My top 11 horror novels for Halloween

Posted October 30, 2015 by Emily in discussion post / 6 Comments

horror novels for halloween


Are you excited for Halloween?

I have to admit that I’m a little lukewarm about dressing up, but I absolutely love this time of year. One of the things I love best about Halloween is the great films and movies that center around horror. Now, I’m a bit squeamish about horror movies, but I have to admit that I am CRAZY about horror novels. That’s why I’ve brought you some of my absolute favorite horror novels for this time of year.

But, before we get to that . . .

I just started regularly getting on Periscope. If you don’t know what Periscope is, you need to check it out. Basically, it’s a way to live-stream video. The video lasts for 24 hours on your profile, but you can save the video on your phone and embed it in your blog or play it later.

I’m obsessed. So, if you’re on there, follow me!

👻💀🎃 The best horror novels and my #halloween #tbr!!

In case you aren’t keen on scrolling, here are my favorite horror novels for Halloween that I mention in my Periscope, along with places to buy them.

My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenShutter by Courtney Alameda
Published by Macmillan on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Other
Pages: 384
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat -- a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.
When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.
Lock, stock, and lens, she's in for one hell of a week.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenThe Dead-tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Published by Delacorte Press on 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Emotions & Feelings
Pages: 407
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenTen by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Harper Collins on September 18th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Social Issues, Friendship, Love & Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 23rd 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Family, Siblings, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 298
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real.

They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only peaks Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.

Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrads life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenPsycho: A Novel by Robert Bloch
Published by The Overlook Press on May 25th 2010
Genres: Fiction, Classics, Thrillers, General
Pages: 208
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

Robert Bloch's Psycho captivated a nation when it appeared in 1959.

The story was all too real-indeed this classic was inspired by the real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic murderer who led a dual life. Alfred Hitchcock too was captivated, and turned the book into one of the most-loved classic films of all time the year after it was released.

Norman Bates loves his Mother. She has been dead for the past twenty years, or so people think. Norman knows better though. He has lived with Mother ever since leaving the hospital in the old house up on the hill above the Bates motel. One night Norman spies on a beautiful woman that checks into the hotel as she undresses. Norman can't help but spy on her. Mother is there though. She is there to protect Norman from his filthy thoughts. She is there to protect him with her butcher knife.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenRot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 14th 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Horror & Ghost Stories, Social Issues, Death & Dying
Pages: 464
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenAshes by Ilsa J. Bick
Published by EgmontUSA on September 6th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Horror & Ghost Stories
Pages: 400
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenThe Diviners by Libba Bray
on September 18th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, United States, 20th Century, Love & Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 592
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenThe Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 20th 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Horror & Ghost Stories, Other, Fantasy & Magic, Monsters
Pages: 464
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was eating her, Will's world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus--a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest--and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatenning to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published by Macmillan on August 30th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead--keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.


My top 11 horror novels for HalloweenThis Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published by HarperCollins on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Steampunk, Historical, Europe, Family, Siblings
Pages: 384
Buy on AmazonBarnes and NobleThe King's English

A wildly creative Gothic fantasy retelling of Frankenstein, This Monstrous Thing is a wholly new reimagining of the classic novel by Mary Shelley and is perfect for fans of retellings such as Cinder by Marissa Meyer, fantasy by Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare, and alternative history by Scott Westerfeld.

In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.

But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever.


Did I miss any of your favorites?

Looking for some spooky Halloween reads (or any time of year, really?) Check out these 11 books that will definitely make you sleep with the light on.


6 responses to “My top 11 horror novels for Halloween

  1. I have no clue Psycho was based on a book. Norman Bates is my nemesis, but I’m slightly intrigued by the the book. Maybe it will help me overcome my fear of Anthony Perkins, lol.

    • I didn’t know it was a book either until I read it for class. But I actually kind of enjoyed it. It’s fast-paced and is just a teeny bit different from the movie. let me know if you read it.

  2. Ashley H

    I too did not know Psycho was a book first. It will go on my list and I’ll read it if I dare. I read a great Halloween book for the first time this year that recommending to everyone: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. A carnival comes to town late in October and two young boys get trapped in a battle of good and evil. It’s super spooky and beautifully poetic!

  3. So many of these books are on my TBR: Shutter (I read a few chapters but wasn’t in the horror mood at the time), Ten, Rot & Ruin, The Diviners, The Monstrumologist, This Monstrous Thing… I’ve actually only read Anna Dressed in Blood from this list, which I totally adored! <3 Another horror favorite of mine is The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco. 🙂

    • And I haven’t read Anna Dressed in Blood! I hope you give Shutter another go, it’s one of my favorites! And, thank you for the Rin Chupeco rec, that one’s going on my Goodreads!

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