Well, today I am in my element. We’re going to be chatting about 15 Spooky Books for Fall. Because, who doesn’t love a good spooky read in the mist of spooky season. Or, if you happen to be looking for more recs for the Halloween Readathon. Regardless of what shade of spooky you enjoy, I’m sure you’ll find something you like because I have recommendations from slasher horror to paranormal, dark academia to classics and everything in between.
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White is for Witching
If you love: contemporary gothic
A contemporary gothic novel, this is a weird, supernatural, abstract novel. The book starts when the main character has gone missing and the story goes back in time to her and her twin brothers’ childhoods. It follow through their time of growing up, and as they deal with hardships such as the loss of their mother and psychological disorders. Their family owns a bed and breakfast and the home is almost like a character in the book. And, if you pay close attention you’ll find some subtle hints towards fairy tails in Oyeyemi’s true fashion.
If you love: vampires
The first Stephen King book I ever read and the second book that King wrote. This is your book if you like vampires. Ben, our protagonist, is returning to his hometown of Jerusalem “Salem” Maine. Super weird things are happening when some new people show up and move into a notorious mansion in the town.
A Dowry of Blood
If you love: retellings/spin-offs
A Dracula spin off from the perspective of one of his “brides”. It is dark, romantic (in the writing style), gothic and atmospheric book. Our main character, Constanta, goes from rags to riches when she marries the unnamed Dracula and is turned. Dracula is actually never mentioned in this book. Their relationship spans hundreds of years and throughout that time she notices his unusual activity and unsettling traits as he lures people.
If you love: history + witch trials
Anyone else obsessed with the Salem Witch trials when they were younger? This is basically a play about the witch trials in Massachusetts based off of real events with real people. Fear and witch paranoia take over a town and when a young girl starts making accusations of who these witches are things get, well, bad.
In My Dreams I Hold a Knife
If you love: dark academia
This is a dark academia thriller – so in other words perfect for fall. This revolves around a friend group who are attending their college reunion after 10 years. They are faced with the events of 10 years earlier and the unsolved murder of a student named Heather which brings up a lot of past secrets.
The Final Girl Support Group
If you love: slasher horror
This book is quite literally about a final girl support group. The final girl in horror movies is the one who survives, the only one who makes it out alive after all her friends have been slaughtered. Our main character Lynette is a real life final girl and she meets in group therapy with 5 other final girls. But one day one of the 6 doesn’t show up and the fear of this happening all over again sinks ins.
If you love: short stories
This is a collection of 17 short stories. Dark twists to everyday life in this suburban gothic collection. It’s all about normal things going horribly wrong. Creepy, and eerie.
If you love: murder mysteries
This is an Agatha Christy Hercule Poirot mystery and obviously it takes place around Halloween season and there’s a murder so it’s perfect for spooky season. A teenage girl talks about having seen a murder once, no one believes her but later she’s found dead at the Halloween Party drowned after bobbing for apples…
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hallow
If you love: spin-offs/retellings
This is, obviously a spin off of the legend of Sleepy Hallow. This is told through Katrina’s perspective meeting Ichabod Crane, becoming friends and eventually developing a romantic relationship despite the fact that he is not the guy her father wants her to marry. But she doesn’t care and they carry on their secret affair in the woods. But they are both weary of running into the Headless horseman who is rumored to visit those areas. But one day Ichabod goes missing so Katrina recruits the help of her witch friend Charlotte and they get to using some magic to find what’s up and in the process uncover a lot more about the Headless horseman legend.
The Sundown Motel
Simone St. James
If you love: the paranormal
If you’re into spooky stuff but more of a paranormal angle. This one’s for you because we’ve got ghosts and hauntings and a great twist. This book revolves around a small town in NY in two different timelines. Viv is desperate to get away from home and Carly her niece who several years latter is returning to Fell, NY in hopes of figuring out what happened to her aunt who disappeared before she was even born.
My Heart is a Chainsaw
Stephen Graham Jones
If you love: slasher horror movi
This one just came out and I have heard raving things about it and it sounds like a great book for this time of year. Especially if you’re a slasher horror fan because not only is this a slasher horror itself there are tons of references and odes to real slasher movies.This book follows Jade who is a half Native American girl who has had a pretty traumatic childhood. Her main source of comfort are horror movies, particularly one’s where the killer is enacting their revenge on a world that has wronged them. When a real life slasher horror seams to be taking place in her very town and she uses her knowledge of horror to protect herself and predict how things will play out.
Clown in a Cornfield
If you love: slashers
Quinn moves to the small town of Kettle Springs with her father. Kettle springs is a small midwestern town where their town mascot is a clown (here’s a life tip never move to a town where a clown is the mascot). Kettle Springs is in the middle of a figurative tug of war between the youth and progress and the adults and their traditions. But then along comes Frendo a homicidal clown who’s solution for all this is to clean the town out all of the children. If you like slasher, horror, and creepy cornfields this is for you.
The Graveyard Book
If you love: spooky that’s not to graphic or horror heavy
Next, and on a much lighter note. This is a coming of age story where Bod, our main character, lives in a graveyard. His parents were both murdered when he was very young and he runs away stumbling upon a graveyard where its inhabitants offer him protection and end up raising him.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
If you love: classic lit
This happens to also be our October BOTM for The Dark Aesthetics Book Club and I just had to add a classic. This book is about Dorian Gray a young good looking guy who ends up going a bit crazy in his life and the end is a total whirl wind. I read this earlier this year and I’m already excited to read it again.
If you love: history + vampires
I wanted to read this for the readathon but it’s girth scared me. A young woman stumbles across a series of documents in her fathers library which unravel a multitude of family secrets and a quest to find the truth about Vlad the Imapler the inspiration of Dracula. She follows in her father’s footsteps to uncover the truth.
I have one more fall time book rec blog post coming in a few weeks so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, what’s your favorite fall time spooky read?