Halloween Recs: Scariest Books I’ve Read!

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This is the first round of many Halloween themed recommendation posts I have planned for October! I decided it would be more fun to break them up than have one giant rec post, so we are starting with not just scary books but THE SCARIEST books I’ve ever read!

These aren’t in any particular order and I will link up my full reviews to each one in case you’re curious for more info! Just click the book titles!

Let’s begin!

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Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by Various Authors

Sadly, ALL of the stories weren’t that scary but a few were absolutely terrifying and downright enjoyable. This is a YA horror anthology with some fantastic authors including Nova Ren Suma, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Kendare Blake, and Leigh Bardugo to name a few! While there are stories in this book that are wonderfully fun (i.e. slasher stories, zombie stories, and some unique ghost stories) I have to say the one that well and truly terrified me was Carrie Ryan’s “In The Forest Dark and Deep”. It’s just disturbing and so freaking creepy, I honestly was looking over my shoulder while reading!

I definitely recommend the entire collection though it’s a fun Halloween read especially since you can just pick and choose your way through the stories if you like!


The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

This is a book that probably won’t be for everyone and a lot of people didn’t enjoy it or find it creepy. I, however, am forever scarred by the movie ‘The Grudge’ so anything Japanese ghost-y or anything that has disjointed crawling will probably force me into the fetal position crying. This book has both! So of course it was scary for me!

The book is about an onryo, a Japanese vengeful spirit, as she kills those who hurt children and murderers. However, a strange new boy moves to the neighborhood and something dark has followed him. Together they must figure out how to get rid of it and fast. There’s so many creepy things in this book and I find it to be an all around great scary, Halloween read!


Through The Woods by Emily Carroll

This is a graphic novel anthology of short horror stories. It’s a quieter horror read with suspenseful happenings, gorgeous yet creepy art, and some disturbing open endings. What makes this some subtly creepy is that it leaves a bit to the imagination and your mind will probably end up filling in the blank with your own fears!

Definitely recommend it for those who like their horror gore-free and those looking for a fairly short, quick read.


Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

One of my all time faves, I’m always super impressed when something in YA can truly scare the hell out of me and “Daughters Unto Devils” does just that! I will say it takes some patience at the start since it’s setting the stage and the build up is a bit on the slow side. However, I promise you the hellish, terrifying, and open ending is all worth it! It’s set in the 1800s out on the isolated prairie with devils/demons and a blood soaked, abandoned cabin. I recommend this one for my fellow horror lovers who aren’t afraid to be scared and don’t mind gore!


And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

This is a very interesting book, it has elements of both “quiet horror” and “jumpy horror” which makes it all the more scary! It’s about two young girls who go to live with their aunt, whose sanity is questionable, in an isolated manor in the forest. However, things begin to change when their aunt mentally abandons them, their food supply depletes, an entity known as the “Creeper Man” stalks them, and the trees from the forest seem to be growing closer…

Definitely very suspenseful and I love how you need to question everyone and everything that happens. There’s a pretty good plot twist ending as well!


Contagion by Erin Bowman

“Contagion” is the kind of horror book I need more of, which would be sci-fi horror. Yes! More YA sci-fi horror please! This was extremely fast paced and the minute I started reading I was completely enthralled all the way up until the end! It’s full of action and is very adrenaline fueled terror, the characters are on a desolate planet that’s home to a mysterious contagion…. I always think anything plague, contagion, infection, etc. is terrifying and this definitely is. This is one that will get your heart racing for sure!


The Siren & The Specter by Jonathan Janz

There aren’t too terribly many books whose stories have actually kept me up at night or sleeping with a light on but “The Siren and The Specter” is one of those few! This is a classic haunted house tale where a skeptical author stays to debunk the supposed haunting while also dealing with some demons from his past, deviant neighbors, and a few other locals. However, some really strange (and horrifying) things begin to happen and he’s left wondering what to believe!

This is extremely well written, every aspect of the story is interesting not just the spooky parts. The characters are those that you can get behind and root for and the spooky parts? Well…..they’re the parts that definitely terrified me! A highly recommended read for those of you who love a good ghost story!


Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

Another pleasant surprise among the YA horror genre, you know, because it was actually scary! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this short book as much as I did, it’s about a group of teenage girls who summon Bloody Mary. Seems like it’d be kind of…..immature, but boy was I surprised. It was very fast paced and very scary as Mary never let up on these girls, she can be seen in every reflection and I mean EVERY reflection! There was also a seen with….disjointed crawling which will always haunt my dreams.

Another highly recommended book for ghost story lovers and also those not looking to sleep for a few weeks!

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Have you read any of these books already? What did you think?
Do you have any of these spooky reads on your TBR?
What are some of your favorite stories that terrified you?
Let me know in the comments!

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20 thoughts on “Halloween Recs: Scariest Books I’ve Read!

  1. Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books October 9, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    I am really in the mood for scary books this year so this is awesome! Bloody Mary freaks me out! I am not sure I would be able to read a book about her! Ahhh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda @ Literary Weaponry October 9, 2018 / 4:04 pm

    Your review of And the Trees Crept In sold me on the book. I’ve been in the mood for a good horror but most people steer me toward toward King which I am just not into. This book sounds fantastic! Glad you put it on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek November 6, 2018 / 3:47 pm

      Thank you so much, knowing a review convinced someone to read a book is always the best possible compliment in my opinion! So glad you’re going to give it a try! I agree, there’s too many King recommendations out there and while I like his books they’re a bit slow and there’s more horror authors out there! Hope you enjoy “And The Trees Crept In”! 🙂

      Like

  3. Carolina Carvalho October 9, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    I’ve been dying to read some actually good horror novels, because I’ve had the worst luck lately. And the trees crept in and the Siren and the Specter seem particularly exciting. I tend to like sanity-slippage and unreliable narrators in horror.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Norrie October 10, 2018 / 1:15 am

    Ooo, nice list! Haven’t read any of these. The graphic novel sounds pretty interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lucy C October 10, 2018 / 4:21 am

    The only one I had heard of on your list was And the Trees Crept In and I’ve heard so many good things about it. Great list, definitely some books I want to check out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Naty October 10, 2018 / 10:59 am

    Great recs!! I’ll check out Through the Woods!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. strugglingbookaholic October 10, 2018 / 11:33 am

    I haven’t read any scary books since I was a kid and I read Fear Street by R.L. Stine haha. If I have time this month I’ll try to give one of these a chance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Destiny @ Howling Libraries October 14, 2018 / 12:21 am

    YES YES I LOVE THIS POST YES

    I’ve read and loved most of these, but I still need to read The Girl from the Well (which I’m actually starting this weekend as a buddy read!!) and Daughters unto Devils and And the Trees Crept In. All of them sound so good!

    Liked by 1 person

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