Halloween isn’t just about the candy. As an adult, it’s about the fun of dressing up, watching scary movies, and reading spooky stories. There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book as the days start to get shorter and a little cooler. Here are 15 Halloween books for adults to get you into the spirit:
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
A classic, but a must read. Written in the late 1800s, a British lawyer travels to Castle Dracula to finish a real estate transaction with a nobleman, Count Dracula. Despite numerous warnings from the locals, he arrives at the castle, only to become a prisoner of the Count, who possesses supernatural powers and is not of this world. Sleepwalking maidens, seductive female vampires, and an appearance by Van Helsing make this the original vampire story.
2. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Though it’s not exactly a ghost story, this book definitely has the thrill factor. 16-year-old Jacob stumbles upon a mysterious remote island where Miss Peregrine’s children live in a crumbling building. But there’s something different about them. In fact, they may have been quarantined on this island for a reason. Read the book, then go see the Tim Burton movie, featuring Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Eva Green and many more talented actors.
3. The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff
If you’ve ever wondered about the in-depth history behind the Salem Witch Trials, this is a good place to start.
4. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl
Handpicked by the BFG author himself, Roald Dahl read 749 supernatural stories at the British Museum Library before choosing the 14 that make up this anthology.
5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Another classic. Through a series of letters, Robert Walton, a ship’s captain bound for the North Pole, tells the story of his mission and his encounter with Victor Frankenstein, creator of the (now) infamous monster.
6. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
What’s Halloween without some zombies? Especially a zombie war.
7. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
You can never have enough vampire stories, especially this confession of a vampire, full of love, loss and suspense.
8. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Eight boys heading to meet their friend at a haunted house on Halloween night end up on a whirlwind adventure on the tail of a kite through time and space to find him and the meaning of Halloween.
9. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
One of the most famous horror films, the book was published in 1971 and was one of the most controversial novels ever written. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, this one might have you sleeping with the lights on.
10. The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
This is the perfect short story to read with friends by the campfire.
11. The Shining by Stephen King
Your Halloween list wouldn’t be complete without this one. From creepy twins to an isolated sinister hotel, Stephen King knows how to leave you with goosebumps.
12. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This book is off-beat in every way, from the unusual writing style to the plot. Some say it’s a horror story and others – a love story.
13. The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe is the master of creepy. Read this in the dark, with lots of candles and possibly a glass of red wine.
14. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
An unusual story about a boy raised by ghosts who is the only living inhabitant of a graveyard. This one has a great mix of humor and darkness between its pages.
15. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
Even though this is a modern book, it has all the makings of a legendary tale. Thaniel is a wych-hunter who tracks down the demons that lurk in the Old Quarter of London, together with his friend and mentor Cataline. When they meet a beautiful possessed girl, Alaizabel, who seems to attract evil, they must discover the cause and save humanity.
Have a spooky and safe Halloween!
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