Top 10 Scariest Books To Get You Ready For Halloween


The costumes, the candy, the decorations, the parties … who doesn’t love Halloween? October is by far the spookiest month of the year. While you’re surfing the Web in search of the perfect costume idea and scoping out the decorations aisle at Target, we have the perfect suggestion for getting into the Halloween spirit long before Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin make their annual appearance on the boob tube: Pick up a scary novel. Not even a Saw marathon can compete with the nightmares that our imagination can conjure up – and to really get your mind stirring, nothing’s better than a good, old-fashioned horror story.


Below are 10 of our favorite scary books to get you geared up for Halloween!


IT  (Stephen King)


No list of our favorite scariest books would be complete without including the godfather of the horror novel, Stephen King. Although the author is adept at crafting terrifying stories, it’s his tale of a creepy, shape-shifting clown that preys on young children that scares us the most.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark  (Alvin Schwartz)


Remember staying up past your bedtime – nestled under your sheets with a flashlight in hand – to read about the guy with the hook for a hand? Probably. And although these ghost stories geared toward children won’t inspire the same fear that they did for you 15 years ago, the nostalgia will make you smile.


Piercing  (Ryu Murakami)


A Tokyo father has an overwhelming desire to pierce his infant child with an ice pick, so he does what anyone else would in this situation – he hires a prostitute to kidnap and torture. The prostitute he picks up happens to be more demented than him – and what ensues is a terrifying look into the minds of two psychopaths.


The Exorcist  (William Peter Blatty)


Think the movie gave you nightmares? Just wait until you read the book.


Hell House  (Richard Matheson)


Stephen King once said that this is the scariest book about a haunted house ever written. This novel chronicles one night in side a haunted house in Maine that has been boarded-up and abandoned for good reason.


House of Leaves  (Mark Z. Danielewski)


This book might be long, but it’s worth it. House of Leaves tells the story of a house that is bigger inside than it appears from the outside – and is filled with demons and monsters that will haunt you long beyond Halloween.


The Amityville Horror  (Jay Anson)


Don’t let the terrible Ryan Reynolds adaptation of this novel fool you – The Amityville Horror is a deeply terrifying book, in large part because it’s supposedly based on true events that occurred on Long Island. If you believe the events described in the book, we guarantee that you won’t get any sleep for weeks.


The Cipher  (Kathe Koja)


A dark hole leading to nowhere becomes the obsession of two people. Horror and psychosis ensue.


Dracula  (Bram Stoker)


We live in a world where tales of vampires have become a bit yawn-inducing (thanks, Twilight) and commonplace, but there was a time when Dracula was a cutting-edge, thrilling horror novel. It’s still considered by many to be one of the scariest books of all-time, so if you’re in the mood for a piece of literary history, check out this classic.


The Silence of the Lambs  (Thomas Harris)


Hannibal Lector is one of cinema’s greatest villains of all-time and anyone who has seen the movie version of The Silence of the Lambs is probably haunted by the image of Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb dancing in drag. But, once again, the book is better – and scarier – than the movie.

Randi Whitcomb


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