Suggested Halloween Reading

The following are some of the books I have read so far this year that might make for good Halloween reading tonight.  Click on the titles to see my reviews.

General Halloween Night Reads:

Alive in Necropolis not only has a great storyline, but part of the story includes unruly ghosts harassing one another in a graveyard.  How can you go wrong for Halloween?

The Gargoyle isn’t a Halloween story, but the beginning is absolutely horrific.  Besides, the whole plot is a bit eerie: were they or were they not actually lovers 500 years ago?  Has the narrator really been horribly burned in multiple lives?

Again, The Lace Reader isn’t precisely a Halloween story, but I think it fits as well.  In addition to the mystery of the woman who has disappeared, the whole thing takes place in Salem, Massachusetts and the characters include at least one self-described witch.

Vampire-Related Books:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the mother of all vampire stories.  What else is there to say about this book, other than I was very surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Okay, so technically The Dracula Dossier is not actually a vampire book, it is really a novel of Jack the Ripper.  However, the main character is Bram Stoker and The Dracula Dossier purports to explain how Stoker got some of his ideas for his famous Dracula.  Like Dracula, this novel is written in an epistolary style and Reese does a fantastic job writing in Stoker’s voice.  There were times I forgot that I wasn’t actually reading Stoker’s correspondence.

In some ways, The Historian is a take-off of Stoker’s Dracula.  Kostova uses a primarily epistolary style like Stoker and the plot involves travel and trying to find and stop Dracula before he finds you.  This book seems to be somewhat polarizing, perhaps partly because some people dislike or are not used to the epistolary style.  If you do read it, do not expect something extremely fast-paced, it reads much more like its predecessor, Dracula.

What discussion of vampire books could be complete these days without Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series?  Twilight is a bit of a break from the books I have previously listed.  For one thing, the vampire and the human fall deeply in ‘love’.  In addition, this is just a plain-old normal first person narrative, no letters in sight.  Finally, this book is written more for the high school market.  Adults may find it either engaging or vomit-inducing, or some mix of the two.

Halloween for Younger Readers

Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time is perhaps the only book I’ve ever read that actually starts with the sentence “It was a dark and stormy night.”  What’s more, L’Engle makes it WORK.  I’m recommending this as a Halloween read mostly for the huge fall storm in the beginning of the book, as well as the fantastical beings Meg, Charles, and Calvin meet, some of whom are fairly scary.

Ghosts and a non-graphic murder mystery make The Hunt for the Seventh a great Halloween read for upper-elementary school kids.  I thought it was a very enjoyable read, spooky without really being scary.

Creepers is a very tame ghost story.  Although the ivy can be a little scary, there are really no malevolent beings in the story, making it a great read for the child who scares easily but wants to be part of the Halloween fun.

12 comments to Suggested Halloween Reading

  • These are some great books you listed! Creepers in on my wishlist and so is The Dracula Dossier. I loved Twilight and The Historian, but haven’t read The Lace Reader or Gargoyle, yet. Think I’m getting behind (imagine that)!

  • I have The Dracual Dossier on request and The Historian on the shelf. I wish I could read faster!


  • I don’t like scary stories, so I like your suggestions of The Gargoyle and The Lace Reader. I read The Gargoyle and loved it – the Lace Reader is waiting patiently for my attention.

  • Ti

    I just won Alive in Necropolis. Can’t wait to read it. I also reviewed Creepers the other day. I enjoyed it. I passed it onto my son.

  • What great suggestions! I have The Historian (thank you, again!) and The Lace Reader. Now, if I only had some breathing room in my reading schedule. That’s what’s really scary.

  • I read The Historian last October and felt it the perfect read for this time of year. Great list!

  • What a good display! I think I’ll have to get Alive in Necropolis for my friend who exclaimed “what vast necropoli” as we drove through the rural countryside on the way to my house.

  • Good list! I read the Historian and I agree with you that if you want something face paced, then it isn’t really for it. I still enjoyed it though :)

    I still need to read the Twilight series. I’ve heard many good things, but I still haven’t had the chance to read them.

    ~ Popin

  • That was not a great review of “The Historian.” I’ve been fingering that book in bookstores for awhile now and you just convinced me NOT to buy it.

  • Amy

    I love how you say you might find Twilight vomit inducing. :)

    How’s the reading funk going? We’ve really missed you! :)

  • I read A Wrinkle in Time this month and I didn’t like it. I guess I just didn’t “get” it.

  • Great suggestions, I think. They cover a variety of themes (horror, vampires, mysteries, etc.) that go well with Halloween.