Six spooky reads perfect for Halloween

Halloween Reads

Move over Stephen King! This Halloween why not be spooked by one of these deeply unsettling stories by women, instead? From haunted house tales to snowy isolation with a supernatural leaning, there’s a creepy story here to suit all tastes. Just don’t forget to lock all the doors and windows and check under the bed before you start reading…

Halloween Reads:

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

‘…that coming to this place had already changed me and that there was no going back.’

A ghostly classic to kick us off, The Woman in Black, is the original gothic novella behind the film starring Daniel Radcliffe. Susan Hill’s spine-tingling tale is written as an old-fashioned traditional ghost story: set on an English moor and filled with edge-of-the-seat moments involving deserted children’s nurseries, creaking rocking chairs and disembodied screams in the fog. Definitely one to read with the lights on.



The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

‘To learn what we fear is to learn who we are. Horror defies our boundaries and illuminates our souls.’

Dubbed ‘the greatest haunted house story ever written’ by the Wall Street Journal, The Haunting of Hill House will have you second-guessing yourself, never sure of whether the novel’s events are real or purely psychological. We follow lonely young Eleanor, friendless and alone, who is invited to stay at the notoriously sinister Hill House by the mysterious Dr. Montague, an occult scholar. This subtle, tense tale will have you on the edge of your seat and the ending will devastate.


The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

‘The subliminal mind has many dark, unhappy corners, after all.’

This story from Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted author Sarah Waters will scare you witless. In post-war England, a doctor becomes involved with an aristocratic family living in a crumbling stately home, in which unnatural things begin happening. Waters masterfully plots the book, blurring the line between ordinary reality and the encroaching supernatural occurrences, making the mundane seem petrifying.



Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

‘Fear of the dark. Until I came here, I thought that was for children; that you grew out of it. But it never really goes away.’

A remote location in the snowy arctic sounds like the perfect spot for chilling atmosphere, where never-ending night and silence reign. Jack wants to escape London, so sets off on a new expedition to research this unknown landscape. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Jack remains, stuck on a base in constant darkness with no way out. Throw in a malevolent spirit and you have all the makings for the perfect ghost story.



Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

‘We’re not meant for happiness, you and I.’

Generations after its publication, the scariest aspects of Daphne Du Maurier, gothic classic are still just as terrifying – from the spookily unnamed narrator, to the unexplained mysteries behind the titular character’s ghastly death. And don’t talk to us about the terrifying, eerily devoted house servant Mrs Danvers – if she doesn’t put the shivers up your spine, nothing will.



The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

‘The dead leave their shadows, an echo of the space within which once they lived.’

This chilling tale from Women’s Prize co-founder Kate Mosse is set in the Winter of 1928, in the strange and unsettling period between the two world wars. Freddie has travelled to the ethereal French Pyrenees when he is trapped in a snowstorm. His memories of his night there and the woman he meets, is haunting and nothing is as it seems.

Do you have a favourite spooky read for this time of year? Let us know, over on one of our social channels. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for more seasonal book recommendations!

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