Thursday, October 4

Halloween Recommendations For All Fear Levels

Do you love Halloween but don't enjoy horror so feel like you're missing out? Or do you just want more recommendations for books that you should not be reading at night? I've put together some of my favourite Halloween reads with a helpful fear rating out of five!! 

Fear Rating: 4/5, This series is everything. I was actually genuinely terrified by the first book, the second and third were less actively scary but still definitely got me. These are pretty character driven books though so there's a lot to delve into in these stories and it's definitely worth giving them a shot - even if, like me, you scare easy. 

Fear Rating: 2/5, This is a pretty gentle addition to the list. It's definitely got that Halloween vibe and there is a dark element going on but it never actively scared me. I was a little unsettled by certain sections and hey - tw for abuse. But overall this is an excellent pick if you love the isolated-town trope and don't really want to be scared. 

Fear Rating: 4/5, Scary in places but the focus is definitely more on the mystery and the characters. There were totally sections where I had to hold my breath until the tension stopped because I was actually genuinely scared though. This would work so, so well on film I think! 

Fear Rating: 3/5, Another haunting Clare? Well, yeah I love ghosts. This was deeply unsettling but I'm pretty sure I read it in the evening and I was totally fine. Definitely more on the psychological end of the scare scale rather than actual fear-inducing oh god why-ness.

Fear Rating: 4/5, An excellent anthology of Halloween stories. These are varying levels of scare and gore and just unsettling so there's genuinely something for every Halloween fan. I even mini-reviewed each story separately here so you can check that out if you want more information! 

Fear Rating: 3/5, I read this as an actual kid and oh boy was that a bad idea. I spent a lot of time terrified and to this day the mention of Coraline gives me anxiety. I have no idea how differently it would affect me if I'd read it for the first time now but yikes was this scary to child me.

Fear Rating: 1/5, Look a book that isn't scary at all. This is a sort of Frankenstein retelling that is perfect for Halloween but wont give you nightmares. Win-win right?

Fear Rating: 4/5, Mostly not scary but there is a stuffed bear that comes to life and attempts murder and I dunno about you but my childhood toys are now slightly suspect...

Fear Rating: 3/5, Our love for Cat Winters here is basically legendary. They all work for Halloween but this would be my top Halloween pick because monster hunters and a very is it or isn't it real plot line which I loved because it made me question myself! 

Fear Rating: 4/5, One of my all time favourite surprises. I honestly wasn't expecting much from this but ended up falling in love with everything from the characters to the plot and onwards. Also - genuinely dark.

Fear Rating: 5/5, I had nightmares for a week after I finished reading this. I'm not even kidding. It is super dark and creepy and violent. Definitely worth it for horror fans but otherwise steer clear! 

What are some of your favourite Halloween reads, scary or non-scary and be sure to check out our opening post to enter our giveaway! 


  1. Amazing recommendations Clare! I love Coraline, the graphic novel was scary :D

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    1. I haven't even read the graphic novel! The book and the movie were scary enough for me!!

  2. Great idea for a post, rating the books on a scare scale (LOL, Tessa/Crazy for YA's love of puns must have rubbed off on me!).

    I have Dreamfall on my TBR list already - will check out the others!

    1. Clearly all Halloween books should come with a "scare scale" built in! Dreamfall was so good!

  3. Love this so much as not everyone is comfortable getting scared. I loved Slasher Girls & Monster Boys and hope we get some more creepy anthologies in the future.

    1. I've really grown to love all things scary in the last couple of years but before that I hated anything even remotely frightening so I definitely understand all ends of the scale! Everyone should be able to enjoy Halloween whether they enjoy being scared or not!
      And yes, creepy anthologies work so well because short stories work SO much better as scary stories for me.

  4. Coraline is GREAT! Neil Gaiman has some really creepy books, the kind that I like, where the author takes things that you'd think are normal and then twists them and/or shows you a dark side to them, and then you're all 'I trust nothing!'. That works better for me than straight up horror.
    You've reminded me I have The Diviners on my TBR, so... need to read that asap

    1. Same! I love when any book or movie just completely upends all my expectations like that and then I can't look at anything the same way again!

  5. Love these choices as I love this kind book. I'm glad to see Shirley Jackson, Libba Bray and Neil Gaiman on your list. For kids, Dan Poblocki has some excellent reads, such as The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe, The Nightmarys, and The Stone Child.

    1. I haven't read those! Definitely adding them to my TBR though they sound super good and very much the sort of book my little brother would enjoy!

  6. "Spare and Found Parts" sounds about my speed! When I was little I was scared by one of the Babar books where Babar has a hideous dream populated by monsters!

    1. I was like that as a kid. Genuinely terrified of the Cheshire Cat to the point where it made me cry!

  7. This is such a cool idea, Clare! I'm always wary of horror and/or thriller type recommendations because I'm SUCH a scaredy cat when it comes to things that like (in general, movies are worse than books but books still creep me out). The Coraline movie for me was like 5/5 all the way :) I'll definitely be taking a look at City of the Lost; it seems like just the right amount of creepiness for me (I'm reading It right now and it's taking me FOREVER because I have to stop reading when I get too creeped out and that happens like every 20 pages).

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks


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