It is one week until Halloween (eeee!) and it’s time for my third round of spooky book recommendations for your Halloween TBR! Does this mean I’m done recommending spooky books forever? Of course not! I love spooky books and I am always reading them, which means I’m always collecting more to recommend! But for now, this will wrap up my list of recs for the 2017 Halloween season.
Can’t read your whole Halloween TBR by Halloween? Great news! Unlike Halloween candy, spooky books never go bad and are great all year round. At least according to me.
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock was my most recent read by Paul Tremblay (whose writing I am very quickly and very steadily falling more and more in love with), and if you want to know a lot about what I think of it, I have a full review here for your reading pleasure. But if you want the quick rundown, here it is: this book, about the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Tommy, blends psychological thriller/mystery with the supernatural in a subtle but super freaky way that will have you wondering what you should be more afraid of: ghosts and the possibly paranormal, or the horrible things humans do to each other. This book seriously had me a little freaked out, and I was flip-flopping back and forth between thinking something supernatural was happening or thinking that it was just the stress of the situation making the family think they were seeing things. I highly, highly recommend this book. It’s perfect to read in the dark and will send a chill down your spine.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
What an underrated read by Joe Hill! I know I have recommended a couple of other books by Joe Hill on my other lists, but seriously, can we all just agree that he and everyone in his family are just insanely talented, especially in the realm of spookiness? I don’t see people talking about Heart-Shaped Box much anymore, so if you haven’t read it yet, you should! This book takes it back to a straightforward stock favorite: ghosts. Freaky, scary, vengeful ghosts. In this case, a ghost presumably attached to a dead man’s suit that the main character purchases online, which leads to a freaky running-away-from-a-terrifying-ghost road trip, and isn’t that the best kind of road trip?!
Oh, wait…I mean, no. No, it isn’t. But it will keep you in suspense and there is a good chance you will not be able to guess what is around the corner in this novel by the author of Horns and 20th Century Ghosts.
Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
Survive the Night was the first book I read by Danielle Vega and it was the book that made me a huge fan of hers, because it honestly kind of freaked me out, and it really made me think. In this YA horror novel from the author The Merciless series (which y’all know I adore), Casey and her friends go to an underground rave where things go disgustingly, horribly wrong when attendees start getting gruesomely murdered and then Casey and her friends find themselves trapped beneath the city in the abandoned subway tunnels running away from…something. This book is a little gross, a little trippy, and a lot spooky! One of my favorite things about this book is that throughout, I found myself wondering if this really was all happening, and if this was a literal monster the characters were facing down, or if it was a bad trip from the drugs they were taking, or if it was all a lengthy metaphor for running from our own demons.
Either way, it’s awesome, and possibly Vega’s best work, in my opinion. Which is saying a lot when you know how much I love The Merciless. I’m going to make a lofty statement here: If you only pick one book from this list to read, pick this one.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
I’ll admit it—I didn’t like My Best Friend’s Exorcism as much as I liked the first book I read by Grady Hendrix, which was Horrorstor. But My Best Friend’s Exorcism sucked me in with its kitschy, hardcore 80’s vibes and a slightly different take on the often played out exorcism trope. In this horror novel, Abby’s best friend Gretchen goes missing during a slumber party, and when she finally emerges from the woods, she is acting extremely strange. Her possession grows and strengthens through the course of the novel, and the evil manifests itself in some really interesting ways as she turns on her friends and loved ones. At the end of the day, the only person prepared to face the evil head on and try to save her is Gretchen’s best friend, Abby. This may not have been one of my favorite reads of all time (and you can read my full review and all my thoughts on it here), but for a Halloween TBR, this book is a great fit, will keep you guessing, and does have some pretty freaky/gross moments.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
You know I like to include one classic on each of these lists, and Dracula is one of those books that I really think every horror fan should read at least once, if only so you can really get a look at the roots and at the lineage of this genre. Dracula is the granddaddy of vampire books. Without this, there is no Vampire Chronicles, no Vampire Academy, no Twilight. We are looking at the ancestry here, folks. In case you live under a rock (or haven’t seen the movie), Dracula follows Jonathan Harker as he visits Count Dracula’s infamous castle in Transylvania and things escalate so quickly.
Harker sees the spooky count himself turn into a bat, he is visited by three mysterious women in the night, he wakes up with wounds on his neck—you know, standard vampire stuff.
But even after Harker manages to make out safely, the horror of the Dracula’s Castle follows him, and things explode into full scale vampire madness.
If you are a horror fan, or a vampire fan, or a classic literature fan, trust me, you will want to give this one a go.
Okay, y’all, that does it for my spooky book recommendations for Spoopy Season ’17! Have you read any of these books? What’s on your Halloween TBR? Let me know in the comments! You know I’d love to talk. <3