Books to Terrify You this Halloween

Happy Thursday, Savvy Readers! If you’re as big a fan of the spooky season as I am, chances are you’re getting very excited for Halloween! That being said, there’s never really a bad time for a good scare, and these books are sure to terrify you all year round!


Full Throttle by Joe Hill

A masterful collection of short fiction, in Full Throttle Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including “In The Tall Grass,” one of two stories co-written with Stephen King and the basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix! The perfect spooky selection for the Halloween season this is one collection you’ll want to read with the lights on!


A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs

A pair of chilling tales that examine the violence and depravity of the human condition, A Lush and Seething Hell brings together John Hornor Jacobs‘ acclaimed novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and an all-new short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow. A brilliant mix of the psychological and supernatural, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky examines life in a South American dictatorship. Centered on the journal of a poet-in-exile and his failed attempts at translating a maddening text, it is told by a young woman trying to come to grips with a country that nearly devoured itself. While in My Heart Struck Sorrow, a librarian discovers a recording from the Deep South—which may be the musical stylings of the Devil himself. Breathtaking and haunting, these tales are a terrifying and exhilarating journey into the darkness.


The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene. Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago. A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted? To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues. Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over. And no one is safe. A gruesome tale from the creator of the television show The Killing and soon to be a Netflix original series, this is one thriller you don’t want to miss!


House of Brides by Jane Cockram

Miranda’s life and career have been a roller-coaster ride, especially after a product endorsement goes awry. Desperate to get away from the trolls shaming her on the internet, she receives a mysterious letter from a young cousin in England that plunges her into a dark family mystery. Miranda’s mother Tessa Summers, a famous author, died when Miranda was a child and her only connection to the Summers family is through Tessa’s famous book The House of Brides—a chronicle of the generations of women who married into the infamous Summers family and made their home in Barnsley House, the family’s estate. From Gertrude Summers, a famed crime novelist, to Miranda’s grandmother Beatrice, who killed herself after setting fire to Barnsley while her children slept, each woman in The House of Brides is more notorious than the next. The house’s current “bride” is the beautiful, effervescent Daphne, her uncle’s wife—a famed celebrity chef who saved Barnsley from ruin turning the estate into an exclusive culinary destination and hotel. Curious about the family she has never met, Miranda arrives at Barnsley posing as a prospective nanny. But Barnsley is not what Miranda expected. The luxury destination and award-winning restaurant are gone, and Daphne is nowhere to be found. Most disturbing, one of the children is in a wheelchair after a mysterious accident. What happened in this house? Where is Daphne? What darkness lies hidden in Barnsley?


The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

If you love scary stories and haven’t read The Nanny, I guess I’m just wondering what you’re waiting for?! When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind. Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.


Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Whether you’ve already read Full Throttle and are ready for more from Joe Hill, or you’re just dipping your toe in, Strange Weather presents four chilling novels that seek to expose the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of everyday life. From “Snapshot” in which a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by a thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, to “Loaded,” in which a mall security guard stops a mass shooting only to unravel under the glare of the spotlights, Strange Weather masterfully explores classic literary themes through the prism of the supernatural.


Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Who are the Sawkill Girls? Marion: The newbie. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find. Zoey: The pariah. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is. Val: The queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives; a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies. Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight…until now. A wild, gorgeous, and rich coming-of-age story about complicity, female camaraderie, and power, Sawkill Girls is a spine-tingling novel about three teenage girls who face off against an insidious monster that preys upon young women.


Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman

 From the author of the hit literary horror debut Bird Box comes a chilling novel about a group of musicians conscripted by the US government to track down the source of a strange and debilitating sound. The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once again have a number one hit. That is, until an agent from the US Army approaches them with a request to travel to an African desert and track down the source of a mysterious and malevolent sound. Under the guidance of their front man, the Danes embark on a harrowing journey through the scorching desert—a trip that takes them into the heart of an ominous and twisted conspiracy. Meanwhile, in a nondescript Midwestern hospital, a nurse named Ellen tends to a patient recovering from a near-fatal accident. The circumstances that led to his injuries are mysterious—and his body heals at a remarkable rate. Ellen will do the impossible for this enigmatic patient, who reveals more about his accident with each passing day.

Welcome to Night Vale, It Devours!Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Best known as the creators of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor‘s Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! present readers with the hypnotic and darkly funny American gothic. Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. Examining the poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves and the intersection of science, faith, love and belonging these books are perfect for fans of Stephen King and Twin Peaks. Can’t get enough of American horror? Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink continues in a similar vein to his previous books and is a fast-paced thriller about a female truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead.

That’s all, for now, Savvy Readers! Whether you’re willing to brave some of these books or are too spooked to turn the page, comment below or Tweet us @SavvyReader and let me know which of these Halloween reads piques your interest.

Happy reading, if you dare.

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @marisolfokes.

One thought on “Books to Terrify You this Halloween

  1. Ohhh the Joseph Fink titles sound fantastic! I haven’t listened to the podcast, but I’m definitely going to check those out.

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