Hauntingly Good Reads for the Halloween Season

The Halloween season has finally arrived and many students at SLU are eager to get into the Halloween spirit. And what better way is there to celebrate Halloween than to immerse yourself in a good ol’ horror book! So without further ado, here are 6 of the best books for a spooky night in.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

   Of course first on the list is the classic novel, “Dracula.” “Dracula” by Bram Stoker is considered the original vampire story. The novel tells the tale of the infamous Count Dracula as he travels to England in search of new blood. After Dracula bites the wrong woman, a small group of men led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing attempt to finally end the count’s reign. This classic excites readers of all ages with its timeless story of good versus evil. For all the scaredy cats out there, have no fear, Dracula is gothic horror rather than a nightmare-inducing horror which makes it a perfect read for the faint of heart. Readers should definitely take a bite out of “Dracula” this Halloween season.

Carrie by Stephen King

   Pretty much any book by acclaimed author Stephen King is bound to be a great book for the Halloween season. However, Stephen King’s “Carrie” is the perfect place to start off the spooky season. Fun fact, “Carrie” was actually his first ever published novel and was released on April 5, 1954! The book follows Carrie White, an unpopular young girl with growing psychic powers on her road to revenge. The classic revenge story combined with a slow build of suspense and dread makes “Carrie” absolutely worth the read this Halloween season.

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski

“House of Leaves” is a wild ride from start to finish. The book tells the story of a family who begins to realize their house is bigger on the inside. The most interesting thing is the novel’s extremely unusual style of formatting. There are footnotes, font changes, and at one point you even have to turn the book as you read it! Readers be warned, this is a difficult book to get through, very little is fully explained and the book expects the reader to fill in the blanks themselves. This book is a must-read for those who are looking for a challenge which will leave them horrified. 

Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

While everyone may have heard of the popular Netflix TV series, the “Haunting of Hill House” is actually based on the book written by Shirley Jackson (and we all know the book is always better). The book follows four lovers of the occult as they investigate a  haunted house. “Haunting of Hill House” was the blueprint for haunted house horror. While it is a short read of only 182 pages, that by no means it will not scare the pants off of its readers.

Haunted by Chuck Palahnuik

   If you are in the mood for twisted and bizarre stories, Haunted is the perfect book for you. Similar to “Scary Stories to Read in the Dark” (another great book to check out), “Haunted” by Chuck Palahnuik is a compilation of short horror stories each being creepier than the last. Be forewarned, the first story “Guts” is so disturbing readers are known to pass out! This novel is perfect for readers who are not looking for a major commitment and are simply looking for a quick, nightmare-inducing scare.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

   Travel back to Halloween as a kid and read “Coraline.” Although many of us have seen the uncanny claymation movie, few truly realize just how much horror the movie left out. The story begins when Coraline finds a hidden door leading to another world with strange copies of her parents. But as Coraline grows more attached to her new life, she begins to notice something sinister underneath her perfect new world. A creepy and disturbing story with vivid imagery, “Coraline is guaranteed to leave readers of any age sleeping with their lights on at night.