10 Books to Get You Into the Halloween Spirit

Julia Strasius, Business Manager

Movies or books? Undeniably, books transport readers to another universe in a way that movies cannot. Cozying up with a nice book on any fall night is a great way to unwind after a long day. Here are the top 10 books to read during this spooky season. 

  1. IT by Stephen King

This classic 1986 horror novel follows the story of seven children terrorized by an evil entity: clowns. It appears in the form of a dancing clown named Pennywise. The book highlights the life of these seven children and their transition to adulthood. If you enjoy the book, you can also watch the movies for an extra spooky night. 

  1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

A National Book Award finalist, The Haunting of Hill House is a 1959 ghost horror story written by Shirley Jackson. The novel follows the life of four individuals as they go to Hill House, a haunted manor run by a man named Dr. Montague. They encounter a series of supernatural events during their time at the house.

  1. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving in the 1800s, tells the tale of a man named Ichabod Crane. Crane lives in Sleepy Hollow, surrounded by ghost stories and supernatural tales. However, the one about the headless horseman interests him the most. A romantic rivalry erupts, leading to a terrifying ride in the night. 

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Another Halloween classic, Frankenstein tells the story of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who successfully brings life to his own creation. Although Victor originally intended to create a perfect being, he ends up designing a hideous monster that sets out to terrorize society and murder.

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, focuses on a young lawyer’s journey to Transylvania. The lawyer, Jonathan Harker, sets out to Count Dracula’s castle to work on a business deal. However, things take a turn for the worse when Dracula looks at a photo of Harker’s fiancé, Mina. Mina looks exactly like Dracula’s dead wife, leading him to imprison the lawyer while he embarks on his mission to find the woman. 

  1. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams is a story for younger children, yet it captures the Halloween spirit for all ages. The tale follows an old woman’s journey through the forest on her way home, where she comes across a pumpkin head and various articles of clothing that seem to be alive. 

  1. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Another children’s book, Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson follows a witch on her broomstick as she encounters various obstacles on her journey. The witch loses some of her belongings along the way, but encounters new friends that help her and save her from a potentially disastrous fate.

  1. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

The Canterville Ghost is a novel written by Oscar Wilde that tells the story of an American family faced with a series of supernatural events after moving into a castle haunted by a ghost. A girl ultimately befriends the ghost and helps him cross into the afterlife. The story has been adapted for both the screen and the stage. 

  1. The Shining by Stephen King 

Another classical novel from Stephen King, The Shining focuses on the life of a man named Jack Torrance who takes a job as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Torrance brings along his wife and son, Danny, only to find out that Danny has a power known as “the Shining.” Danny is warned of the haunted hotel and Room 237 but proceeds to have different visions during his stay there; all the while, Jack goes mad.  

  1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline, published in 2002 by Neil Gaimen, tells the story of a young woman named Coraline Jones who discovers a doorway to a different dimension in her house. However, Jones must face the evil on the other side in order to protect her family.