Halloween Reads at the Library

Cleveland Park LibraryStaff Picks

Halloween Reads at the Library

Spooky suggestions for readers of all ages!

October is here, and that means the countdown to Halloween has begun! Whether your idea of a good Halloween scare comes from Hocus Pocus or something darker, the library is the place to get your Halloween fix! Here are some favorites to get you in the Halloween spirit. Recommendations are split into two categories: light and dark.

Kids' Reads
Link to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Light: Annie Was Warned by Jarrett Krosoczka is a story about Annie, a girl who was born on Halloween and isn’t scared of anything. Follow her as she makes her way to the Montgomery Mansion, even though she was warned to stay away!

Dark: When I think about the things that turned me onto the horror genre as a kid, Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark immediately jumps into mind. Exactly what it sounds like this book (and the following two sequels) are perfect snapshots of scare, with most stories lasting only a couple of pages.

Stephen Gammel's illustrations are truly unique and terrifying, and makes the Scary Stories series fun for all ages. Recommended for kids 8 and up. 

Teen Reads 
Link to Hold Me Closer Necromancer CoverLight: In addition to having a wonderful title, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a great example of how to keep a book scary while maintaining levity and humor. Sam LaCroix is a college dropout spending his days as a fry cook when he finds out that he is a necromancer. Hilarity (and scares) ensues. The book is skewed towards older teens, but is delightfully scary.

Dark: Michael Grant’s Gone is the first in a series of six books that deals with the sudden and instantaneous disappearance of every person over the age of 15, leaving the town of Perdido Beach in the hands of teenagers. Throw in some supernatural elements, and you got yourself one captivating series. Be warned: Once you start reading, you will not be able to put this book down.  

Adult Reads
Link to Good Omens CoverLight: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman may not be a horror story, but it is a book that reaches out to horror fans. A hilarious twist on the premise of the Omen, Good Omens is promising to make you laugh. The end is nigh, and Good and Evil are not too happy about it, thank you very much. Unfortunately, the antichrist has been accidentally misplaced, which puts a damper on the upcoming apocalypse. Gaiman and Pratchett bring their brand of humor to the genre and get wonderful results.

Dark: What would a horror list be without mentioning Stephen King? While there are dozens of books that could take this spot, The Shining stands out for its ability to create atmosphere. Even if Stanley Kubrick never decided to make his adaptation of this now classic horror story, the feelings of claustrophobia will stay with you long after you close the book.  

Honorable Mentions
Anything by H.P. Lovecraft or Edgar Allan Poe, The Walking Dead, the Goosebumps series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, and Brains: A Zombie Memoir.

For an audio treat, check out the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Recommended for ages 12+, Welcome to Night Vale is a biweekly podcast that shares the stories of the fictional town, where strange lights appear in the sky and things are not what they seem. If you enjoy Lovecraft, then Night Vale is for you!

Was your favorite horror read not included?

Share your favorites on the DC Library Facebook page or the DC Library Goodreads page.
-- Cynthia Vrabel, Library Associate