It’s spooky season and it’s time for some spooky book recs!
I’m going to start off by saying – I’m a huge chicken.
I can’t watch anything even remotely scary or I’ll be “sleeping” with the lights on. But I have found that there are some spookier books that I can handle.
All that to say – these books might be a little tame in comparison to some other lists.
So if you’re new to spook or what something a little less terrifying, these might be a good option!
I organized by level of spookiness! From the ones that were just mildly unsettling to the ones that kept me up at night.
This is first on the list because this book isn’t out right horror. But it has such a ominous, forbidding tone that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. This book is creepy and weird as hell. I definitely recommend this even if you didn’t love Wilder Girls. It’s a totally different vibe and has an ending that I loved.
This YA graphic novel collection definitely gave me chills. I put this low on the scare factor because while 2 of these creeped me the hell out, I wasn’t a fan of the other ones. This is a perfect October readathon book since it’s a collection of graphic short stories! And the illustrations are terrifying.
This creepy YA fantasy follows a group of girls battling a demon that is killing girls on the island where they live. I was pretty surprised by how dark and graphic this story got. It definitely brings the dark, creepy vibes.
This is still one of the most surprising books I’ve ever read. This book might look like your typical YA fantasy, but it definitely is not. This book is creepy and atmospheric and a perfect fall read.
And the end had me pretty creeped out!!
5. The Sun Down Motel/The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Simone St. James is the master at thrillers with slight paranormal twists. Both of the books focus on a mystery plot but have minor paranormal aspects throughout. I love how spooky both of these get! Neither is outright terrifying but they’re definitely creepy, ominous reads.
This is the perfect spooky, witchy read for October! It definitely had me creeped out at times. This book is often wrongly categorized as YA – it definitely is not. This story gets really dark and violent, especially at the end.
7. Riley Sager
Riley Sager can do no wrong in my eyes. Every single one of his thrillers had me on the edge of my seat.
Final Girls reads kind of like a slasher novel, The Last Time I Lied is a summer-time thriller, and Lock Every Door and Home Before Dark are amazing haunted house(-like) stories!
I only gave this book 3 stars because I really disliked the reveal. But wow did this scare me while I was reading. This thriller is so amazingly atmospheric and spooky.
This is a thriller novel following a women who is writing to a solicitor from prison. She is being accused of murdering one of the children she was a nanny for. The haunted house vibes of this were so well done I actually screamed when someone rang my doorbell while I was reading.
9. Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
This is a YA horror novel that scared the hell outta me.
The one thing I try to steer clear of in horror is anything paranormal – that shit terrifies me! So why I picked up a book marketed as The Grudge meets The Ring is beyond me…..
This follows a female ghost who hunts and kills child murders. The ghost finds herself drawn to a mysterious boy with even more mysterious tattoos. There’s brutal murders, terrifying dolls, and possession. *shivers*
10. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Hands down the book that terrified me the most.
This horror novel follows a family who is vacationing at a cabin the woods when a group of people show up with weapons and try to force their way in. The group of strangers is insisting that the world is ending and that this family are the only people that can save everyone.
Everything about this book unsettled me. Not only is home invasion one of my top fears, but this book does not shy away from anything. It’s gory and brutal and really dark. If you’re looking for something to really mess with your mind this spooky season – this is your recommendation.
What are some of your favorite spooky books??