Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Books I Recommend for Halloween Reading


Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list the books that get us into the Halloween spirit.

I haven’t read much horror or thriller recently, so I am going to dig up some oldie but goldie favorites, and of course, please excuse me if Stephen King is not your favorite author because he features rather prominently on this list.


  1. Pet Sematary by Stephen King – This has got to be one of the creepiest books of all time – featuring people and animals returning from the dead, automobile accidents, heavy foreshadowing, and an ending to end all endings. In my mind, this is the big daddy of all horror stories.
  2. The Omen by David Seltzer – I read this book (and its many sequels), and saw the movie (and its many sequels), when I was a kid. What were my parents thinking? I don’t think I have ever been more scared in my life. I still get the shivers when I think of this book, and have developed a totally irrational dislike of jackals.
  3. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty – This again was a childhood favorite, but I got to admit the movie scared me more than the book.
  4. Books that kept me twitching in fear all night

    Books that kept me twitching in fear all night

  5. So now we have the heavy hitting horror out-of-the-way, let’s talk some classic horror. Dracula by Bram Stoker is one of my all-time favorites, I’ve reread it innumerable number of times. It’s no longer very scary, but it’s so well-written, and I love a well-written vampire story.
  6. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – The first time I read this book, it puzzled me somewhat. What exactly happened there? Then I read it the second time, and tentatively reached a conclusion. I am looking forward to reading it again on a cold wet night. If you are looking for a horror story that gets you to think, this is the one for you. Plus, it’s a short read.
  7. Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier – With a character like Mrs. Danvers and a setting like Manderley, of course this book would make my list. Again one of my all-time favorites that I’ve read over and over.
  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Equal parts scary and equal parts top-quality detective fiction. It’s an unbeatable combination.
  9. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – If you are looking for a classic, well-written gothic novel, your search stops here. This is one fabulous, well-plotted book with some excellent twists and turns.
    Classic chills

    Classic chills

  10. Night Film by Marisha Pessl – This is probably the most recent read on my list today. I read it last year and couldn’t sleep at night. The creepy story and characters and the unique writing style make this a perfect Halloween read.
  11. And now comes more Stephen King. Honestly, there are so many excellent books of his that I am going to cheat and list just two of my favorites here – Carrie and Misery are both excellent, with outstanding main characters. Misery is the more chilling of the two, Carrie is more sad, but I highly recommend both books if you are looking for classic horror.
  12. More horror

    More horror

So, these are the books that I know are perfect for a Halloween fright night.

This year, I am planning to read Salem’s Lot by Stephen King on Halloween night.

What do you plan to read this Halloween? Which are your favorite mystery/thriller/horror novels?

  • Piyush Chourasia

    That is quite a list! I have read no. 4 to 8 and Carrie from that list; with Turn of the Screw being one of my Halloween reads this year!

  • Ooh some of these look so scary. I love Rebecca though. One of my favourites!

  • I haven’t read any of these but looks like a great list!

    If you feel like it please feel free to see mine here

  • Deb

    Nice list! The Woman in White is a great pick, and so is Sherlock Holmes. I’ve always wanted to read Turn of the Screw.

    • Nishita

      @disqus_VolYkzaDxc:disqus The Turn of the Screw is very good, Deb. It leaves the ending quite open though, some like it, some don’t.

  • What a scary list – I particularly like Rebecca and Hound of the Baskervilles.


    I have read Rebecca and Hound of Baskervilles from your list and both the books scared me. I usually avoid horror so haven’t even gone close to Exorcist and other books. 🙂

    • Nishita The first three books on my list are seriously scare-inducing. If horror is not your thing, best to stay far away.

      Btw, if you are into classic movies, Gregory Peck starred in The Omen – the movie adaptation, terribly scary, but also terribly good.

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