Halloween is a holiday that sparks the imagination—and not just when it comes to thinking up creative costumes. It’s a day when we’re invited to contemplate worlds other than our own, when ghost stories are spun with relish, when the supernatural seem almost possible. In short, it’s the perfect opportunity to dive into a dark tale and get caught up in the atmosphere, the fantasy, and the fear.

 

 

In honor of this spooky holiday, here’s a list of 10 fantastic titles (five that are appropriate for younger readers, and five for adults only) that will keep readers riveted and shivering this Halloween. Look for these and many other bone-chilling reads in OverDrive Marketplace.

 

 

For Juvenile and YA Readers

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
“Chilly, finely-wrought prose, a truly weird setting and a fable that taps into our most uncomfortable fears.” –Times Educational Supplement

 

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
“A ghost story par excellence in which a difficult seven-year-old is drawn into a frightening relationship with the ghost of a dead child.” –Booklist

 

Doll Bones by Holly Black
“A trio of adolescents goes on a quest to satisfy the demands of a ghost. Sounds like standard middle-grade fare, but in Black’s absolutely assured hands, it is anything but.” –Booklist

 

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (Grimm Series, Book 1)
“With disarming delicacy and unexpected good cheer, Gidwitz reweaves some of the most shocking and bloody stories that the Brothers Grimm collected into a novel that’s almost addictively compelling.” –School Library Journal

 

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Anna Series, Book 1)
“It’s the old boy-meets-girl story, if the boy is a wry, self-destructive ghost-hunter bent on avenging his father and the girl is a homicidal ghost trapped in a house full of everyone she’s ever murdered.” –Holly Black, author of Doll Bones

 

For Adult Readers

Night Film by Marisha Pressl
The daughter of a reclusive horror film director is found dead, and a disgraced journalist and two sidekicks become obsessed with uncovering the truth of her death . . . Complex, shadowy, and a bit sad, Pessl’s riveting tale keeps us guessing until the final pages, along the way raising questions about reality, magic, art, fear, and celebrity.” –Neal Thompson, Amazon editor

 

Help for the Haunted by John Searles
“A quickly paced and boldly rendered ghost story, Searles’s dark novel about a young girl haunted by the murder of her parents had me up reading all night. And checking the doors. I found it impossible to put down.” –Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants and Ape House

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
”Now widely regarded as the greatest haunted-house story ever written.” –Wall Street Journal

 

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
“Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn’t think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner’s ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to . . . a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter’s suicide.” –Publishers Weekly

 

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
“Oyeyemi’s third mystical novel weaves a tale of four generations of women and the house in Dover, England, they’ve inhabited—a vengeful, Gothic edifice that has always rejected strangers.” –Booklist

 

Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.

 

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