ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Best Horror Books for Halloween

Updated on October 9, 2015
JenPaxton profile image

Coffee Goddess by day, renegade writer by night. Jen lives in the Midwest and holds a BA in Creative Writing. She blogs in her spare time.

What Makes Great Horror?

Is it the psychological? Is it the mythology behind the tale? Is it the gore factor?

It doesn't matter - these books have it all.

While I receive no compensation for endorsing these books, I am a lover of all things Halloween, and these books do the trick. They get me in the perfect mood for the creepiest time of the year.

So look no further than these tales of terror for your next October read.



Ghostly - Audrey Niffenegger

While technically not a novel, this collection of short stories comes from masters around the English-speaking world. Audrey Niffenegger, one of my favorite writers solely on the merits of her novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, has compiled some of the most chill-inducing short stories I've ever read into one volume.

Niffenegger not only introduces this novel but contributes with her own story of terror, and it includes works by Edgar Allen Poe, Neil Gaiman, H. H. Munro, Ray Bradbury, and more. It gives a comprehensive look over several centuries of ghost stories, and when you get right down to it, it's really just a lot of fun.

From the macabre to the humorous, Ghostly is a great way to start your Halloween reading.

The Haunting


The Haunting - Shirley Jackson

Considered one of the most quintessential horror stories in existence, The Haunting, sometimes known as The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, is a thrill ride on page. I first read Jackson's arguably most-famous book back in high school, and it left a lasting impression, and ruined the genre of horror for me for quite a while - in the best possible way. I can't watch horror movies because none of them compare to the way I felt reading this book.

It's gritty but sophisticated, psychological and macabre, and once you start you just can't put it down out of sheer fear of what will happen to the characters while you're not around. Jackson truly defined psychological horror with this novel of gothic leanings.

Nell, Eleanor, and her newfound friends visit this creepy old mansion, but what they find is more terrifying than anything they had ever been prepared for. Jackson twists the plot around in mysterious and wonderful directions, and brings us a supernatural roller coaster that we can curl up with in bed ... just don't turn the lights off after you're done reading it, you'll have nightmares.

How Well do You Know Poe?

view quiz statistics

Edgar Allen Poe: Complete Tales and Poems

What is horror without Poe?

Edgar Allen Poe led a troubled life, a life full of death, disease, disappointment, addiction, and goodness knows what else. He died with just as much mystery as the stories he wrote, being found delirious on a park bench and succumbing to whatever madness took him on October the 7th, 1894. Nobody is quite sure what killed him, even to this day.

But because of this potent mix of troubled times coupled with the stunning period of Gothic art and literature, he, in his short life, created some of the most terrifying, mystical, psychological, and horrific fiction known to mankind, defining Gothic poetry and short stories. He brought to life the concept of macabre as very few could do before him, and I dare to say that he did it better than anyone else ever has.

While most known for his poem The Raven, Poe also wrote some of the most terrifying tales known to mankind, stories that have inspired everything scary since then.

Pretty much any collection of Edgar's works is sure to make your skin crawl, your mind race, and deny you sleep if you have any imagination at all.

What's Your Favorite Scary Story?

Do You Read Horror? What's your favorite scary story or tale of terror?

See results

The Strain


The Strain - Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

I won't ruin this one for you. Suffice it to say, it's the first of many books in this series by award-winning director and writer Guillermo Del Toro.

What are the critics saying about it? That he's redefined the vampire sub-genre of horror, elevated Gothic horror, and to be honest. ... I agree. I haven't seen the TV show based off of this, but I'm sure it's hair-raising as well.

I can tell you that Del Toro brings his cinematic style and imagination to the page in a way that makes every scene jump out at you like you're watching a movie. The creepy pieces slowly come together to form a more terrifying whole, and it's a real treat for your imagination as he's able to write in such a way that you feel like you're watching it all unfold on a screen, bringing you the most intimate form of terror previously only available to movies on the big screen. I was sucked right in...pardon the pun.

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova

Admittedly, I haven't finished this one yet, but it's so far shaped up to be quite entertaining. This goes beyond a retelling of a famous myth and dips into history - the history of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, and a young historian's search for the truth behind his myth ... and I hope she finds more than she bargains for.

Partly told from a first-person narrative and partly from journal entries she discovers along her way, this novel is full of suspense, history, and thrills.

What's on the back of the book? Tons of praises for how Kostova rejuvinates Bram Stoker's old tale of horror and mystery, the original story that brought the vampire to life for billions of people.

I can't wait to see where the journey takes me from here...

Bonus Tale of Terror

Now, I will admit, I haven't read this one. However, I work in a bookstore, and several of my co-workers have, and I just have to give it an honorable mention as I have it on my "to-read" list.

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes is a terrifying, gut-wrenching thriller that had even my horror-loving co-workers in shock. Even Stephen King called it "Scary as hell!"

I can't wait to read it and figure out what all of the fuss is about, but that will have to wait until I'm done with The Historian.

Happy Hauntings

So whether you're just getting into the horror genre, looking for a quick read, or looking for something to scare the daylights out of yourself with, there's something here for everyone.

Plug in your nightlight and enjoy these tales of terror!

Be sure to comment below about your favorite scary stories, and if you have any you'd recommend beyond this list, please feel free to let me know!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Terrify me with a comment...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)