I’m always up for a good scare! I grew up reading Goosebumps, spooky things are a special interest of mine, and I’ve been watching horror movies since I became a teenager. I never quite got into horror books, though. Most of the scary books I’ve read have been Young Adult fiction, but I’ve recently been branching out and picking up more adult fiction and non-fiction. True crime seems interesting too.
For now, here are seven creepy books to read while hiding under your blanket:
by Johan Harstad
It’s been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Three ordinary teenagers from Norway, France, and Japan win NASA’s worldwide lottery to become the first young people in space. Little do they know that something sinister is waiting for them, and in the black vacuum of space, no one is coming to save them.
🎃 Translated from Norwegian
🎃 Creepy space horror
🎃 Literally the scariest thing I’ve ever read
by Caitlin Doughty
Mortician Caitlin Doughty (Ask A Mortician on YouTube) travels the world to disover how other cultures care for their dead. With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters vividly decomposed bodies and participates in compelling, powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in America.
🎃 Death rituals around the world
🎃 Beautiful black & white illustrations by Landis Blair
by Juno Dawson
Bobbie, her best friend Naya, and cute local boy Caine accept a Halloween dare to summon the legendary ghost of ‘Bloody Mary’: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear… Nothing happens, until the next morning when she finds a message on her bathroom mirror: “Five days”.
🎃 Young adult thriller
🎃 Bloody Mary backstory
🎃 Actually made me turn around my bedroom mirror to face the wall
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)
by Ransom Riggs
A family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It quickly becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. And impossible though it seems, they may still be alive.
🎃 Quirky fantasy adventure, not as scary as it looks
🎃 Illustrated with haunting vintage photographs
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue comes from a family of psychics, but has no psychic ability herself. When the spirits of those who will die in the next 12 months show themselves, she sees the spirit of a boy named Gansey, and discovers that she can see him because he is either her true love, or because she will kill him.
🎃 A four-book series
🎃 Mysterious adventure perfect for autumn
🎃 Magic, ley lines, psychics, tarot cards
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
by Richelle Mead
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare magical gift. Her best friend Rose Hathaway is half vampire/half human, and has dedicated her life to protecting Lissa from the evil, immortal Strigoi vampires while they’re studying at St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be.
🎃 An interesting take on vampires
🎃 A must-read six-book series for lovers of YA paranormal
🎃 Funny & exciting & all the feels
by Grady Hendrix
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore. Employees arrive to find broken products, sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employee volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift where they encounter horrors that defy the imagination.
🎃 Clever parody of IKEA
🎃 Packaged in the form of a mail order catalog, w/ product illustrations & a home delivery order form
🎃 A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting
Bonus: Through The Woods by Emily Carroll (graphic novel), The Archived by Victoria Schwab, Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause (comic), The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (zombies), The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (werewolves).
Here are a few books that have not yet been read but I’d like to check out:
- Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
- Bird Box by Josh Malerman (there is something outside & if you see it, you’ll go insane and kill others and then yourself)
- The Creeps by Fran Krause (a cute spooky comic, continuation of Deep Dark Fears)
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty (from the author of From Here to Eternity, about her experience working in the crematory)
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (true crime about the Golden State Killer, waiting for updated edition, because they recently caught the guy)