Annabel's House of Books

Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes – Never leave home without a book.

Scary reads for Halloween

Today I thought I’d pick out a few books from my archive that would make scary reading for Halloween tomorrow. I know, more recycling of posts, but it’s fun for me to look back at my blog, and maybe you’ll find a book you might like to read too. The links are to my reviews in the text, and where you can buy at the bottom.

Firstly, a book for all ages (well for brave 8yrs+):

Moviewatch - Coraline (3D)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman.  This is a deliciously scary children’s novel that is destined to become an absolute classic. Think Clive Barker for kids, but with a sense of humour and you’re about there.  The animated film is rather wonderful too.  I never thought I’d get scared of everyday items of haberdashery, but Coraline will do that for you (see the bottom of this post if you dare!)

Now for a grown-up novel about werewolves:

red moonRed Moon by Benjamin Percy. Imagine a post 9/11 America into which a new threat has emerged to fuel a nation’s paranoia. It’s the age of the werewolf, or Lycans as Percy dubs them.  Percy’s take on the werewolf genre is firmly grounded in the real world rather than the paranormal which does add a genuinely different feel to this novel. His new approach takes the paranormal out of lycanthropy, and creates a grisly and gritty horror-thriller of speculative fiction.

… and IMHO the best vampire book yet written:

lettherightoneinLet the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. When I came to this Nordic vampire novel, I found something truly dark and horrific that needed a strong stomach and nerves of steel. It is a real contemporary chiller, full of violence and gore, totally relentless – yet at its heart is a the redemptive relationship between a twelve year old boy and a 200 year old vampire frozen into the body of a young girl. A bit long, but stunningly plotted and easily the equal of the best Scandicrime novels.

I shall finish with a classic:

jekyllDr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R L Stevenson. I love novels about mad professors – and this is the daddy of them all. Most of us in the modern age will know the essential twist but there is so much more to Stevenson’s clever story than that. The edition I read also contained two very Gothic short stories by Stevenson too – The Body Snatcher and Markheim – both brilliant also.

What scary books are you reading for Halloween?


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To explore further on Amazon UK, please click below (affiliate link):
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Red Moon by Benjamin Percy
Let the Right One In John Ajvide Lindqvist
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


  1. vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

    October 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I wonder if Let the Right One In might be too scary for me, but I really like the sound of it and have a bit of a think about it whenever I see it reviewed. But what is it with all these just-a-bit-too-long books? It’s not a good trend…

    • You could watch the film – I recommend the original Swedish one. The book is about 500 pages, 400 would have been better but it does drip in atmosphere – very ultraviolent in parts though.

  2. I bought Coraline as it was a special for the kindle and I’d never read a book by this author before. I won’t be reading it right away though. so it’s not exactly for the season.

  3. Stevenson is actually quite chilling – I only read it fairly recently. I find older scary stuff works better for me than modern gore. Often older books suggest things rather than state them outright and I find my imagination goes into overdrive and that’s *much* more frightening!!

  4. I’ve been thinking about reading Red Moon (sounds promising and maybe as good as The Last Werewolf) and I really do need to read Let the Right One In, loved the movie and have been thinking about reading the book for a long time

    • Michael, I’ve not yet read ‘The Last Werewolf’ but, I from what I’ve read, it is a very different book to Red Moon. It’s on my pile though.

  5. I loved Coraline, and loved The Graveyard Book even more. Red Moon sounds interesting, will check it out.
    Thanks for all the book recommendations, I have added quite a few books to my TBR list based on your reviews.

    • Thanks Indu. I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book too, but Coraline is scarier for me. :) Red Moon was quite different to normal paranormal fare having a political side to it.

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