Ten Spooky Books To Read + Three Scary Stories To Watch

Happy Halloween!

I had this post idea planned for ages, and as it turns out… it’s also this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme over at The Broke and the Bookish! The prompt is “top ten books/movies to read/watch to get in the Halloween spirit.” So I might as well link up with them too… right?

tried to choose just ten stories total, but sometimes I have trouble limiting myself. So instead I’m recommending thirteen stories: ten books to read and then three things (either movies or episodes of TV shows) to watch.

the coldest girl in coldtownOh, and the book list is split into six mini-lists, each one geared toward a certain audience. I thought that might be more helpful?


If you enjoy classics, try:

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. How can I talk up this story without giving away its twist?! Basically, the main character achieves eternal youth… but at a high and horrifying cost. Oh, and it’s full of Wilde’s usual wit, which is always a plus.

2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s really quite remarkable how well this book messes with your emotions. There has to be a logical, non-supernatural explanation behind the hound… right? But it seems so real…

If you think you don’t like vampire stories, try:thumbnailcapjrlh5[1]

3. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. “Vampires? How ridiculous,” I
thought. And then I read this AMAZING book. Black adapts vampires for the modern day, turns them into pop culture icons, and creates an utterly believable dystopian fantasy.

4. Dracula by Bram Stoker, adapted by Nicky Raven, and illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert. The original book is actually quite readable considering its age – most books of its time have overly florid writing – but this adaptation is, if impossible, even better. It’s only about a hundred pages long and beautifully illustrated! Seriously, I have, like, a crush or something on Gilbert’s artistic style.

If you love mysteries, try:

5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. In this novel, often considered to be Christie’s masterpiece, ten people are invited to a lonely island – but none of them 0-545-16045-6know their host, or why they were invited there. One by one, they begin to die off… even those who you thought were the culprits. THIS IS THE MOST BRILLIANT MYSTERY I

If you’re a child (or a child at heart), try:

6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. You can’t get much more Halloween-y than a graveyard! This is a really creative, imaginative book and I wish I’d read it when I was little.

7. Malice and Havoc by Chris Wooding. This horror duology is written for children, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s tame. IT’S CREEPY. Imagine a horrifying comic book that transports its readers into the world of its TheScorpioRaces[1]story, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what Malice and Havoc are about.

8. Coraline by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by P. Craig Russell. There is a prose
version – it came first, actually – but I’ve only ever read the graphic novel version. And it’s really good! The art is beautiful and sinister-looking, perfect for telling the story of a litle girl who discovers a horrible parallel world.

If you prefer to be only mildly frightened, try:

9. The Scorpio Race by Maggie Stiefvater. Imagine racing horses. Boring, right? OK, now imagine KILLER HORSES THAT SOMETIMES EAT THEIR RIDERS. This is a lovely book, and thankfully just a little on the scary side.

Stephen_King_Misery_cover[1]If you never want to sleep again, try:

10. Misery by Stephen King. Feeling brave? Read this. The narrator, Paul, is a well-known author when he crashes his car on a lonely road. He is rescued… by his “number one fan,” who punishes him he writes something she doesn’t like – and never intends to let him leave. This novel doesn’t have ghosts or werewolves or anything like that. It doesn’t need to. Its portrayal of a completely twisted human being is frightening enough all on its own.


Time for some recommendations of things to watch!

1. The Birds. This isn’t even my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film, but it’s still really really good. It’s unsettling because, well, who really cares about birds? They just fly around and peck at things and do their cute-bird thing. No one pays attention to them – until they start attacking people. BE SURE TO WATCH THIS WITH ALL THE LIGHTS ON.

2. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (The Twilight Zone). This is from a really cool, cerebral, old TV show, and it’s on Netflix so you should definitely check it out! In this story, a passenger sees a hideous creature on the wing of his airplane, tearing it apart. But it’s just an apparition caused by his earlier nervous breakdown… right? Right?

3. “Midnight” (Doctor Who). There are quite a few scary Doctor Who episodes, but this one is my favorite. This story is amazing because it relies on ambiguity and the power of what is not seen, rather than what is. (And if you want more scary recs, I suggest “The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances,” “The God Complex,” and “Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead” – which, coincidentally, takes place right before “Midnight.” Maybe you could watch all three in a row?)


So, tell me: What stories put you in the Halloween spirit? What’s the spooky story you’ve ever read? And if you’ve read/watched any of my choices, rate them in order of scariness – I’d love to know what you think!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Ten Spooky Books To Read + Three Scary Stories To Watch

  1. Cait says:

    I love The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. XD You were SO right about that one! I mean, I’m not opposed to vampires at all, but so far (besides Cassandra Clare’s versions) Holly Black has written the only vampire book I’ve been interested in! 🙂

    Watching the Supernatural tv series will definitely put me in the trembling-in-my-boots mood, that’s for sure.

  2. Mo says:

    I haven’t actually read a lot of these–I really liked The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, though.

    The one book that gave me nightmares for years was Seer of Shadows by Avi. *shudders*

  3. F says:

    I’ve been meaning to try an Agatha Christie book for ages now, so I’ll definitely be adding And Then There Were None to my TBR list..

    Also, I’m considering reviving the “Senior Year Diary” project at Teenage-Blogger-Central (as a one-off project) and was wondering if you’d like to contribute? If you would like some more information, please contact me at thefenceofstars@gmail.com 🙂

  4. moosha23 says:

    Yikes! Thanks for reminding me of the one Doctor Who episode that I thought I had finally forced myself to forget (it was TOO scary!) but I’ve got to say, anything with cybermen in it has me going all Halloween-ready…I wouldn’t even dress up as a cyberman because of how scared I’d be of the eyes on the cyberman head. (Plus this episode, OMG, I saw it from a mile away, and MISSY!). The Portrait of Dorian Gray was definitely scary in a sort of creepy, chill-down-the-back way…and Dracula by Bram Stoker is very, VERY entertaining. The Graveyard Book (Silas) is one of my favourite books ever!

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, oops! (And omg, what did you think of last night’s episode?! I didn’t even notice that the Cyberman were hiding in plain sight, and OMG MISSY.)

      Silas is probably my favorite character from that story. 🙂

      • moosha23 says:

        yes, MISSY! (actually, I did come across that theory, but I thought it was too far-fetched…but it’s not, and I’m glad cos asdfghjkl THE MASTER!!!)….plus, a small part of my brain can’t help but wonder if that means that the next Doctor might be a lady? (Well they’re certainly open to the idea if time lords can change sexes with regenerations) THAT’D BE SO AWESOME!!!! 😀

    • nevillegirl says:

      I thought Missy was mostly likely either the Master or River Song, but I was completely open to other theories, ’cause I didn’t want to be disappointed if I decided upon one of them and then she turned out to be someone else…

      Yeah, Eleven mentioned in… “The Doctor’s Wife,” I think? that one of his Time Lord friends changed gender while regenerating, at least once… so. I really really really want a lady Doctor. ❤

  5. I want to read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown now. Looks really good!
    I actually just watched The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances a week ago. Very spooky!

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