19 Creepy, Haunting, Mysterious, And Magical Books That Are Perfect For Spooky Season
We've got the thrills and the chills.
Spooky season is here. To set the creepy mood, we're giving you 19 books that are both chilling and thrilling. And if you're participating in the BuzzFeed Books fall reading challenge, give these a try in order to cross off the "spooky book" prompt!
by Shawn Sarles
When four kids decide to play Bloody Mary one night, they don't expect to be haunted by what they conjure for the next few years. Now, whenever they catch a glimpse in the mirror, there is always a figure in the background...and it's getting closer. Five years later, the four aren't friends any longer, but that night still haunts them. And when one of the four breaks the mirror out of terror, she realizes the figure has disappeared. Until she shows up to school, calling herself Mary.
by Ted Naifeh
This is a spooky YA graphic novel that follows Faye Faulkner, who comes to school every day dressed as a witch — because she is a witch. When a series of high school pranks go from mischievous to dangerous, Faye teams up with a girl named Cody to attempt to undo a mistake she made, hoping her powers will be strong enough to solve the mystery.
by Heather M. Herrman
This historical YA takes place during the 1850s in Philadelphia about a girl named Molly who is sent to live with her wealthy aunt. She's made her fortune by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. Molly's intrigued by the anatomy lessons held on her aunt's property, but females are forbidden from joining. That isn't Molly's biggest problem: There's also a murderer loose in the city.
by Tiffany D. Jackson
This New York Times bestselling book is Jackson's first foray into horror, following a girl named Marigold who moves to the Midwestern city of Cedarville into a perfect home. Or so it seems. Marigold begins to notice odd things: Household items vanish, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there's a mysterious foul smell. Danger doesn't just live within the walls of Marigold's new home, but also within the neighborhood, which also holds dark secrets...
by Ryan Douglass
Another New York Times bestseller! Douglass's book follows Jake Livingston, who can see dead people. But the real nightmare is his racist teachers at St. Clair Prep, where he's one of the few Black students. But things look up when another (handsome) Black student arrives — and then immediately look back down when a vengeful ghost has it out for Jake and begins haunting him in a game of survival.
by Stephanie Perkins
The Woods Are Always Watching focuses on two friends: Neena and Josie. The two girls decide to go on a multiday camping expedition in the Pisgah National Forest as a last hurrah of high school as they go their separate ways for college. But the deeper they get, the more the cracks in their friendship begin to show — especially when they’ve both been bottling things inside in hopes that it will all be OK. When a detour leads them straight into a walking nightmare, Josie and Neena must rely on each other to survive. Perkins pens a story about the lengths you’ll go to protect a sacred friendship, which also serves as the perfect spooky Halloween read.
by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Dare Chase is the host of a paranormal investigation podcast, and her first season focuses on Arrington Estate, a manor rumored to be haunted by the spirit of Atheleen Bell, who drowned in its lake almost 30 years ago. Dare believes there isn't anything supernatural about this murder, but that begins to shift the deeper she digs. And as she begins to cross too many boundaries, she begins to suspect that whatever is lurking in the lake might not be willing to let her go.
by Melissa Grey
Something unspeakable happened in the remote town of Indigo Falls 10 years ago, something that sent residents underground into shelters. A handful of families remain in the bunker guided by Dr. Imogen Moran, a charismatic leader who has established ground rules: Tell the truth, avoid sunlight, and never touch. The most important rule of all? Never go outside.
by multiple authors
In this haunting short story collection, eight bestselling authors set the mood for spooky season with spellbinding ghost stories. Travel to the English countryside, to haunted estates and cozy London Christmas markets. These stories are perfect for curling up with a hot cup of tea and a cozy blanket.
by Sasha Peyton Smith
This YA historical fantasy takes place in 1911, New York City. 17-year-old Frances Hallowell is a seamstress mourning the death of her brother. But when a man is found dead at her feet, and Frances seems to be the culprit, she's whisked off to Haxahaven Sanitarium. Only, Haxahaven isn't a sanitarium: It's a school for witches. Here Frances learns about small, safe magic, but in dreams is visited by a boy named Finn who tells her of darker magic. And when Frances's newfound power gets the attention of the leader of an ancient order, she must decide the price she would pay for power.
by Liselle Sambury
Teen witch Voya Thomas is tasked with killing her first love in order to pass her Calling — a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers. If she doesn't, she will be stripped of her magic. The problem? Voya has never been in love, so she turns to a genetic matchmaking program to find her first. Enter a boy named Luc — equal parts irritating and spiteful. But in order for Voya to keep magic within her family's bloodline, Voya must grow closer to Luc. And soon, because time is not on her side.
by multiple authors
Leading voices in young adult fiction come together in this anthology all about vampires. In this eerie collection, there's a story for all different types of vampires — ones who are new, ones who are vengeful, and others who are hungry for more than just blood. What better time of year to curl up with a collection of vampire stories than spooky season?
by Laura Sibson
If you want a book that toes the line of spooky but won't keep you up in terror at night, check out Edie in Between. Pitched as a modern-day Practical Magic, it follows a girl named Edie who has just lost her mother. She begins to understand her family's mystical inheritance when she stumbles upon her mother's old journals, ones that import into certain memories of her mother growing up. But Edie will have to master her own magic before it consumes her.
by Lisa Jewell
Then She Was Gone is a thriller not for the faint of heart. 15-year-old Ellie Mack has gone missing, and 10 years later, her mother Laurel is still questioning where her daughter could have gone. Laurel meets a man named Floyd, and as the romantic attraction builds between them, he introduces her to his young daughter Poppy. Meeting Poppy is a gut-punch to Laurel — because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie.
by Mary Kubica
If you can't get enough spine-tingling, chilling thrillers, Local Woman Missing should be your go-to. In a once-peaceful community, girls are disappearing. First it was Shelby. Then Meredith. And then Delilah. People wonder if they could be connected. And when Delilah shockingly returns, everyone's dying to know what happened — but no one is prepared for what they'll find.
by Jessica Townsend
If you're the type to reread Harry Potter around fall and are looking for something new, Nevermoor is the book for you. This series follows Morrigan Crow, cursed to die on her 11th birthday until a man named Jupiter North takes her to the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. But in order to stay in Nevermoor for good, Morrigan must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children.
by Melissa Albert
If you love fairy tales with a splash of wicked creepiness to them, Albert's collection will satisfy that spooky itch. Tales From the Hinterland include short, haunting stories (like "Alice Three Times," which readers will recognize from Albert's The Hazel Wood) and gorgeous, full-page illustrations to accompany them.
by Jessica Goodman
Pitched as Gossip Girl meets One of Us Is Lying, this scandalous mystery is going to suck you in immediately. Jill's best friend, Shaila Arnold, was murdered by her boyfriend during her first year at prep school. After Graham confessed, the case was closed. Now it's Jill's senior year, and she's receiving texts that say Graham is innocent. But if Graham didn't kill her best friend, then who did? Jill is going to find out, even if digging up the past puts her in danger. This is a fast-paced whirlwind of a ride, perfect for those digging YA thrillers right now.
by Daniel Kraus
If you want to read a graphic novel so creepy that Amazon thought the cover might be a little too disturbing, then this one's for you. Kat Somerville's returned to Comfort Notch, New Hampshire, following the death of her estranged mother. What follows is an extremely eerie tale...