As much as I love Halloween movies, or spooky Halloween TV specials; the best part of autumn is curling up with some pumpkin spice hot chocolate and one of these best Halloween books. From horror classics, to witchies, wizrds, and vampires; these are the best books to read this Halloween.
The Best Halloween Books List
YA Halloween Books
Hocus Pocus and The All-New Sequel – A. W. Jantha
Although we’re reportedly getting a real Hocus Pocus sequel, there technically already is a Hocus Pocus sequel; the book. This Halloween Disney book was released for the 25th anniversary of the film, in 2018.
The first on our Halloween books list, is set 25 years after the events of Hocus Pocus (duh). Max and Allison are married and have a daughter; Poppy. Max and Allison were always superstitious around Halloween, but Poppy doesn’t believe the story about her parents and aunt Dani. They host a party to try keep the teenagers of Salem away from the Sanderson sisters’ house, but a Dennison at heart, curiosity gets the better of Poppy.
Spoiler alert: this one doubles as a LGBT Halloween book!
The Saga of Darren Shan – Darren Shan
The Saga of Darren Shan is made up of 12 short books (or 4 medium sized books depending on which collection you get!). It’s very doable to get through this series within the month, as this is a YA Halloween book.
The Saga of Darren Shan is a story about vampires, war, and a freak show. The saga follows, Darren Shan (yes he did name the protagonist after himself), who is turned into a half-vampire after he steals from a vampire. Darren’s best friend Steve feels betrayed that Darren has stolen his dream. Steve becomes Vampenze instead (who are enermies of the vampire). The boys are dragged into a war against each other, and their kinds.
Ghost Squad – Claribel A. Ortega
We covered witches, and we covered vampires, so it’s only right to give ghosts a turn on this YA Halloween books list. I’ve read a few ghost stories, but wanted to narrow it down to one, so went with Ghost Squad.
Ghosts aren’t an unusual sight for Lucely, afterall, her dad runs his own ghost tours company. When the spirit of Mamá, begins to fade, Lucely must find a way to save both her ancestors and her father’s failing business for fear of losing everything.
If you like ghost squad, you might also enjoy Abnormally Abbey.
Classic Halloween Books
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Although Dracula wasn’t the first vampire book, it was the one that changed the face of the sub-genre.
This classic Halloween book has changed the face of spooky season forever. Dracula and vampires are everywhere, so it makes sense to be familiar with the character.
The book is about Dracula trying to move from Transylvania to England. The Count tries to sell his castle in Translyvania, and traps his lawyer in the castle. Meanwhile back in England, Mina can’t put her figure on Lucy’s odd behaviour.
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Frankenstein is another classic Halloween book that changed the face of spooky season forever. Not only that, but Mary Shelly pretty much invented sci-fi when she wrote the book in her late teens.
Victor Frankenstein studies natural philosphy and chemistry in the university of Ingolstadt. Throughout his studies, Victor beleives he has found the secret to life. After collecting various body parts, he eventually puts them together to create his monster. One stormy night he brings his creation to life.
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The picture of Dorian Gray is another classic book to read this Halloween.
The story is about a young, handsome and wealthy young man, Dorian. While staying with his aunt, Dorian meets the artist Basil Hallward, who paints a series of portraits of him. While Basil is painting the first portrait of Dorian, he’s relecuenty introduced to Lord Henry Wotton. After speaking to Henry, Dorian is angered and thinks the portrait will only serve as a reminder of the youth and beauty he will loss in time. Dorian curses the painting and wishes that it will bear his age so he can stay young.
Lord Henry upsets Dorian with a speech about the transient nature of beauty and youth. Worried that these, his most impressive characteristics, are fading day by day, Dorian curses his portrait, which he believes will one day remind him of the beauty he will have lost. In a fit of distress, he pledges his soul if only the painting could bear the burden of age and infamy, allowing him to stay forever young. Dorian is corrupted by Lord Henry, and his picture soon begins to scowl.
The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
Unlike the other authors on this Halloween books list; Poe wasn’t a novelist. He wrote short stories and prose, which are just as spooky today. My favourite Poe work is The Tell Tale Heart, but I love his Dupin stories too.
Horror Halloween Books
It – Stephen King
Although pretty much every Stephen King book could have made this scary Halloween books list, I had to pick one, and I went with it. You might have been expecting The Shining instead; which argueably did have more of an impact on Halloween itself. Which is a fair point; I only choose It because it’s one of my favourite stories of all time, and because clowns are creepy.
It is set in Derry, Maine. Every 27 years, a series of children go missing without any leads, and then the trail goes cold for another few decades. It kills Bill’s brother Georgie, and he’s determined to find out what happened. With the help of his friends, Bill tracks down It. The kids vow to come back if It returns when they grow up.
While you’re reading this, I’d also recommend the film adaption or the mini series starring Tim Curry.
[Some people don’t like Stephen King which is valid; so I do want to take a moment to point out that all my Stephen King books are second hand]
The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
The Exorcist book is about the possession of Regan MacNeil, who is the 11-year-old daughter of a famous actress. The book was inspired by a real 1949 case of possession, which Blattry heard when he was in university.
Regan falls ill as her mother is shooing a film. Her mother, Chris, tries to be rational, but her daughter is slwoly losing herself and getting violent. As the intervention of psychiatry and medicine don’t help, Chris turns to the local priest for help.
Sunburn – Darren Dash
Darren Dash is actually the name Darren Shan writes his adult-fiction under! The Dash books tend to be a bit more experimental, like Molls Like It Hot which is a gritty crime novel or Midsummers Bottom which is a comedy.
Sunburn is a good old fashioned monster story. This makes it a great addition to this section of Halloween books for adults, so we can cover as many supernatural and spooky entities as possible. A group of young adults, go on holiday to Bulgaria. Martini is sick of drinking holidays and wants to experience some culture, but the boys end up ditching her to drink with local teenagers. After Curran makes a move on the teenage sister of one of their new friends, the boys are left in the woods alone. A terrible monster is lurking out there.
Have you read anything on this best Halloween books list? Do you have any books you love to curl up with during spooky season! Let me know in the comments below.