With Halloween coming up, I’m starting to get into the ‘spirit’ of things. I’m not much of a horror movie fan, however I love reading a good thriller. I’m sharing eight Halloween books that will get you in a spooky mood– everything from the tame and mystical to the disturbing and frightful.
Keep reading for my top spooky season book picks>>
Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman
Topping my list of Halloween books in Practical Magic, a truly magical tale of love, witchery and a sisterly bond. If you are not into thrillers or horror but want to get the Halloween feels all the same, this is a must read! The story follows Gillian and Sally Owens who grew up with their aunts in a small Massachusetts town where whispers of the Owens women practicing witchcraft don’t go unheard. In fact, the town pretty much blames Owens women for anything that goes wrong. Gillian, the free spirit, leaves town as soon as she can not wanting to be bound by rules. Sally, on the other hand, settles and has two girls of her own. Years later, Gillian returns inserting herself back into Sally’s life. When Gillian’s abusive boyfriend dies unexpectedly, the sister’s must turn to their magical roots to thwart any suspicious of wrong-doing, ultimately strengthening their familial bond.
I mean, can I really just highlight only one Stephen King novel?! No way! Stephen King is the father of horror reads– take your pick of pretty much anything of his to invoke the Halloween heebie-jeebies. Popular reads include The Shining, It, Doctor Sleep, Carrie, Pet Semetary and so many more. Many of his horror stories have been made into blockbuster hits and must-see television movies. Need I say more?
The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware
I love a good psychological thriller and this one has some creepy, spooky moments that earned it a spot on this list. The story is told by Rowan Caine in a series of letters to her lawyer. It starts when Rowan answers an ad for a live-in nanny for a family living in the Scottish Highlands. When she arrives to Heatherbrae House, Rowan is in awe of luxuries and conveniences of the ‘smart home’ outfitted with all the latest technology. Her letters start delving in to the events that eventually lead to her incarceration… and a child dead. This one has everything– suspense, creepy children, a spooky house, and a riveting story– so much so that I read it in a single night.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Charlaine Harris
I read the Sookie Stackhouse series long before True Blood existed and I absolutely loved it! The series contains 13 books that focus on the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress and telepath in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Vampires had recently revealed themselves to the world and have hoped to begin to live harmoniously with humans, even drinking a synthetic blood in order to forgo human blood. Sookie’s world is not only filled with vampires but werewolves (two-natureds), fairies, witches, demons and other mythological creatures. The series has humor, romance, drama and its so easy to fall in love with Sookie and characters featured. And yes, there is Bill and Eric, two extremely handsome vampires who vie for Sookie’s attention. These are fun, easy reads that I highly recommend if you’re looking for books on the lighter side.
The End of Her, Shari Lapena
The latest domestic suspense novel from best-selling author Shari Lapena centers around new parents Stephanie and Patrick trying to deal with their colicky babies– insert major sleep deprivation. A woman from Patrick’s past shows up accusing him of murdering his first wife, who was originally thought to have died in an accident. While Patrick denies these accusations, the woman, Erica, knows things that begin to have Stephanie questioning her husband. Who’s telling the truth?
My copy just came in and I can’t wait to dive in and find out! Lapena is one of my favorite authors and her books never disappoint.
Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
Over the years I’ve read many thrillers but none of them have stuck with me quite like this. Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, is an incredible writer and storyteller with a true knack for the macabre. I don’t know if midwest gothic is a true genre, if so this falls into it completely. Dark Places follows Libby Day who was just seven years old when her mother and two sisters were gruesomely murdered in what became known as “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She testifies that her 15-year-old brother Ben was the killer and he is sent to prison for the murders. Flash forward 20+ years later and she is approached by a true crime club obsessed with the story in an attempt to gain more information and details of the murders. Hoping to turn a profit with her story, Libby agrees to provide more details. As she begins to search for answers of her own, she begins to uncover what really happened that horrific night. As the truth begins to emerge, Libby finds herself in danger once more.
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Can I really round up the best Halloween books without mentioning the classic that is Dracula? Set in the early 19th century, the novel tells the story of a young man traveling to the mysterious castle of Count Dracula in Transylvania. The eerie count is in need of the young man’s legal services to relocate to England… where he secretly is plotting to find new blood & spread the curse of the undead. However, Professor Van Helsing knows that Dracula is truly a vampire and has made a vow to stop him.
What’s a great spooky book list without a dive into America’s most well-known paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren? This highly rated book shares the experiences of the couple, many of which were basis for popular horror films. Ever heard of Amityville Horror, or maybe The Conjouring? If you believe that demonic possessions and exorcisms are even remotely possible, this is the read for you.
Which Halloween books get you in a spooky mood? Read more of my book reviews here!
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