bookspry halloween book reviews

Wondering what to read this Halloween? Looking for the spookiest (but also the best) Halloween reading recommendations? As usual, the bookspry team is here to help!

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for horror (and general spooky) fiction. I think it started with Halloween when I was young. Who doesn’t love free candy and getting to dress up as a superhero!?! But it really took off when I read Frankenstein and Dracula in high school. Every year, around Halloween, I always make sure to read something that will give me the creeps. I guess that’s why I was picked to write this year’s Halloween’s reads list!

So…light some candle, put the Ouija board away for a minute and have a look at our recommendations for the best Halloween reads!

bookspry’s best Halloween books of 2018!

best halloween reads haunting of hill house by shirley jackson

Culturally Relevant: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

If you haven’t read this book (and you should) you’ve probably been hearing a lot about it recently due to the new Netflix tv show based on the Hill House universe. Whether or not you’ve seen the show, this book is a must-read for horror fans. The atmosphere, the characters, the classic horror themes. It becomes obvious very quickly why Shirley Jackson is considered one of the great masters of horror literature.


best halloween reads frankenstein by mary shelley

Classic: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

This one might seem obvious, but if you’ve read it, you know why it’s on the list. Aside from the incredible historical context (arguably the first science fiction novel ever written that has spawned uncountable movies, books, comics, etc), it’s a legitimately terrifying story.

It’s also worth remembering that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is in the public domain and is available at one of our favourite free ebook sites, Standard ebooks, for free!


best halloween reads night shift by stephen king

Short stories: Night Shift by Stephen King

Obviously there was going to be some Stephen King on this list and, considering the sheer volume of books King has written, choosing one was always going to be tough. We aren’t saying that this is the best Stephen King book, but if you’re looking for some short, fun, spooky/creepy/gross Halloween stories, this is the book for you. The stories range from silly to sad to creepy to scary but all of them are great for this time of year.

best halloween reads i am legend by richard matheson

Quick read: I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Don’t have much time to read this Halloween and looking for a quick Halloween read? Give this novella by Richard Matheson a try. Considered to be one of the main influences behind the zombie movie genre, this book is a quick read, but packs enough real human emotion and atmosphere to satisfy the most discerning of horror customers. Don’t worry if you’ve seen the movie, the book is different enough (and better enough) that you should read it anyway.

best halloween reads the little stranger by sarah waters

Modern Classic: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

This book might actually be the scariest on the list. I remember reading this for my book club and there were several members who admitted to skipping through certain sections of the book (Note: I don’t recommend skipping anything, ever!!). It’s an award winning novel that reads as a cross between Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe.

best halloween reads the haunted mask by R.L. Stine

For Kids: Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine

Looking for good Halloween books for kids? Hard to beat the Goosebumps series.

I wanted to include something the family could share, but I have to warn you, the Haunted Mask scared me enough as a kid that I basically consider it a book for adults.

I grew up ordering Goosebumps books through my local Scholastic book fair, and I can’t recommend them enough. They take the stories seriously enough that they can provide some legitimate scares for kids, but are fun enough that you don’t have to worry about.

Halloween is a great time to dip into genres that you usually don’t think to read, and while there are hundreds and hundreds of books you could read this year, if there are any books on this Halloween reading list that you haven’t read yet…you could do a lot worse.


If you have some recommendations for our list, or disagree with some of our books (or just want to say hi!) drop us a line at

  • Bookspry team