As summer winds down and the first bits of fall set in soon, I cannot stop thinking about October. That month, besides it being my birthday month, also promises a lot of spooky fun, with people gearing up for Halloween, finding that perfect costume, and carving a unique pumpkin. It’s a time where I always thrive, as the weather dips a little tiny bit in South Florida, and store shelves are stocked up with decorations to celebrate the season.
During October, I always look forward to getting some yummy candy for my 10th grade students, snuggling up with my favorite blanket and watching some scary movies, as well as planning some costumes to go out with friends. For me, the fall and Halloween season has always meant turning a year older, a year wiser and enjoying all of the spooktacular celebrations at the same time.
But there’s one thing that is my favorite, and becomes a tradition each year when September comes to an end and October rolls around. And that is getting my hands on some amazingly creepy books! Adding some horror-filled books to my bookshelf makes me happy and entertains me to no end, and makes me feel like the spooky season is really here. From ghastly creatures to simply evil people that have no good intentions, from vampires to ghosts, horror books promise a creepy good time for those who can stomach the story.
With that in mind, I’ve selected eight deliciously horrific books that are sure to give you a scare this season. From young adult to adult, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this list. Happy book shopping!
The Woods are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins
This classic-style horror story features two besties stuck in a creepy wooded area, and things that turn for the worst.
Neena and Josie spent high school as outsiders, but always had each other’s back. Now, they believe a three-day hike in the woods of the Pisgah National Forest will celebrate their friendship, right before miles will separate them when they go to separate colleges.
Tensions between the duo lead to a detour off the trail and straight into a waking nightmare and even worse situations that they could’ve ever imagined. They are tested every horrific step of the way, in a book that will surely scare you from going on that hike after all.
When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen
In this blood-soaked tale, the main character Mira fled her small, segregated hometown in the south to forget the past and find a better future.
She distanced herself from her best friend Celine, mocked by their town as the only white girl with Black friends; from her old neighborhood; from the eerie Woodsman plantation rumored to be haunted by the spirits of slaves; and from the memory of a ghost she saw that terrible day when the boy she loved, Jesse, almost got arrested for murder due to a dare gone wrong. All Mira wants to do is forget and start a new life for herself.
But when the plantation wedding of Celine brings her back to town, she finds that the plantation has now been turned into a luxury resort and that the ghosts have not forgotten what was done to them. In fact, they are coming back with a vengeance, and you’ll be swept in by this book as you root for Mira’s survival and for her to reconnect with Celine and even Jesse, the one she left behind.
Certain Dark Things by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia (September 7)
From the author that brought us the epic Mexican Gothic comes a creeptastic tale full of twists and turns sure to leave you breathless.
Mexico City is a quiet spot surrounded by a sea of vampires. Domingo is a garbage-collecting street kid, just trying to survive Mexico City’s current status of streets starting to get full with police and vampire attacks getting closer and closer.
One day, a vampire appears into his life. It is Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, whose beauty and wits completely overtakes Domingo. He then proceeds to get closer to Atl, who really wants to escape the city and a rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. As the trail of corpses begin to pile up, local cops and crime bosses both start getting closer to the duo. But will they survive the darkness sweeping over the city?
This story mixes up vampires, humans, cops, and criminals, and will surely leave you thinking of it long after the last page has turned.
Mary Will I Die? by Shawn Sarles (September 7)
This is one terrifying YA novel, following the creeptastic tale of Bloody Mary.
The book begins with four kids, who are at one of their houses, simply playing games. Yet, one of them has read about “Bloody Mary” and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name 13 times, she will show you the future. Little does this kid know that Bloody Mary could enter your world, if you dare to summon her. The game night severs their friendship, for something goes extremely wrong that evening.
Fast forward five years, and the four of them are no longer friends, having gone their separate ways. The girl whose house it was where they played games has always tried to avoid the mirror they used because she sensed someone in the background, and one morning she breaks the mirror when she walks by and sees a haunting figure instead of her reflection.
That day in school, a new girl arrives and her name is, eerily, Mary. What follows is pure scary chaos, and this YA horror novel will stay with you long after you are done with it.
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff (September 14)
This bloody and gory book features the story of Gabriel de León, known as a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the dark and menacing creatures of the night.
The Silver Order could not do their complete job once daylight failed them, and now, only Gabriel is left.
Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and it’s been about three decades of bloodthirsty vampires waging a war against humanity and building their own huge empire. The world is enveloped in a sea of darkness, but now Gabriel has to tell his tale, as he is imprisoned by the vampires he once wanted to destroy.
I got a chance to read an advanced copy of this book, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. But if you love a bloody good story that will also destroy you and keep you guessing, this is the book for you to pick up this fall.
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (September 21)
This horror novel delivers twist after twist, keeping you on the edge of your seat.
The book represents an exploration of the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves from dark truths. There’s a teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, a man who drinks alone and ignores the gaps in his memory, a house cat who loves napping and reading the bible, and an unspeakable truth that binds them together yet they do not speak about.
What is buried never stays dead, and this book will chill you to the bone as you try to figure out what mystery holds this trio together and what will happen to the characters. Make sure you pick it up if you like mind-boggling horror that keeps you guessing.
The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling (October 5)
This book features the story of a woman who has simply decided that the best path to take is to find a husband, just a simple marriage of convenience, but a marriage that will keep her independent and busy also with meaningful work.
Little did Jane Shoringfield expect that Augustine Lawrence, the man she chose as a husband and proposed to, would agree with one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his family manor that sits outside of town.
But Jane runs into an accident on the rainy night of their wedding, and ends up at his door. The Augustine that greets her is a paranoid man, very different from the man she married, and believes Jane is an apparition that has come to haunt his days.
This eerie novel will certainly keep you wondering what’s in the future for Jane and Augustine, and is a good one to pick up this October.
Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw (October 19)
This creepy haunted house tale, mixed in with Japanese folklore, will leave you thinking for days.
A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, and it rests on the bones of a bride, its walls are packed with secrets and the remains of remains of the girls that were sacrificed to keep her company.
A group of friends decide this is the perfect spooky venue to come celebrate an upcoming wedding. Then, in one night of food, drinks, and fun, their loyalties are tested as secrets threaten to spill out. Little do they know that the house has its own secrets, one of them being the ghost bride herself, with a black smile and an extremely hungry heart, who is lonely for some company.
This horrific tale is one to definitely read with the lights on. I dare you to try to flip through it at night.
What other terrifying books what you read or plan to add to your TBR this Fall? Let me know on Twitter @AuroraMiami. Happy reading!