24 Halloween/Fall Must-Reads

halloween reads for people who like scary and people who don't like scary books

There is just something about Fall that makes me pick up very specific books. I mean, sure, I will read just about any book at any time but I *am* a person who reads based upon their mood and sometimes the weather or the seasons will affect that.

All during the Fall I find myself craving mysteries, horror, murder-y type books, thrillers, supernatural, Gothic lit, dark and atmospheric or just anything that has a real ~Fall vibe~…..don’t ask me to define what that is for you…it’s just a FEELING that I get.

So, I figured I’d put together a list of a list of books perfect for your Fall/Halloween reading needs — whether you like scary books or prefer less scary and more mystery or atmospheric. Some of the books I’ve read and some are on MY must read list for this Fall!

Grab a PSL, get cozy in a sweater and head to your nearest bookstore or library to snag one of these! (Also, check out these Halloween reads  and these ones I recommended through the years).

As I Descended by Robin Talley


As I Descended by Robin Talley: I just finished this one and woo boy, I won’t lie, I started getting a little jumpy reading this retelling of Macbeth at night. It’s Mean Girls meets the scariest thing you can imagine to come from messing with a Ouija board all with an atmospheric boarding school setting.


Follow You Home
Follow You Home by Mark Edwards: A trip of a life time for one couple turns into a nightmare and the nightmare doesn’t end when they finally get home — even despite their refusal to talk about what they saw and endured that night.


A Madness So Discreet Mindy McGinnis


A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis: If you like your Fall/Halloween read to be of the not-so-scary variety but a rather forceful atmospheric ~Fall feeling~, this is it. It’s a Gothic historical mystery of sorts set in an insane asylum.


Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco: If a story about a girl trying to figure out who Jack the Ripper is doesn’t scream “Halloween read” than I don’t know what does! It’s a gruesome historical thriller, light on the scares, and it has a good dose of defying the patriarchy and society constructs for a woman!

The Secrets of Wishtide Kate Saunders
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders: If a cozy historical (Victorian) mystery is more your speed for a Halloween/Fall read, this first book in a new mystery series is a good one to pick up! Laeticia Rodd is a fiery lady private inspector and solving this mystery with her is a perfect way to spend a chilly Fall day.

book cover for The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Blood-thirsty and savage horses that are raced every November where people die every year? An atmospheric island in the Fall? A headstrong girl who decides to be the first girl to race in this deadly race? A returning champion who is indebted to the boss he races for? It’s perrrrrrrfect.


This Savage Song review
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: Not your typical monster story! This gritty and dark urban fantasy novel where violence creates actual deadly monsters and the land is run by two competing gangs is a perfect Halloween read for someone looking for a unique spin on monsters.

Arrowood Laura McHugh
Arrowood by Laura McHugh: Is a gothic mystery your idea of a perfect Fall read? Check out a book about a woman, whose sisters vanished during her childhood, as she returns to the house she grew up in to figure out the mystery of what happened to her sisters.


these shallow graves cover
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly: If a good historical mystery set in New York City is your cup of tea, I say pour yourself an actual cup of tea and sit down with this page-turner!


Wytches by Scott Snyder: If you enjoy a good horror story in the form of comics, check out the chilling first volume of Wytches. The mythology of the witches in this one is so fascinating and creepy!


The Dead House
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich: If you are looking for something dark, creepy and sinister…this one, written in a unique format, should be on your list! Leave the lights on while you sift through police records, diary entries and more to determine what ACTUALLY happened at Elmbridge High.


A Taste For Monsters Matthew Kirby
A Taste For Monsters by Matthew Kirby: Another book where Jack the Ripper is terrorizing a city but this time with a little more of a paranormal twist in that the ghosts of his victims are haunting a man, called The Elephant Man due to birth defects, and he sends his maid, a young girl disfigured by her previous job, out into the city to try to get peace for the victims.


Last Seen Leaving
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig: If you are looking for a thriller that is NOT of the scary variety, check this one out! Unravel the mystery of the disappearance of Flynn’s girlfriend along side of him as he learns the secrets she kept while trying to keep his own secrets from being revealed.


And the Trees Crept In
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich: If the thought of a haunted manor surrounded by a creepy and dark forest ( that lets you in but doesn’t let you out) appeals to your senses…pick this one up!


Fractured Catherine McKenzie
Fractured by Catherine McKenzie: If a suspenseful contemporary read is your idea of a Fall/Halloween, I’ve got you covered with the story of a woman who has been stalked since the publication of her book and the move to her new town doesn’t seem to bring the sort of normal she had hoped for.

A Study in Scarlet Women
A Study In Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas: Check out this gender-swapped re-imagining Sherlock Holmes from Sherry Thomas if you like a good mystery in your life!


The Family Plot
The Family Plot by Cherie Priest: If you are looking for an adult fiction haunted house story of sorts, look no further! Ghosts and buried secrets and an old creepy house!


The Vanishing Year
The Vanishing Year by Kate Morretti: If you like ~domestic thrillers~ add this book to your Halloween/Fall list! It’s about a woman, living a life of luxury in elite society, whose secrets from the life she left behind are coming back to haunt her.




Ink and Bone
Ink & Bone by Lisa Unger: A woman with supernatural abilities is drawn into an investigation of a missing child in this mismash of the supernatural and thriller genres.


My Best Friend's Exorcism
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix: Like your scary books with a dose of the 80’s in them? Check out this book about a girl who thinks her best friend is possessed!


Slasher Girls and Monster Boys
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys: Want your Fall/Halloween reading to be in small doses? Check out this short story collection filled to the brim with thrillers and horror stories!


Ghostland nonfiction about ghosts
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey: Is your idea of a perfect Fall/Halloween read come in the form of real ghost stories? Check out this book that chronicles the history of haunted places all around America!


The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
The Dead Girl’s of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender: Imagine if your new home used to be an insane asylum. That’s the situation the main character in this book finds herself in this young adult horror novel. Oh, and there are ghosts that roam and secrets abound that she must figure out before she loses everything she loves! And, as of right now, it’s only $2.99 for Kindle — perfect time to read this before Halloween!


How to Hang a Witch
How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather:  Imagine being the descendant of one of the men who started the Salem Witch Trials and moving to Salem where you are not really welcomed with open arms because of your ancestry — especially by a group of girls who calls themselves The Descendants. If the main character’s own Mean Girls saga wasn’t bad enough, she then meets a ghost and finds out she is tied to a curse that affects anybody with any ties to the trials.



Hope you can find a good read to settle in with to get you in the Fall/Halloween mood! I would LOVE to hear your best recs of all genres that you think are totally awesome Fall/Halloween reads!!



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books to read this fall and halloween

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Great list, Jamie! I am currently reading The Dead House, but as for all the other books, I haven’t. So I am adding them STRAIGHT to my TBR so that I don’t forget about them! Thanks for the recs!

    Here’s My TTT post!

    xo Stephanie

  2. Wow, I totally didn’t even realize how much cool horror YA was out there!! Adding more than a few of these titles to my TBR… and I’m pretty sure you just convinced me to finally pick up a copy of This Savage Song! 🙂 Happy Halloween/Fall!

    • There totally is! I think a lot of it gets under the radar because other genres are so much more popular! Hope you find some that you love!! And YES This Savage Song was so excellent! I hope you love it! It was my first from VS and I cannot wait to read more!

  3. The cover for A Madness So Discreet is AMAZING. You’ve also reminded me that I’ve been wanting to read Wytches. It completely slipped my mind somehow.

    • Isn’t it such a great cover?? Oh yes Wytches!! I’ve been dying to get another volume in that series and I just saw they are working on volume 2!

  4. Hi! Some of these books have covers so scary I couldn’t even pick them up. haha. I get super scared, so I never read scary books 🙂
    My TTT

    • Heh people like you are totally who I had in mind for why I didn’t just pick scary books! My sister can’t handle them either so I have to give her non-scary recs for Halloween too 🙂

  5. Great list! I just bought These Shallow Graves. Glad to see it got a recommend 🙂

  6. I loved These Shallow Graves! A Madness so Discreet sounds good too. I don’t think I’ll get to it before October is over, but it’s on my list!

  7. I’ve been meaning to read the Dead House and I’m really excited to read A Study In Scarlet Women

  8. This is a great list! Thanks for sharing! I’m excited to add several of them to my TBR list. I really should start finding books from my list and reading them before I add more, but I just love adding good books to my already long TBR list!

    I love the last line of your post: “Grab a PSL, get cozy in a sweater and head to your nearest bookstore or library to snag one of these!” That sounds perfect and something I need to spend more time doing….BUT, I live in Arizona and it’s still pretty warm. The high today is supposed to be 100 degree. 100! It’s Oct. 27th and still 100 degrees. Where isssss winnnnterrrr? Haha. I’m definitely going to snuggle up with a nice cold drink and a good book. I’ll skip the sweater.

    Hope you’re doing well! As always, I love reading your blog posts. They’re great! :o)

  9. These is a really great list! I’ve seen Dawn Kurtagich books’ a lot, especially this Halloween season, I should try to read them soon!

  10. Great list! 🙂 Some different suggestions compared to the usual Halloween lists! 🙂 I love it!


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