Halloween Reads that Will Leave You Spooked

Halloween just isn’t the same without a spooky story or two, read in front of a fire on a dark night, or told aloud to petrified family members. Whether you’re a long-time horror fan or are new to reading scary stories, we’ve got a selection of the most terrifying reads to really get you in the mood for Halloween. All you need is your reading glasses, a comfy chair and maybe a cushion to hide behind! These scary stories can provide the perfect inspiration for a Halloween costume, as well as offering hours of entertainment. So, if you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin…

It by Stephen King

This year’s big blockbuster horror movie is a stunning adaptation of the 1986 novel by Stephen King. Perhaps one of the best-known scary stories of all time, It follows a group of children as they face down a terrifying monster that assumes the shape of whatever they are most afraid of. Most often seen in the shape of a horrifying clown by the name of Pennywise, the monster lures children into its underground cave. After it begins to take children from their small town, the group work together to defeat it and confront their fears. A rather long read, this book is nevertheless a fascinating and tense story.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Forget everything you know about I am Legend, whether you’ve seen the film or not. This short and absolutely terrifying book is credited with inspiring the zombie genre, and it’s not hard to see why. Set in a post-apocalyptic future in which a virus has turned the majority of the population into murderous, flesh-eating monsters, the book focuses on one man and his attempt at survival. Although it was written in 1954, this novel has stood the test of time and still has the potential to scare the living daylights out of readers.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Better known as a recent film starring Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black was originally novella, written in 1983 before being adapted into a play. This classic gothic ghost story details events that take place in a small English village, where a ghost seems to be leading children to their deaths. Full of creepy imagery that is emphasised by the old-fashioned setting, this is an ideal book to read aloud to friends and family on a dark October evening. Although less action packed than audiences today are perhaps used to, it will leave you with an extremely unsettled feeling that you may be being watched.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This classic work of literature is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in the horror genre. Originally published in 1818, it remains one of the foundational texts of horror, and has been referenced and adapted so many times that it’s impossible to keep count. For anyone who has somehow missed out on Frankenstein, it tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a monster from the body parts of dead people. Of course, things go terribly wrong and Victor loses a lot more than his career. This is a classic story that is as tragic and emotional as it is scary.

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