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Horror Books for Halloween

Thrills and chills!

October 26, 2021

Get your thrills and chills this October with spooky ghost stories, moody Gothic horror, psychological thrillers, and more!




From Pagan Ritual to Party Night

Nicholas Rogers

Drawing on an array of sources, from classical history to Hollywood films, Rogers traces Halloween as it emerged from the Celtic festival of Samhain (summer’s end), picked up elements of the Christian Hallowtide (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), arrived in North America as an Irish and Scottish festival, and evolved into an unofficial but large-scale holiday by the early 20th century.

A season with the witch

A Season With the Witch
The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

J.W. Ocker

Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. A single event in its 400 years of history—the Salem Witch Trials of 1692—transformed it into the Capital of Creepy in America. But Salem is a seasonal town—and its season happens to be Halloween.



Anthony Bourdain's hungry ghosts

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts

Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose

Presents an anthology of horror comics featuring food as a common theme.



Christopher Golden

A group of scientists and filmmakers gather to explore an ark found inside a cave on Mount Ararat, but after they are trapped in the cave by a blizzard, they make the disturbing discovery that a coffin in the ship contains a misshapen cadaver with horns.

Bird box

Bird Box

Josh Malerman

In a world where no one can go outside for fear of something terrifying that when seen drives people to deadly violence, single mother Malorie and her two children must attempt a terrifying twenty-mile trip downriver while blindfolded.

Black Rabbit Hall

Black Rabbit Hall

Eve Chase

Planning her wedding at her family’s haunting, timeless London country estate, Lorna recalls half-buried memories of her mother before uncovering the manor’s labyrinthine history and becoming obsessed with a need for answers.

Bone white

Bone White

Ronald Malfi

Paul Gallo saw the report on the news: a mass murderer leading police to his victims’ graves in remote Dread’s Hand, Alaska. It’s the same bit of wilderness where his twin brother went missing a year ago. As the bodies are exhumed, Paul travels to Alaska to get closure and put his grief to rest.

The boy in the woods

The Boy in the Woods

Carter Wilson

Thirty years after witnessing a murder and being involved in the cover-up, a bestselling author decides to use the crime as a story plot, but his life begins to unravel when a woman from his past threatens to divulge his darkest secret.

Boy's life

Boy’s Life

Robert R. McCammon

The witnesses to a horrific murder, Cory Mackenson and his father investigate and come face to face with the vicious Blaylock clan, a secret society united by racial hatred, and a reptilian creature inhabiting the river.

Children of Chicago

Children of Chicago

Cynthia Pelayo

When the Pied Piper returns, leaving his special calling card on the bodies of his brutally murdered victims, Detective Lauren Medina is torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe and keeping a promise she made long ago to him.

Chilling tales of horror

Chilling Tales of Horror
Dark Graphic Short Stories

Pedro Rodríguez

A graphic novel series that adapts various classic horror stories to the level of the middle-grade reader features vivid illustrations and simplified language while maintaining the dark, eerie tone of each original work.

Dead of night

Dead of Night

Jonathan Maberry

Injected by a prison doctor with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake after death, a condemned serial killer experiences unforeseen, contagious side effects and emerges from his grave to begin a murderous rampage that is combatted by two small-town cops.

The deep

The Deep

Alma Katsu

Surviving the sinking of the Titanic, Annie takes a job as a nurse on the Britannic before encountering a fellow survivor who forces her to reckon with past demons.

The descent

The Descent

Jeff Long

At the dawn of a new millennium, humankind faces its ultimate challenge as a demonic horde, led by a satanic overlord, prepares to leave its subterranean kingdom for an apocalyptic confrontation with the forces of good.

The doll-master and other tales of terror

The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror

Joyce Carol Oates

A collection of six stories includes the tale of a boy’s obsession with a doll in the aftermath of a cousin’s leukemia-related death and a teen’s confrontation with an intruder while housesitting for her teacher.

The family plot

The Family Plot

Cherie Priest

When a historic property is offered to her father’s salvaging company, Dahlia is alarmed when graves are found on the property and the estate’s owner goes missing just as a series of bizarre events reveal that the crew is being targeted by hostile forces.

The final girl support group

The Final Girl Support Group

Grady Hendrix

A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standingwhen the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious, a victim and a hero. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

The haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House

Shirley Jackson

Dr. Montague, an occult scholar, and his team—Theodora, his assistant; Eleanor, a fragile young woman with a close acquaintance with the paranormal; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House—conduct an unusual research project in a reputedly haunted house.

A head full of ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts

Paul Tremblay

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of what at first seems to be acute schizophrenia, but worsens until they believe it is actually demonic possession, asthey become the center of a reality TV show.

Heart-shaped box

Heart-Shaped Box

Joe Hill

A collector of obscure and macabre artifacts, from a cannibal cookbook to a used hangman’s noose, unscrupulous metal band musician Judas Coyne is unable to resist purchasing a ghost over the Internet, which turns out to be the vengeful spirit of his late girlfriend’s stepfather.



Chelsea Cain

Addicted to pain killers and still bound to Gretchen Lowell, the beautiful serial killer who had abducted and tortured him before turning herself in, even after she is incarcerated for her crimes, Portland detective Archie Sheridan is caught in another deadly duel with a vicious murderer targeting teenage girls, ambitious reporter Susan Ward, and Gretchen herself.

Her body and other parties

Her Body and Other Parties

Carmen Maria Machado

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.



Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Still haunted by a 17th-century witch, the townspeople of Black Spring try to contain the curse, but a group of bored, rebellious teenagers go viral with the story, in this English-language debut from the award-winning Dutch author.

The historian

The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova

Discovering a medieval book and a cache of letters, a motherless American girl becomes the latest in a series of historians, including her late father, who investigates the possible surviving legacy of Vlad the Impaler, a quest that takes her across Europe and into the pasts of her father and his mentor.

Home before dark

Home Before Dark

Riley Sager

Twenty-five years after her father published a wildly popular nonfiction book based on her family’s rushed exit from a haunted Victorian estate, naysayer Maggie inherits the house and begins renovations, only to make a number of disturbing discoveries.



Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker

Two stranded couples find shelter in an inn but find themselves trapped in a game with rules setting up a life-or-death situation.

I am not a serial killer

I Am Not a Serial Killer

Dan Wells

John Wayne Cheever keeps his obsession with serial killers in check by a set of rigid rules that he lives by, hoping to the prevent himself from committing murder, but when a body turns up behind a Laundromat, John must confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control.



Dean Koontz

The sole survivor of a homicidal sociopath’s latest killing spree, Chyna Shepherd stumbles upon the identity of the murderer’s intended next victim and confronts her own troubled past and overwhelming fear to protect herself and a complete stranger from the ultimate evil.

John dies at the end

John Dies at the End

David Wong

A full-length tale based on the cult online serial by the editor-in-chief of finds an increasing number of people changed into threatening inhuman creatures by a hallucinogen, a situation that places the fate of the world in the hands of a pair of anti-heroes.

Last days

Last Days

Adam Nevill

A documentary filmmaker visits London and France while doing research on a notorious cult steeped in paranormal myths and responsible for a 1970s massacre, only to have his film shoot plagued by a series of uncanny events.

The last days of Jack Sparks

The Last Days of Jack Sparks

Jason Arnopp

When he dies while researching the occult for his new book, controversial journalist Jack Sparks, who triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed, has his final days revealed in a chilling video posted from his own YouTube account.

The lesser dead

The Lesser Dead

Christopher Buehlman

Joey Peacock, a vampire in 1978 New York City, has his routine of sleeping all day and hunting, womanizing and attending punk rock shows by night interrupted by child-like vampires of a different breed, who pose a threat to Joey and all of those like him.

The lost village

The Lost Village

Camilla Sten

Obsessed with the vanishing residents of an old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village”documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt and her crew set up camp and are soon plagued by strange events that makes them realize they are not alone.

Night film

Night Film

Marisha Pessl

When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman’s death.



Kelley Armstrong

An Ivy League graduate discovers her adoption and her biological ties to imprisoned serial killers whose proclaimed innocence she is compelled to investigate in the small Illinois town of her birth.

The only good Indians

The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones

A novel that blends classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives.

The passage

The Passage

Justin Cronin

Rendered a latest test subject in a covert government experiment, abandoned six-year-old Amy is rescued by an FBI agent who hides them in the Oregon hills, from which she emerges a century later to save the human race from a terrifying virus.

Pride and prejudice and zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The Classic Regency Romance—Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem

Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith

As a mysterious plague falls upon the village of Meryton and zombies start rising from the dead, Elizabeth Bennett is determined to destroy the evil menace, but becomes distracted by the arrival of the dashing and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

The return

The Return

Rachel Harrison

When their friend returns ill and haggard from a two-year absence with no memory of what happened, a circle of women, trapped inside a hotel by bad weather, become targeted by malevolent otherworldly phenomena.

The ruins

The Ruins

Scott Smith

In Cancun, Mexico, for a peaceful vacation, a group of tourists sets off in search of one of their group who disappeared during an excursion to some nearby Mayan ruins, only to come face to face with an insidious evil that threatens their very lives.

Searchers after horror

Searchers After Horror
New Tales of the Weird and Fantastic

S.T. Joshi

Shares a collection of “weird fiction” horror stories from such authors as Melanie Tem, W.H. Pugmire, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Nancy Kilpatrick.

Sleeping beauties

Sleeping Beauties

Stephen King, Owen King

A father-son collaboration envisions a near-future where the women succumb to a sleeping disease, the men revert to their increasingly primal natures and one woman, mysteriously immune, struggles to survive in an Appalachian prison town where she is treated alternately as a demon and a lab specimen.

The strain

The Strain

Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan

A first installment in a new trilogy co-written by an acclaimed screenwriter and an award-winning author follows an epic struggle for survival between humans and vampires, a tale that is set against a backdrop of the post-World War II era in eastern Europe and America.

The girl who died

The Girl Who Died

Ragnar Jónasson

A new teacher in a remote Icelandic village investigates after she is plagued by nightmares of a white-clad little girl in her rented attic apartment that happens to be the site of a local legendary haunting.

The Sun Down Motel

The Sun Down Motel

Simone St. James

A young woman takes a night-clerk job at the same roadside motel from where her aunt went missing decades earlier before uncovering the work of a serial killer.

We are all completely fine

We Are All Completely Fine

Daryl Gregory

A group of outcasts with questionable states of mental health—including Stan, who was partially eaten by cannibals, and Greta, who may be a mass-murdering arsonist—are sought by a psychotherapist to uncover internal and external monsters.

The winter people

The Winter People

Jennifer McMahon

Coming of age in an old farmhouse, nineteen-year-old Ruthie begins a search for her agoraphobic mother and discovers the century-old diary of the farmhouse’s long-ago resident, a grieving mother who died under mysterious circumstances.



Zoje Stage

Moving to a rural farmhouse in far upstate New York, Orla, a retired dancer, must protect her family from an unknown entity that is calling to them from the land, in the earth, beneath the trees, and in their minds.

World War Z

World War Z
An Oral History of the Zombie War

Max Brooks

An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.