Halloween is filled with the spooky and terrifying, but there are some people who’d rather not watch a scary flick or read a horror novel! Because of this, I decided that we should compile a list of some great Halloween reads that aren’t scary, but have just the right amount of morbid and macabre to make your Halloween reading list a wonderful one. Take a seat, get your favorite cup of tea, and find a great new book!
1. Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
This is one of my absolutely favorite books. I’ve read it several times. Something Wicked This Way Comes is the perfect October read, and it is perfect to read for either Halloween or as the temps start chilling towards autumn. Honestly, Bradbury is just a good read for Halloween or Fall. You should give him a try! A quick synopsis: It is October, and the cold winds start blowing. In the dead of night, an odd circus with an interesting carousel comes into town. The adventures that follow are quite intriguing and very fun. Since it is Ray Bradbury, you best believe there is a life lesson in this novel that everyone in the story learns.
2. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
I feel like everyone knows this book, but I keep finding new people who’ve never read it. Maybe you saw the film? Anywho, Coraline is a perfect Halloween read because it is wildly morbid and has Neil’s incredible and dark imagination woven throughout. It is a novella, so if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to reading, you might give this a shot! I really enjoyed it and want to read it again. It is definitely a book that will be on my kid’s shelf if I ever have a kid. 😛
3. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
Again, NEIL GAIMAN. Seriously. If you haven’t read something by him, I might cry. He is my favorite living author. Well, The Graveyard Book is yet another morbid tale, but it isn’t near as scary as some of my favorite Halloween reads. It is a “parody” of The Jungle Book and is set in, well, a graveyard. It is a fun and easy book to read, which makes it the perfect book for a crisp Saturday afternoon. Silas is my favorite; ah Silas
4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan
This YA series is one I heard of while working as a teen librarian, and it is one of the few zombie books I enjoy. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a pretty desolate read, with some Giver like qualities about it, which only adds to the zombie apocalypse theme. It isn’t a terrifying read, however, which makes it perfect for this list. I found it to be fun, adding enough suspense to my reads without making me stress out. It is an interesting take on the zombie trend, and it was just a fun read overall. The series is done similarly to The Giver series where the books in the series all showcase a different lead character going through the zombie apocalypse at roughly the same time.
5. The Diviners – Libba Bray
This one falls more into slightly terrifying slightly not. It can be pretty creepy in parts but not quite to, let’s say, a Stephen King level. If you’ve never read anything by Libba Bray, you’re missing out! She writes some incredible books, my favorite being the Gemma Doyle series. The Diviners is a supernatural thriller set in 1920s New York City. The instant I saw that, I grabbed it up. I had a great time reading this, and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great, non-scary Halloween read. Remember, it is a little more terrifying than some of the others I’m listing, but it isn’t an insanely scary horror book.
6. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
I just finished this! I feel like I might be the only one who hadn’t read it, but there might be others who haven’t given this book a shot yet. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a great book with just enough spookiness to be a perfect October and Halloween read, but not so much where you have to leave every light in your house on. What really made this book stand out from others is how Ransom Riggs blends his storytelling with old photographs. I really liked that, and it added quite a lot to the story. Plus, old photographs are always helpful when attempting to add a bit of the creepy factor to things.
7. Witch Child – Celia Rees
Now, this Witch Child a fantasy read per se. It is more of a historical fiction novel, but I loved it and think the subject material goes well with Halloween and October. If you’ve never read any of Celia Rees’ historical fiction, you should. One of her most popular (and amazing) books is called Pirates! and it is definitely a fun read. Anywho, this particular novel is set in a small settlement outside of Salem, Mass. A young girl who has the gift of “healing” travels to the New World with a group of Puritans. Her gift is finally noticed, and it turns into a crazy storyline with several similarities to the Salem Witch Trials. It was a great read for any occasion, but it might just do well as an October read!
BONUS! Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Who doesn’t like a bonus added to a blog?? Those are pretty nifty. So, here is my bonus book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is another circus book, and I think those generally go well with Halloween and October, especially if they have a fantasy element. This story definitely has that, and it is a fun, gorgeous read. Everything is dark, mysterious, and has a Tim Burton feel to it, which I will always love. It takes place in what is known as the night circus, but it is really just a game ground for two competing magicians. It has an interesting flow, with a pretty great storyline. I highly suggest this for those looking for a semi-dark read as the days get shorter and the air turns colder.
Welp! That’s that! I hope you enjoyed this list. Did you find any books that you plan on reading? Or have you read any of these? I’d love to hear! Psalso. What books would you add to this list?
I hope you all have a splendid Halloween and enjoy the best Halloween party ever here at the IGGPPC!
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