Trump’s speech on the Ellipse that morning and his encouragement of the rioters while they smashed their way through the Capitol more than fit the bill.

A common objection to the efforts to disqualify Trump—voiced by Moyn in the Times , among others —is that to do so would be antidemocratic, obviating the will of the voters who support his candidacy. But the goal of Section 3 was itself to secure American democracy by preventing those who had already broken their oaths to the Constitution from doing even more damage. It was an early form of what’s now known as “defensive democracy” or “militant democracy,” the practice of imposing rules and strictures to protect democracies from domestic authoritarian threats. Section 3 “is a measure of self-defense,” Senator Waitman Willey argued in 1866 —“designed to prevent a repetition of treason” by former Confederates, but also “intended to operate as a preventative of treason hereafter.”

David Frum: The Fourteenth Amendment fantasy

With this in mind, the focus on onetime officeholders turned insurrectionists makes sense. Graber points to the comments of Senator James W. Grimes, who stated during the Senate’s debates on Section 3 that “the man who has once violated his oath will be more liable to violate his fealty to the Government in the future.” Now consider how this reasoning applies to Donald Trump, a person who has already shown himself to be willing to overthrow a free and fair election by means up to and including encouraging his supporters to hang his vice president. Can he really be trusted to keep faith with the Constitution and with American democracy, either as a candidate or as a future president?

The Fourteenth Amendment was a radical document, intended to remake American society. Rejecting its dictates here downplays not only the catastrophe and lasting damage of what happened on January 6, but also the force of what Congress did when it passed Section 3 in 1866—establishing clearly that such events cannot be acceptable in a democracy. One of the most striking images from January 6 remains a photograph of a rioter standing inside the halls of Congress, carrying the Confederate flag .

The clearest rebuttal to the idea that potential chaos should lead the Court to reject the case for Trump’s disqualification can be found in an early ruling on Section 3 by U.S. District Judge John Underwood, shortly after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Underwood was faced with the question of whether Section 3 disqualified a former secessionist legislator from a postwar position as a Virginia state judge. He found that it did, though his decision was later reversed . “It is contended that great inconvenience will result from the enforcement of the Constitution and the laws,” Underwood wrote. But, he went on, “I think the experience of the last few years shows that much greater inconvenience results from attempting their overthrow.”


For those of you who love to read, I highly recommend this book:

Posted: January 15, 2024 | Last updated: January 16, 2024

The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods written by: Greg King The definitive story of the California redwoods, their discovery and their exploitation, as told by an activist who fought to protect their existence against those determined to cut them down. Every year millions of tourists from around the world visit California’s famous redwoods. Yet few who strain their necks to glimpse the tops of the world’s tallest trees understand how unlikely it is that these last isolated groves of giant trees still stand at all. In this gripping historical memoir, journalist and famed redwood activist Greg King examines how investors and a growing U.S. economy drove the timber industry to cut down all but 4 percent of the original two-million-acre redwood ecosystem. King first examined redwood logging in the 1980s—as an award-winning reporter. What he found in the woods convinced him to leap the line of neutrality and become an activist dedicated to saving the very last ancient redwood groves remaining in private hands. The land grab began in 1849, when a “green gold rush” of migrants came to exploit the legendary redwoods that grew along the Russian River. Several generations later, in 1987, Greg King discovered and named Headwaters Forest—at 3,000 acres the largest ancient redwood habitat remaining outside of parks—and he led the movement to save this grove. After a decade of one of the longest, most dramatic, and violent environmental campaigns in US history, in 1999 the state and federal governments protected Headwaters Forest. The Ghost Forest explores a central question, an overhanging mystery: What was it like, this botanical Elysium that grew only along the Northern California coast, a forest so spectacular—but also uniquely valuable as a cornerstone of American economic growth—that in the end, it would inspire life-and-death struggles? Few but loggers and surveyors ever saw such magnificent trees, ancient sentinels that, like ghosts, have informed King’s understanding of the world.

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  1. Ghost Story by Peter Straub (English) Paperback Book Free Shipping

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  4. True Haunted Stories Book All About Horror: 15 Creepy

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  5. 8 of the Best Ghost Story Books

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  6. 8 of the Best Middle Grade Ghost Stories

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  1. GHOST Read Online Free Without Download

    Ghost - read free eBook by Jason Reynolds in online reader directly on the web page. Select files or add your book in reader.

  2. The 21 Best Ghost Books to Read for Halloween 2021

    Reviews Learning 21 haunting books to read this Halloween, from ghostly thrillers to paranormal romances Written by Katherine Fiorillo From chilling thrillers and haunted house horror novels to...

  3. 28 Gripping Ghost Story Books

    1. The Haunting Of Hill House by Shirley Jackson If you're looking for ghost story books, you really should start with the master of the genre, Shirley Jackson. Her classic gothic horror novels and short stories will send chills up your spine like no other.

  4. Ghost

    A National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of the acclaimed Track series from Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award-winning author Jason Reynolds.

  5. Ghost by Jason Reynolds Pages 1-50

    Description: Ghost by Jason Reynolds Read the Text Version Pages: 1 - 50 51 - 100 101 - 143 THANKS FOR DOWNLOADING THIS EBOOK! We have SO many more books for kids in the inu0002beTWEEN age that we'd love to share with you!

  6. 10 Best Ghost Books

    Books 10 Books About Ghosts That Will Scare the Shit Out of You—and Make You Smarter These ghoulish tales ask us to interrogate our past and question our prejudices. They're also really, really...

  7. Ghost

    Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down...

  8. Ghost Stories Books

    5 books — 6 voters Ghost Stories genre: new releases and popular books, including The September House by Carissa Orlando, The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James, The Paleon...

  9. 15 Best Ghost Books

    1 Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories Paperback Box Set: The Complete 3-Book Collection Now 42% Off $14 at Amazon Credit: HarperCollins I don't know which is scarier in this three-book series: The...

  10. The 23 Best Ghost Books: Spooky and Not So Spooky

    The 23 Best Ghost Books: Spooky and Not So Spooky 31 There is something about ghost books that I love to read in the fall. Colder nights, crunchy leaves, and Halloween all scream ghost stories to me. This year, we read so many great paranormal books that we could not wait to share them with you.

  11. Ghosts Books

    In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost (sometimes known as a spectre (British English) or specter (American English), phantom, apparition or spook) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. New Releases Tagged "Ghosts" Most Read This Week More most read this week...

  12. HORROR books & SCARY stories free to read

    The Midnight Road Sheriff Lutz finds more than he bargained for out on Highway 99 When Sheriff Andrew Lutz is called out to old Highway 99, he thinks he's going to find an open-and-shut case of murder. Instead, he f...... horror / thriller by Ashley Schlueter • Complete • 5 chapters Show Reviews (31) Don't Turn Around

  13. Ghost (Track, #1) by Jason Reynolds

    Ghost Jason Reynolds 4.21 44,191 ratings6,235 reviews Running. That's all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race—and wins—the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent.

  14. 100 Best (and Scariest) Horror Books of All Time

    100 Best (and Scariest) Horror Books of All Time The definition of scary changes from person to person. For some, it might be ghosts and haunted houses. For others, serial killers. For still others, the most frightening things are the ones that go bump in the night, unseen.

  15. 8 of the Best (Haunted) Books About Ghosts

    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. One of the most famous ghost novels of all time, with good reason. Jackson was an expert of creep, the queen of the unsettling. The novel is about four strangers who stay at Hill House for various reasons, but will all be subjected to the spooky that resides there. GULP.

  16. 35 Seriously Creepy & Spooky Books For Adults

    This eclectic spooky books reading list is also perfect for Halloween, October, or the fall. Find something for every type of reader. Uncover the newest suspense novels, vampire books, and even a few psychological thrillers. We love our creepy classics and riveting and popular ghost and haunted house books.

  17. 13 Ghost Stories Books to Read Around the Halloween Campfire

    The World's Favorite Ghost Stories. $6.99. Add to Cart. 3. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a 3-books-in-1 collection with original artwork and jacketed hardcover. It's even been made into a major motion picture.

  18. Ghost Stories

    Books featuring ghosts can be enjoyed at any time of the year. However, for those who love this kind of Books, there's nothing quite like reading a good bone-chilling and supernatural story over the spooky season. ... Download this FREE e-book that contains a collection of true ghost stories from around the world. Download it today! 6 Famous ...

  19. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

    A National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of the acclaimed Track series from Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award-winning author Jason Reynolds.

  20. 20 scariest horror stories you can read for free online

    The only thing cheap about these thrills from Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and more is the price. Enjoy terrifying tales from some of the genre's best for free.

  21. 51 of the Best Creepy Books to Read for Halloween

    TO READ FOR HALLOWEEN. 1. Everyone's Thinking It by Aleema Omotoni. Mean Girls meets Dear White People in this big-hearted, sharp-witted UK boarding school story about family, friendship, and belonging—with a propulsive mystery at its heart.

  22. Ghost: The Halloween Boys Kindle Edition

    Ghost: The Halloween Boys - Kindle edition by Blackthorne, Kat. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Ghost: The Halloween Boys.

  23. Ghost

    Meet witches, vampires, wolves, and ghouls, and maybe a few odd birds and pirates too. Sink your teeth into this paranormal urban fantasy romance and get ready for all the Halloween vibes. Come to Ash Grove with an open mind, choose your mask, sit, and stay a spell… if you dare. Dual POV, spicy, and spooky. Praise. Coming soon!

  24. January 6 Is Exactly What the Fourteenth Amendment Was Talking About

    Produced by ElevenLabs and NOA, News Over Audio, using AI narration. The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, concerning his role in the January 6 coup attempt, began on February 9, 2021 ...

  25. For those of you who love to read, I highly recommend this book:

    MORE FOR YOU. The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods written by: Greg King The definitive story of the California redwoods, their discovery and their ...