The month of Halloween is upon us. Horror films, warm drinks, sweaters, and most importantly, spooky reads. Nothing goes better with a pumpkin-spiced latte than a book filled with mystery, thrills, and scares. Assembled here is a list of books that you should definitely try out, if you’ve got the guts, that is…
Nightfall by: Stephen Leather
When he could not save a little girl from taking her own life, Inspector Jack Nightingale goes to confront the abuser. Somehow the man ending up falling through a window, and all eyes turned to Nightingale as the murderer. What bothered him most of all, however, was not the man dying, but rather the words he uttered just before he took the plunge: “You’re going to hell, Jack Nightingale.”
Two years later, Nightingale is working as a private detective, and he stumbles upon a strange case. It turns out that he was adopted at birth, and that his real father, a rather mysterious figure, had sold Nightingale’s soul to the devil. Now, on his 33rd birthday, which is just weeks away, the devil will appear to claim his soul. When people start dying around him, he starts to take this seriously. Jack must race against time and the odds to save his soul.
This one is extremely spooky!
Help For The Haunted by: John Searles
Sylvie Mason’s parents have quite a strange occupation: They help “haunted souls” find peace. One cold night, they receive a strange call that makes them rush to help immediately. But, Sylvie never sees them again—they were brutally murdered in an old church.
Now, a year later, and living under the care of her older sister, Sylvie delves into the mystery that surrounds her parents’ deaths. She finds out deep, dark secrets that the family had kept hidden for so long and realises that she may have not known who her parents really were after all. Creepy dolls, strange noises in her basement, and terrifying ideas of spirits around her, Sylvie must find out who killed her parents and why.
A perfect balance of intrigue and spookiness, Help For The Haunted should definitely be one of your Halloween reads.
The Shining Girls by: Lauren Beukes
Time travel, murder, mystery and a psychotic killer—can it get any better?
Harper Curtis is a killer from the past and Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who should never have had a future. Kirby is the last of the Shining Girls: girls Harper was destined to kill. Now, determined to find and bring her would-be killer to justice, she embarks on a journey that will bring her close to the almost impossible truth. Can she kill him before he kills her? But more importantly, can she find him?
The Shining Girls is a brilliant read, bringing in elements of both psychological thrillers and science fiction stories into one, perfect book.
Hallowe’en Party by: Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot is called in to figure out quite a strange case: His clients want him to find an evil presence.
A teenager who had witnessed a murder is found drowned in a tub of apples. At a Hallowe’en party, another teenager boasts of witnessing a murder. Nobody believes little Joyce, so she storms off home. Later, her body is found, still in the house of the party, lying in another tub of apples.
Hercule Poirot takes on the case and, in his unique way of investigating, must unravel the mystery at hand. Who killed these children? And what murder did they witness?
Agatha Christie is always interesting. Add the backdrop of Halloween and it’s an incredible October read.
Phantoms by: Dean Koontz
They stumble upon a silent, abandoned town. Then, they came across a body—one that is peculiarly strange. It is still warm and weirdly swollen. They soon discover that 150 are dead, and that 350 are missing… What brought such terror to the tiny town of Snowfield, California?
They start to speculate. Was it a psychopath? Or a killer disease? Or perhaps it was a toxic contamination? None of their ideas are even close to the truth. A truth that keeps coming closer and closer, forcing them to question everything they believed in. It was worse than anything they could have ever imagined…
Phantoms is a downright spooky book, with dark twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat… or curled up under your blanket.
Hell House by: Richard Matheson
Belasco House is regarded as the most haunted house in the world. It has been witness to countless grotesque scenes of horror. Previous expeditions, aimed at exposing the house’s secrets, ended in absolute horror and tragedy. The participants of these expeditions were all subjected to their own cases of terror: murder, suicide and insanity.
Now, a new investigation has been set up. Four strangers, including one lone survivor of a past expedition, enter the mansion. Will they survive long enough to unlock the secrets of the house, or will they meet their untimely ends?
Hell House is a whole new calibre of scary!
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque by: Edgar Allen Poe
Poe is revered for his tales of mystery and the macabre, so naturally a collection of his eerie short stories would be perfect.Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque includes a number of amazing short stories, including “The Sphinx,” “Four Beasts in One,” and “Mystification.”
This collection is a Halloween must-read.
The Shining by: Stephen King
Jack Torrance takes a new job at the atmospheric Overlook Hotel, with hopes of a fresh start. He becomes the off-season caretaker, giving him a lot of time to reconnect with his family and work on his writing. However, as the winter approaches, the hotel gets darker, lonelier and much more sinister. A five-year-old is the only one who notices the strange and mysterious forces gathering around the hotel.
This is about as perfect as a haunted house story could get. Be prepared to be terrified to the point of being unable to put the book down.
(Author’s Note: It really isn’t Halloween season if you don’t immerse yourself in at least of one of Stephen King’s books, and what’s better than The Shining?)
Demon Road by: Derek Landy
Amber is a smart, yet insecure sixteen-year-old girl who stumbles onto a big secret: Her parents are demons, and so is she. But what’s the catch? They have to eat her once she turns sixteen in order to keep up their strength.
And so, she embarks on a road-trip through supernatural America in order to escape her parents and find a way to save her life. Her ride you ask? A strange sort-of monster car owned by her mysterious travel companion, Milo, who seems to be hiding a secret of his own…
Amber will encounter killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers, and of course, monsters, all while discovering her own demon side. She must travel through the demon roads of America and find a way to save her life. But will she do it before her parents find her?
The first in its trilogy, this book has it all: wit, horror, mystery and supernatural intrigue! It’s the perfect Halloween read.