Halloween is a time for scary stories, whether its with a circle of friends and a flashlight, curled up in bed with a beloved pet, or (for the brave-hearted) reading alone to the sounds of creaky porch swings and squeaky staircases. Here are some of our favourite spooktacular reads — but don’t blame us if you get nightmares.
1. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
You’ll never call vegetables bland again after reading this deliciously clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him.
What sounds does a possessed carrot make?
2. Red Rain by R.L. Stine
This is not a story for your kids. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Goosebumps and R.L. Stine is delighting his come-of-age readers with an adult thriller. In Red Rain, Stine uses his unerring knack for creating terror to tap into some very grownup fears. Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction through the island and Lea barely escapes with her life.
You can also never go wrong with R.L. Stine classics like his FEAR STREET series.
3. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
R is not your typical zombie. Sure, he loves a good brain, but R is having an existential crisis and longs for more. When he meets Julie, R makes an unexpected choice and begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with her. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead and love a good romance, then this one’s for you.
4. In The Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill
In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they’ve lost one another.
This exclusive ebook also gives readers a sneak peek at Stephen King‘s Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining.
5. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
“Anyone with a pulse will enjoy this novel, and anyone with a brain will find plenty of food for thought inside.”–Michael Northrop, author of Gentlemen
A gripping and surprisingly touching story about growing up in a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
6. Bloodman by Robert Pobi
You’ll want to leave the lights on while reading this terrifying thriller. FBI consultant Jake Cole has returned Montauk to care for his ailing father. Intent on getting his father into an assisted facility and returning to his life in New York, his plans are waylaid when he receives a call from the local police chief about a twisted serial killer. Robert Pobi creates his own brand of bogeyman as he weaves a tale of unthinkable—yet plausible—horror in the form of a psychotic madman who’s always one step ahead committing unfathomable atrocities that all seem to stem from the mere presence of Jake Cole and his return home.
7. Creep by Jennifer Hillier
We all have secrets. Dr. Sheila Tao, a professor of psychology, is an expert in human behavior. And when she began an affair with sexy, charming graduate student Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Now that her kind and loving boyfriend has proposed, Sheila knows the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. But when she attempts to end the affair, Ethan Wolfe won’t let her walk away. If he can’t have her…no one else can…
Read the follow-up novel Freak.
8. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
A terrible house fire has left Will Henry an orphan and in the care of Dr. Wathrop, his father’s employer. Wathrop is a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was feeding on her, Will’s world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagi–a headless monster that feeds through the mouthfuls of teeth in its chest–and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatenning to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.
Read the rest of The Monstrumologist series.
9. You’re invited to a Creepover: Truth or Dare by P.J. Night
During a round of Truth or Dare, Abby Miller confesses her crush on Jake Chilson. The only people who know her secret are her friends at the sleepover—and whoever sent her a text message in the middle of the night warning her to stay away from Jake…or else! But Abby isn’t going to stay away from Jake, especially not after he asks her to the school dance. As the night of the dance comes closer, some very creepy things start happening to Abby. Someone definitely wants to keep her away from Jake. Is it a jealous classmate or, as Abby begins to suspect, could it be a ghost?
Read more from You’re invited to a Creepover series.
10. Thirst by Christopher Pike
Halloween just isn’t complete without a vampire story. At five thousand years old, the vampire Alisa thought she was smart enough to stay out of trouble. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must protect herself by befriending Ray, the boy who may be her only chance at finding her maker. When she begins to fall in love with Ray, all of a sudden there is more at stake than her own life.
Got your own list of Halloween reads? Share them with us in the comments section.