Top 10 Halloween Reads: A highly eclectic list

I thought it would be fun to do a post about our favorite Halloween reads. These could be books that are specifically about Halloween or Halloween-themed, or just books that get us into the Halloween spirit or that we get moved to read at that Halloween-y time of year. 

For your convenience, my (Elley Otter) bits will be orange and Peekaboo’s will be purple (because those are Halloween colors to me, OK?) 

I’ll start:

Howl’s Moving Castle

There’s nothing overtly Halloween-y about Howl’s Moving Castle, but for whatever reason I always get the tingles to give it a reread around Halloween. Maybe it’s the wizards and witches and fire demons, maybe it’s that animated scarecrow with the turnip head giving me the fall vibes, but Howl’s Moving Castle is always on my list of Halloween reads. 

Flight or Fright

I definitely go in for “read ALL the scary things around Halloween!”, and this anthology, put together by Bev Vincent, and master of horror Stephen King, definitely fits the bill. They give us 17 short horror stories that take place on airplanes, spanning writers from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Joe Hill. The audiobook is also fantastic, by the way, and is narrated by multiple people including Stephen King himself. (Whose voice is way higher than I expected.) Maybe don’t read or listen to this on a plane though. 


Hey, I’m getting closer with my choices! Sabriel is a great Halloween read because, hello, she’s a reverse necromancer who runs around putting the dead back to rest while she tries to solve the mystery of what happened to her missing father, who is trapped somewhere in death. This series (because it’s the first in a series, WINNING) still has the most amazing (and my favorite) system of death and what happens when you die that I’ve ever read, and I’m undecided whether this book or the next in the series, Lireal, is my favorite. 
Also it says it’s YA, but I first read it as a teen and I still love it every bit as much as a 30-something-mostly-adul-most-of-the-time (and not in that nostalgic way, but in that it-stands-on-it’s-own-as-a-legit-book-adults-can-love way).

The Haunting of Hill House

This Gothic classic by Shirley Jackson has been adapted into film, and most recently TV, but the original book is still totally fabulous. With it’s classic “lab rats in a proverbial maze” story line, ghosties at every turn, possible gas lighting, and an unreliable (crazy? not crazy?) protagonist, this book is haunting and beautifully written. Also, look at that alt cover! Uggh! So pretty! 

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel

Speaking of books adapted to film, how about the reverse? I haven’t read it yet, but this year saw the release of Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel (could have used a catchier title, I’ll be honest) and I’m hopeful based on the initial reviews that this will be one of my go-to Halloween reads going forward. Bonus, the sequel is supposed to have a pretty diverse cast of characters and is supposed to be pretty great! I have high hopes, and will be reading it in the next week or so, so watch for a review. 😉

Candy Corn Murder

Candy Corn Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Book 22) by [Meier, Leslie]This cozy mystery features catapulted pumpkins, a dead guy in a trunk, an old ghost story, and local reporter/amateur detective Lucy Stone who has to exonerate her husband and solve a murder. Guys. Not only is this one swimming with the Halloween spirit, there are catapulted pumpkins. Plus it’s a cozy  mystery, which means no crazy violence/dismemberment/really scary stuff, so it’s nice for those who like to enjoy the Halloween spirit without getting their pants scared off.

“Not His” series

Because what kind of romance reader/blogger would I be if I didn’t have some romance on my Halloween book list, I really like this paranormal romance Not His series. While it’s not overtly Halloween themed, it’s set in a town with a heavy shifter community that has shifters of all sorts, from the local wolf shifter pack on down to rabbit shifters and right on up to the brooding artist dragon shifter. There are also curses, witches, vampires, and gargoyles, so what’s not Halloweeny about that? 

Eek! Halloween! 

This adorable children’s book by Sandra Boynton is the perfect Halloween read for you/your kids/your pets. Nervous chickens notice strange things are happening! A pumpkin with glowing eyes! An oversized mouse! A robot!! WHAT DOES IT MEAN!! 

Little Boo

This is a favorite of my two sons. Little Boo is about a pumpkin seed who wants so badly to be scary. it’s so cute, and is the perfect length for a bedtime story. It’s sweet, and repetitive enough in a few spots that my 4 year old sort of “reads along” while my 2 year old points to all the pictures he recognizes (“Moon.” “Boot.” “Bucket.” “Snow.” “Pun
kin’.” Yes, yes. Shut up now and let Mommy read the story.) 

Mrs Jeepers’ Scariest Halloween… EVER!! 

Do you remember the Bailey School Kids books from when you were little? The juvi series in which a group of elementary school kids are determine to figure out if various adults they encounter are in fact monsters like werewolves, ogres, Frankenstein, etc. There are nearly 70 of them. Fun reads, too! This book is one of the Super Specials, in which Mrs. Jeepers, their teacher, and possibly also a vampire, might be turning the kids in town into monsters, and our five intrepid heroes have to figure it out. (I always had a bit of a crush on Mrs. Jeepers, if I’m honest.) (Also the very first fanfic I ever wrote, before I even knew what fanfiction was was Bailey School Kids.) 

And there you have it! If that wasn’t a wild and bizarre ride, well, I don’t want to know what kind of weird stuff you do on the regular. 😉 What are some of your favorite Halloween reads? Do you have favorites that you like to reread during this season?

9 thoughts on “Top 10 Halloween Reads: A highly eclectic list

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