15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

15 Scary Halloween Books to Read this October

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As promised, here is a list of gore filled horror for adults this October! Check out these 15 downright creepy Halloween Books for all your masochistic needs.

In case you missed it, I have a horror free Fall Reading List for cozier feels and a Kid's Halloween Reading List for family fun. But today is all about the fright!

*The descriptions were taken from book covers and Amazon, some were shortened for the sake of the list.

Scary Halloween Books!


Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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1. Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Pages: 320

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family's specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family's highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta's been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

Amazon

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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2. Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
Pages: 292
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

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Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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3. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Pages: 336

1990: Teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club are all grown up and haven't seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. But, the time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

*Consider this novel a darker twisted version of Scooby-Doo. It plays on a lot of the teen detective tropes and makes countless references to that genre of pop culture. I do have to note the one complaint I see pretty consistently is the overuse of made up words and that it reads like a cross between a novel and a screenplay. So if that doesn't bother you, and you're all for dark nostalgia, I'd give this book a go.

Amazon

Final Girls by Riley Sager | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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4. Final Girls by Riley Sager
Pages: 342

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Quincy is doing well until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage.

Amazon

I Call Upon Thee: A Novella by Ania Ahlborn | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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5. I Call Upon Thee: A Novella by Ania Ahlborn
Pages: 256
Maggie Olsen had a pretty ordinary childhood—swimming and sleepovers, movie nights and dad jokes. And then there were the other things…the darker things…the shadow that followed her home from the cemetery and settled into the corners of her home, refusing to let her grow up in peace.

Now, after three years away from the place she's convinced she inadvertently haunted, and after yet another family tragedy strikes, Maggie is forced to return to the sweltering heat of a Savannah summer to come to terms with her past. All along, she's been telling herself, it was just in your head, and she nearly convinces herself that she'd imagined it all. But the moment Maggie steps into the foyer of her family home, she knows. The darkness is still here. And it's been waiting for Maggie's return…

Amazon

The Bone Mother by David Demchuk | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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6. The Bone Mother by David Demchuk
Pages: 300

Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies.

Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.

Amazon

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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7. The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker
Pages: 304

Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community.

All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there. And as she helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. A tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.

Amazon

The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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8. The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy
Pages: 272
The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now an ancient darkness is gathering there as well. This force is threatening to spread virally into the real world unless it can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew:

Twelve-year-old Hannah -- who has been fitted with the Mirage, a high-tech visual prosthetic to combat her blindness-- wonders why she sees shadows surrounding some people. Lela, a technophobic journalist, has stumbled upon a story nobody wants her to uncover. Mike Juniper, a one-time child evangelist who suffers from personal and literal demons, has an arsenal of weapons stored in the basement of the homeless shelter he runs. And Derek, a hacker with a cause, believes himself a soldier of the Internet, part of a cyber army akin to Anonymous.

They have no idea what the Dark Net really contains.

Amazon

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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9. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Pages: 381

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, and a debt far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

Amazon

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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10. The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy
Pages: 112

Danielle Cain is a queer punk rock traveller, jaded from a decade on the road. Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious and sudden suicide, she ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa. All is not well in Freedom, however: things went awry after the town’s residents summoned a protector spirit to serve as their judge and executioner.

Danielle shows up in time to witness the spirit—a blood-red, three-antlered deer—begin to turn on its summoners. Danielle and her new friends have to act fast if they’re going to save the town—or get out alive.

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Strings by Allison M. Dickson | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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11. Strings by Allison M. Dickson
Pages: 358

After four years of turning tricks in a mob-run New York brothel to pay off a debt, Nina is ready to go back to a quiet life in Iowa. Just one more client and the whole nightmare will be behind her, but this last trick turns into a battle for her soul. Meanwhile, the brothel’s sadistic Madam has been hiding away money in order to move up in her family’s organization, and she only wants the half million dollars the reclusive millionaire pays for the girls. But her driver Ramón has other ideas, making off with the money left behind when Nina’s last trick goes unexpectedly awry. The theft comes at a great cost to the Madam, setting off a horrific chain of events that changes them all. The hooker. The driver. The Madam. All of them on a collision course to a place where only madness holds sway.

Who is pulling your Strings?

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Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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12. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
Pages: 720
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.

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Affinity by Sarah Waters | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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13. Affinity by Sarah Waters
Pages: 352

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a séance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.

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A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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14. A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner
Pages: 154

Newly-pregnant Dr Beth Nichols is happily engaged to Liam Darrah, a fellow doctor. She has no idea she is being stalked by ex-patient Edwin Evans as she makes her way home one evening after a late shift at the hospital. After being anaesthetised she wakes up in Edwin’s basement, held against her will, and eventually gives birth there without medical help. However, Beth tries to stay positive, and somehow knows that Liam will still be out there searching for her. Every night she looks up at the light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that one day they will be together again.

This story is written from several different perspectives: from Beth’s 9 year old daughter Amy who was born in captivity, from Beth unwillingly pregnant again years later with Edwin’s baby, from Liam and Edwin, and 16 years later from Beth and Edwin’s son.

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson | 15 Scary Halloween Books | Reading List by Mackenzie Butts Book Blog | Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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15. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Pages: 160

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

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Thanks for checking out these 15 Scary Halloween Books! Next week, I have something even more festive in store for the first week of October!

Subscribe if you haven't already, because I'm planning some special extras this October!

Let me know what you'll be reading this Halloween in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

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