The Savvy Reader

Looking for a really good scary read this Halloween? We have 20 for you, divided by age group so people of all ages can enjoy a good scare!

For Adults:

1. The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan — Finally, the final chapter in The Strain trilogy is here! Here, a small band of humans continue to fight against vampires, intent on taking over the world. This one very, very frightening vampire story.

Note: The first two books in the Strain trilogy also make great Halloween reads.

2. Quiver by Holly Luhning — Ever heard of Countess Elizabeth Bathory? Luhning crafts a truly creepy story about a young forensic psychologist researching the Bathory legend in Quiver. Warning: there’s a lot of blood and gore.

3. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill — When we asked for suggestions of scary books on Facebook & twitter, Brenda claimed that this was the scariest book she’s ever read. See what happens when Judas Coyne opens a mysterious black heart-shaped box he buys off the Internet…

4. Flesh House by Stuart MacBride — If you are looking for a really gory story this Halloween then all of Stuart MacBride’s books should be on your list. If we had to pick one it’d be Flesh House, the story of a notorious serial killer called ‘the Flesher’ on the loose in Aberdeen.

5. Gone by Mo Hayder — A murder detective must try and track down a man stealing cars with children inside. *Shudder* This book is every parents worst nightmare. Very scary stuff!

6. Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid — A clinical psychiatrist becomes entangled in a gruesome murder that happened at her old Oxford college.

7. The Radleys by Matt Haig — This isn’t your typical vampire story, and I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s scary, but if you like your vampires blood-thirsty then this is the book for you. See what happens when a family of vampires try to fight the urge to drink blood.

8. Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson — Another book that isn’t your blood-and-murder type of scare, but it sure did scare the heck out of me. Imagine waking up every day and having no idea who you are, or who you can trust…

9. The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg — Children start going missing in a remote fishing village and it’s up to a local detective to solve the case. If you love Steig Larsson’s books you’ll love Swedish author Camilla Lackberg.

10. Graveminder by Melissa Marr — From the bestselling author of the YA Wicked Lovely series comes a dark and suspenseful story about the walking dead.

For Teens, Pre-teens & YA fans:

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman — The story of a young boy named Bod who would be totally normal, if he weren’t raised in a graveyard by ghosts.

2. The Palace of the Damned by Darren Shan — This is book three in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, by the author of the Cirque du Freak series. Here, Larten experiences the darkest time he has ever known as he tries to save a child’s soul, and his own.

3. Variant by Robison Wells — Benson Fisher thinks his new school will be perfect, but nothing is as it seems at Maxfield Academy… This is one gripping story that will keep you guessing on every page.

4. Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil by Derek Landy — Who doesn’t love Skulduggery Pleasant, the skeleton detective? This quirky series is perfect for kids ages 9 and up.

5. Department 19 by Will Hill — Haven’t heard of Dept. 19? That’s because it’s the government’s most secret agency and it saves your life every single day. Intrigued?

For the Middle Grades & Little Ones:

1. Half-Minute Horrors by Susan Rich & various authors — How scared can you get in just thirty seconds? Find out with this collection of short and scary stories from authors like Neil Gaiman, RL Stine and James Patterson.

2. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz – This classic collection of seven scary stories for little ones is now available as an ‘I Can Read’ so they can read along.

3. Guys Read: Thriller edited by John Scieszka — A new collection of short stories that will keep your heart pounding. Great for kids ages 8-12.

4. The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vasilovich — A cute and creepy picture book about one young girl’s countdown to Halloween and the gifts her mother gives her each night, starting with a skeleton key.

5. Trick or Treat, Marley! by John Grogan — See how our favourite mischievous pup celebrates Halloween in this adorable picture book.

There you go! 20 scary reads for you to pick up (or drop off) this Halloween.

Follow me on twitter @shanparsons

  • Wendy(Mocha ღ Latte)

    Excellent list, Shannon!
    Before I Go to Sleep, Variant and Quiver are fantastic reads! I’ll have to dive into a few of the others listed, as well =)

    -Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  • Celestial Elf

    Great List Thanks :D
    Happy Halloween

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  • Michele//Just a Lil Lost

    Before I Go To Sleep is definitely on my list to-read! Same with Variant.. 
    I read Heart-Shaped Box last year.. remember it being really good and really scary, but I can’t remember much else of it for some reason! Great list!