It’s beginning to look a lot like HALLOWEEN! It’s the most magical time of year for those of us who love to spook or be spooked, or anything spooky-adjacent for that matter. To set the scene for the creepiest day of the year we’ve made a positively skin-crawling list to satisfy your horror-loving, screamtastic, extra-eerie cravings until the big day. Get inspired to immerse yourself in these scary stories for the rest of October!

*Disclaimer, we cannot be held accountable to any howls, moans, squeals, or screams produced by these books. Side effects may include sweaty palms, rapid breathing, increased heart-rate, and gasping. So beware, dear reader, and enjoy at your own risk.* MUA-HA-HA

  • Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp. Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine. Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek.
  • Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
  • A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company. It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding. A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested. But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart. And she gets lonely down there in the dirt. Effortlessly turning the classic haunted house story on its head, Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a sharp and devastating exploration of grief, the parasitic nature of relationships, and the consequences of our actions
  • An arcane compendium of strange fiction and hallucinatory tales, There Is a Graveyard That Dwells in Man collects chilling stories by renowned innovators of the weird and by many little-known and underrepresented or forgotten scribes of the macabre. Authors include Lady Dilke, Edna Underwood, Thomas Ligotti, L. P. Hartley, R. H. Benson, Walter de la Mare, Hugh Walpole, Colette de Curzon, L. A. Lewis, Edith Wharton, and others. The volume also features translations from Coptic, folk songs, and other surprises. Comprehensive biographical and publication histories are provided by noted scholar of bibliographic arcana Mark Valentine.
  • Grievers, by Adrienne Maree Brown
  • Dune’s mother is patient zero of a mysterious illness that stops people in their tracks—in mid-sentence, mid-action, mid-life—casting them into a nonresponsive state from which no one recovers. Dune must navigate poverty and the loss of her mother as Detroit’s hospitals, morgues, and graveyards begin to overflow. As the quarantined city slowly empties of life, she investigates what caused the plague, and what might end it, following in the footsteps of her late researcher father, who has a physical model of Detroit’s history and losses set up in their basement. She dusts it off and begins tracking the sick and dying, discovering patterns, finding comrades in curiosity, conspiracies for the fertile ground of the city, and the unexpected magic that emerges when the debt of grief is cleared.
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold. Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.
  • Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
  • Survive the Night : A Novel by Riley Sager
  • When Charlie’s best friend is the third victim of a serial killer targeting college students, she decides to leave campus. Through a ride board, she connects with Josh Baxter, who will give her a ride from Pennsylvania to Ohio, where he is headed to care for his sick father. As their night of driving unfolds, Charlie feels like something is not right about Josh—and then, it becomes sickeningly clear that a lot of things aren’t right. Josh’s driver’s license has a different name on it, his stories don’t add up, and there is a knife in the glove compartment. Almost certain she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer, Charlie knows she needs to get away from Josh and alert the police. As Charlie plans her escape, she begins to suspect that Josh knows exactly what she’s thinking—and that she could very well end up becoming his next victim.
  • Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
  • In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up. Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?
  • Reprieve: A Novel by James Han Mattson
  • On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve,” they’ll win a substantial cash prize—a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants. Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view. As each character’s journey unfurls and overlaps, deceits and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice are revealed—forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe.
  • It’s the summer of 1990 and Crystal Beach has lost its beloved, long-running amusement park, leaving the lakeside village a virtual ghost town. It is back to this fallen community that Starla Mia Martin must return to live with her overbearing mother after dropping out of university and racking up significant debt. But an economic downturn, mother-daughter drama, and Generation X disillusionment soon prove to be to be the least of Starla’s troubles. A mysterious and salacious force begins to dog her; inexplicable sounds in the night and indescribable sights spotted in the periphery. Soon enough, Starla must confront the unresolved traumas that haunt Crystal Beach.
  • A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
  • Monsters both figurative and very literal stalk the Turner family. The youngest child, Noah, narrates the family history: how in the late ’60s, his bookish mother, Margaret, marries Lovecraft-lover Harry against her better judgment. The couple has two daughters—Sydney, born for the spotlight, and the brilliant but awkward Eunice, a natural writer and storyteller. But finances are tight, Margaret and Eunice are haunted by horrific dreams, and Harry starts acting strangely. He becomes obsessed with the construction of an elaborately crafted haunted house attraction, christened the Wandering Dark. The family tries to shield baby Noah from the house’s faux horrors, but unbeknownst to them, he’s being visited by a furry beast with glowing orange eyes—the same ghastly being glimpsed by both his mother and sister. However, unlike them, Noah decides to let the creature in…. As he approaches the conclusion of his family’s tale, it becomes more and more apparent that there’s only one way the story can end: with Noah making the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country by Edward Parnell
  • In his late thirties, Edward Parnell found himself trapped in the recurring nightmare of a family tragedy. For comfort, he turned to his bookshelves, back to the ghost stories that obsessed him as a boy, and to the writers through the ages who have attempted to confront what comes after death. In Ghostland, Parnell goes in search of the ‘sequestered places’ of the British Isles, our lonely moors, our moss-covered cemeteries, our stark shores and our folkloric woodlands. He explores how these landscapes conjured and shaped a kaleidoscopic spectrum of literature and cinema, from the ghost stories and weird fiction of M. R. James, Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood to the children’s fantasy novels of Alan Garner and Susan Cooper; from W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn and Graham Swift’s Waterland to the archetypal ‘folk horror’ film The Wicker Man
  • Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations began that led to the 1692 witch trials, We Ride Upon Sticks follows the 1989 Danvers High School Falcons field hockey team, who will do anything to make it to the state finals—even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. In chapters dense with 1980s iconography—from Heathers to “big hair”—Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective progress of this enchanted team as they storm their way through an unforgettable season. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza (whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all), the Falcons prove to be wily, original, and bold, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport and, more importantly, friendship.
  • While the nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley may be hailed as the first modern writer of horror, the success of her immortal Frankenstein undoubtedly inspired dozens of female authors who wrote their own evocative, chilling tales. Weird Women, edited by award-winning anthologists Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger, collects some of the finest tales of terror by authors as legendary as Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Charlotte Gilman-Perkins, alongside works of writers who were the bestsellers and critical favorites of their time—Marie Corelli, Ellen Glasgow, Charlotte Riddell—and lesser known authors who are deserving of contemporary recognition.
  • Blood Countess by Lana Popovic
  • In 17th-century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Bathory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under In 17th-century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Baathory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancee, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her.
  • Wonderland by Zoje Stage
  • After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York’s Adirondack mountains–or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor. But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family-from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds-Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them . . . if she can find out what this force wants before it’s too late.
  • Elsie the vampire is three hundred years old, but in all that time, she has never met her match. This all changes one night in a bar when she meets Jimmy, a charming werewolf with a wry sense of humor and a fondness for running wild during the full moon. Together they enjoy horror films and scary novels, shady strolls, fine dining (though never with garlic), and a genuine fondness for each other’s unusual habits, macabre lifestyles, and monstrous appetites.
  • The Between by Tananarive Due
  • When Hilton was a boy, his grandmother sacrificed her life to save him from drowning. Thirty years later, he begins to suspect that he was never meant to survive that accident, and that dark forces are working to rectify that mistake. When Hilton’s wife, the only elected African American judge in Dade County, Florida, begins to receive racist hate mail from a man she once prosecuted, Hilton becomes obsessed with protecting his family. The demons lurking outside are matched by his internal terrors—macabre nightmares, more intense and disturbing than any he has ever experienced. Are these bizarre dreams the dark imaginings of a man losing his hold on sanity—or are they harbingers of terrible events to come? As Hilton battles both the sociopath threatening to destroy his family and the even more terrifying enemy stalking his sleep, the line between reality and fantasy dissolves . . .
  • A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by, and in tribute to, Shirley Jackson. This anthology, edited by legendary horror editor Ellen Datlow, will bring together today’s leading horror writers to offer their own personal tribute to the work of Shirley Jackson. Featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Carmen Maria Machado, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Cassandra Khaw, Karen Heuler, Benjamin Percy, John Langan, Laird Barron, Jeffrey Ford, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Gemma Files, and Genevieve Valentine.
  • Slewfoot : A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom
  • A deal with the devil, reimagined as the clash between pagan and Puritan as only Brom can tell it, set against the backdrop of colonial America. Set in Colonial New England, Slewfoot is a tale of magic and mystery, of triumph and terror, as only dark fantasist Brom can tell it. Connecticut, 1666. An ancient spirit awakens in a dark wood. The wildfolk call him Father, slayer, protector. The colonists call him Slewfoot, demon, devil. To Abitha, a recently widowed outcast, alone and vulnerable in her pious village, he is the only one she can turn to for help. Together, they ignite a battle between pagan and Puritan – one that threatens to destroy the entire village, leaving nothing but ashes and bloodshed in their wake.
  • The Wilds by Julia Elliott
  • At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help. And in a rinky-dink mill town, an adolescent girl is unexpectedly inspired by the ravings and miraculous levitation of her fundamentalist friend’s weird grandmother. These are only a few of the scenarios readers encounter in Julia Elliott’s debut collection The Wilds. In her genre-bending stories, Elliott blends Southern gothic strangeness with dystopian absurdities, sci-fi speculations with fairy-tale transformations.
  • The Death of Jane Lawrence : A Novel by Caitlin Starling
  • Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to.
  • The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
  • Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For decades she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece. But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife…they will never, ever give up.
  • I Know What I Saw: Modern-Day Encounters with Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore by Linda S. Godfrey
  • The monsters of ancient mythology, folklore, and more contemporary urban legend have long captured the popular imagination. While most people in America today relegate monsters to just that—our imaginations—we continue to be fascinated by the unknown. Linda Godfrey is one of the country’s leading authorities on modern-day monsters and has interviewed countless eyewitnesses to strange phenomena. Monsters evolve, taking on both new and familiar forms over time and across cultures. In this well-researched book, Godfrey explores uncanny encounters with werewolves, goatmen, Bigfoot, and more.
  • Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him. As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers to possess him.
  • After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
  • Asa’s husband is transferring jobs, and his new office is located near his family’s home in the countryside. During an exceptionally hot summer, the young married couple move in, and Asa does her best to quickly adjust to their new rural lives, to their remoteness, to the constant presence of her in-laws and the incessant buzz of cicadas. While her husband is consumed with his job, Asa is left to explore her surroundings on her own: she makes trips to the supermarket, halfheartedly looks for work, and tries to find interesting ways of killing time. One day, while running an errand for her mother-in-law, she comes across a strange creature, follows it to the embankment of a river, and ends up falling into a hole—a hole that seems to have been made specifically for her. This is the first in a series of bizarre experiences that drive Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape filled with eccentric characters and unidentifiable creatures, leading her to question her role in this world, and eventually, her sanity.
  • Adapted from her beloved “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, The Merry Spinster takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and her best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, THE MERRY SPINSTER updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief. Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg’s oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.
  • The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
  • At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year…and the looming specter of graduation: a deadly ritual that barely half the students survive. El is determined that her group will make it out alive, but their prospects are dimming by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules…
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
  • The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
  • The past millennia or so has seen not only an uptick in human attacks, but also increasingly indiscriminate victim selection. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed. From renowned preternaturalist K. E. Flann, How to Survive a Human Attack provides critical information at a critical time with chapters specifically tailored to their target audience, including:
      •  A Zombie’s Guide to Filling the Emptiness and Moving Forward
      • First-Time Haunter’s Guide for Ghosts, Spirits, Poltergeists, Specters, and Wraiths
      • Self-Training 101 for Werewolves: Sit, Don’t Speak, Stay Alive!
      • What’s Happening to My Body?: Radioactive Mutants and the Safety of the Nuclear Family
Happy Halloween: Spooky Stories to Die For

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