Halloween is almost here, and there’s no better time to curl up with a good scary story. I’ve been spending as much time as possible this month with some ambient videos playing, a hot mug of chai tea, and some great books meant to terrify. So today I wanted to share with you the five best scary books I’ve read this year. If you’re looking for something sinister to read this Halloween, you could certainly do worse than these.
Lore, Wicked Mortals by Aaron Manke
This is the same content as the podcast of the same name. Which is to say it’s delightful, educational, and eerie. I learned a lot about some truly sinister people. Some of it I already knew. I do co-host a true-crime podcast, after all. But there’s always more to learn. Sadly, there’s always another monster in man’s form to learn about.
Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I’m forever behind the times with this sort of thing. But that just means I get to discover great stories on my own time, so whatever.
Miss Peregrine’s is about a young man named Jacob, who finds out that all the stories his grandfather told him in childhood are very much real. Soon it becomes clear that he found these strange, wonderful children just in time to save their whole world.
I speed read through all three of these books in a matter of a week. They aren’t spooky in the traditional sense. But they’re dark and well written. The tale is imaginative. I love the characters, and I appreciate the ending. If you haven’t read these books yet, give them a chance.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.
This was recently made into a tv show that is now on my list.
The story is told from two points of view. A retired detective who can’t let go of his last case named Bill Hodges, and the perpetrator of the said case named Brady. Brady stole a woman’s car and killed a crowd of people waiting outside a job fair. But that was just the start. Now he wants to go out in a blaze of gore and blood.
I haven’t read the next two books in the trilogy yet. But they’re next on my tbr list.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
I have no idea what I was expecting when I started this book. I think I anticipated something much like American Gods, exploring the dark corners and superstitions of the world. And there is some of that. But it’s also about magic made real, the struggles of the black community, and being tough as hell for your family. It’s about a man named Atticus, who learns that he has a magical lineage. And some would do anything to use that magic for themselves.
Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Halloween Tree is a book I wish I’d been introduced to as a child. But as an adult, it’s firmly on my yearly Halloween reading list now. It’s about a group of boys who go out trick or treating, only for one of them to be snatched up by the wind and propelled through time. To find him, the boys must travel through the history of Halloween. And it’s a chilling, wonderful history. A trick and treat all in one.
The book itself was only a treat. If you haven’t read it, grab a copy and treat yourself.
That’s it for my list. So now it’s your turn. What’s the best scary story you’ve read this year? Let us know in the comments. And come back on Sunday, Halloween, for a bonus post. See you then.
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