Tis the season of ghosts, ghouls and garish shades of orange – Halloween month, of course. In spooky celebration style, we’ve rounded up a selection of our top creepy reads. Most of them are recent(ish) releases to boot, so even if you’ve already exhausted all the existing ghost/vampire/pumpkin lit, you’re guaranteed to find something that might have missed your radar.
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys – April Genevieve Tucholke
A collection of terrifying tales written by some of the biggest names in YA lit, including Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo and Jay Kristoff. This anthology includes everything from psychological thrillers to bloody horror: zombies, murderers, and twisted versions of your favourite fairy tales.
The Girl From The Well & The Suffering – Rin Chupeco
Touted as a YA horror novel where Dexter meets The Grudge, Rin Chupeco’s The Girl From the Well series has genuinely terrified many a reviewer friend of mine. It involves eerie doll rituals, Shinto exorcisms and a dead girl who walks the streets and… well, I’ll leave the rest for you to find out, shall I?
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
More eccentric and eerie than terrifying, this series combines disconcerting vintage photography with a storyline that involves the aforementioned peculiar children who possess some unusual, possibly dangerous abilities. The last book in the series was released in September, and the movie of the first book is set for release on Christmas Day 2016.
Shutter – Courtney Alameda
Quite frankly, just the cover of this one is enough to give me nightmares. Shutter is an action-packed read, involving one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing line, Micheline, as she exorcises ghosts and destroys the corporeal undead, with the help of her crew – until one ghost hunt, everything goes awry…
Blood and Salt – Kim Liggett
The first book in a series, Blood and Salt has been pitched as Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn – a romantic horror set in a spiritual commune where things are most definitely not as they seem. When heroine Ash follows her mother back to the small town from which she escaped years back, she [Ash] is haunted by memories of a long-dead relative, and encounters a series of rather gruesome deaths.
The Uninvited – Cat Winters
Though technically her first adult novel, The Uninvited is written in the same gorgeous, haunting style that made the author’s previous two YA offerings such a success. For those of you (like me!) who prefer less terrifying reads, The Uninvited is a ghost story that will leave you more disturbed by the actions of humanity than any unearthly creature ever could.
Daughters unto Devils – Amy Lukavics
Sixteen-year old Amanda and her family relocate to their small mountain cabin in the prairies, hoping to leave behind the traumatic past winter season. However, they arrive at their destination only to discover the inside of the cabin covered in blood, and disturbing stories about acts of evil taking place in their surroundings.
Dark House – Laurie Faria Stolarz
The first book in the Dark House series involves seven essay contestants, who have been invited to stay in a house in the middle of nowhere to get a behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, top-secret project. However, nothing is as it seems, naturally, and by the time our MCs figure out what exactly is going on, it may already be too late for them…
Looking for even more suggestions? Stephen King and Neil Gaiman are trusty favourites when it comes to all things scary, disconcerting, or just plain weird. And why not take a look at last year’s Halloween picks? Got any more suggestions for book recs? Let us know in the comments section below!