Spooky Reads for Halloween! (2021)

Happy Halloween! Are you looking for the perfect read to accompany tonight’s festivities? Well pull up a chair and set that candy bowl within reach and crack the spine of one of these scary stories.

The Push by Ashley Audrain is a book that had me holding my breath through every chapter. If you are a mom of a difficult child or anyone who works with children, this one will send shivers up your spine.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab combines a girl who is basically a ghost with immortality like vampires with a dash of deals with the devil to create a story that crosses centuries and asks what it means to be alive. Women especially know the fear of being invisible – this story puts that fear front and center.

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman took me completely by surprise. I loved his book Unbury Carol so I had to get this one to see if it was as good. Much shorter but just as intense, Malerman combines the innocence of young love with the terror of discovering the unknown. If you’re afraid of drowning and jump scares are what get your heart racing, you should grab this one by the throat.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart is a book about a crumbling empire, old gods returning, and an emperor’s power built on frankensteined zombies and bone shards torn from the living. If sneaking around things that could tear you limb from limb and eat you for dinner makes the hairs on your arms stand up, check this one out and stay guessing until the very end.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is easily one of the scariest books I have ever read. Based on Native American folklore, the ghost of a wronged elk spirit hunts down the men responsible for the disrespectful murder of her herd and her unborn calf in attempt to balance the natural scales. A classic “sins of the father” type tale that will grab you and not let go, just watch out for the antlers.

The only book on the list with a classic Halloween villain, The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix mixes vampire lore with the obliviousness of white suburbia. A vampire hides in plain sight and feeds in the midst of the neighborhood’s ignorance until one of the mothers discovers what’s really going on and can’t stop until everyone is safe. If gore and suspense is your cup of tea, alongside the horror of being gaslighted and ignored, this book should set the stage for a heart that goes bump in the night.

Enjoy! Happy Halloween!