Halloween has arrived, and what better way to get into the spooky spirit than by reading scary books. Here are some stories that are sure to send shivers up your spine, and have you looking over your shoulder everywhere you go. Whatever you decide to read, keep an eye out for the shadows.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Ichabod is a teacher and choirmaster at the little town of Sleepy Hollow. When Ichabod woos a rich man’s daughter, he must lay low because Brom, who is also in love with the rich man’s daughter, is after him. When Ichabod is invited to a party, he comes across the Headless Horseman, and must flee, terrified for his life.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
In this maze of a book made up of unconventional format, such as unusual page layouts with some pages only containing a few words, House of Leaves tells the story of three family members: a blind old man, a young apprentice at a tattoo shop, and a crazy woman. The family faces unexplainable changes in their home, and eventually come face to face with the darkness at its core.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James
This collection of eight short stories captures the suspense and horror which defines good ghost stories. The wit and erudition of these eight classics keeps the reader on their toes, and teaches them to be wary of every creak in the night. After all, you can never be sure about what lurks behind you.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Jonathan Harker, a London lawyer, travels to Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase an estate in England. Initially impressed by Dracula’s politeness, Harker is soon wary of Dracula’s ability to communicate to wolves in his huge castle. He quickly realizes he is a prisoner and must find a way to survive this demonic creature of the night.
The Shining by Stephen King
Jack Torrance is hired as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, eager for a fresh start, and ready to reconnect with his family and work on his writing. As winter begins to set in, the Overlook Hotel grows more sinister. Danny Torrance, Jack’s five-year-old son, is the only one to notice as the hotel’s horrific past begins to consume them all.
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
This story is told through a nameless, mysterious narrator, who does not sound half as sane as he claims. As we hear about the murder he had committed, there is a beating that grows louder and louder, echoing in the mind. It’s the still-beating heart of the victim under the floorboards, where our nameless narrator buried the dismembered body.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
When her family moved into their new home, Coraline Jones knew things were weird. But weird doesn’t describe a mysterious door with a brick wall behind it. Weird definitely doesn’t describe the mysterious tunnel that takes its place. When Coraline goes through, she finds herself in another house, one just like her own. But this perfect world is hiding something dark and sinister, and Coraline might be too late to stop it.
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Newlyweds Karen and Tom Krupp happily live in upstate New York, but one day, Karen gets into an accident and loses her memory. When they return home, Karen notices things in the house have been moved. Nothing is quite right, and she realizes someone’s been in the house. This psychological thriller makes you doubt everything you know about your own life.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This circus appears with no warning; no announcements or advertisements to display it, and it disappears as quickly as it comes. Only open at night, the circus tents hold amazing sights within, but the Night Circus holds a dark secret., and the performers must pay the price.
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutshy
Instead of bedtime stories, read a dozen horrific poems to keep you up at night. Ranging from vampires to ghouls, these poems cover a variety of creepy stories that will scare even the bravest individual.