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Power Grid

30 Spooky Story Recommendations for All Hallows Read

Allow Us to Explain

Allow Us to Explain

Way back in the earlier part of this year Neil Gaiman decided that it was really too bad that we, as a culture, didn’t have a holiday that was just about giving books to people. After all, giving someone a book that you like can be a deeply personal thing, if it happened to also be a book that taught you something, helped you in some way, or maybe even changed your life.

So, he decided to do something about it, which is, to tell people about it. Thus: All Hallows Read (official site here, Gaiman explains here), an exciting new tradition of giving people the gift of a scary book or story on Halloween. We’re no strangers to devouring a book ourselves, and have our own Halloween favorites and picks, so, in the interest of supporting the birth of a holiday that gets more people to read books that we like — therefore increasing the number of people that we can chat to about the books that we like — we offer you not just ten, as these things usually go, but a full thirty scary books, stories, and comics for your reading pleasure.

Happy Halloween!

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  • DH

    Garth Nix, Flannery O’Connor, Bunnicula…this list is great! I did love Galaxy of Fear when I was a young’un. :B

    I would also recommend something Shirley Jackson (We Have Always Lived in the Castle is my favorite).

  • Johnny Kaje

    I’d throw Dark Horse’s Beasts of Burden on there. It’s about dog paranormal investigators.

    Sounds silly, but it can be terrifying and heartwrenching. One page in particular is guaranteed to make you cry. And the artwork is gorgeous. I wrote about it here (ad there’s some stuff here that should also be on this list):

  • Andrew J. Rostan

    Great list!  Especially with the nod to the classic horror tales and Bronte and Gilman.  The two I would add are Henry James’s magnificent “The Turn of the Screw” and Jorge Luis Borges’s tribute to Lovecraft, the delightfully sneaking-up-on-you-til-you-jump “There Are More Things.”

  • Nicole G.

    Love this list! Fantastic job. 

  • Francesca M

    Wait wait wait..

    No mention of ‘The Witches’ by Roald Dahl??? The movie was nothing special (sorry Henson crew) but the book. Very very very very very very very very very OMG scarey in that beautifully creepy Dahl sensibility.

  • Talia

    Great list! The Neil Gaiman titles are wonderful, and Bunnicula was one of my favorites as a child.

    I would add World War Z myself, which I am reading now. It’s scary because it reads like such a “it could REALLY happen and this is how it would go down” scenario, as the book presents interviews and first-person accounts from survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse. A little history/government/politic theme heavy, but very interesting and unique in it’s approach.

  • Ree Mariani

    I went kind of mad trying to read house of leaves, felt like I fell into the book.

  • Nichole Filbert

    Yes. House of Leaves is like a conspiracy theory. There’s so much going on, I recognize something new every time I reread it. Love story, horror novel…all I know is it’s a good idea to keep a tape measure at hand…

  • Becky Auman

    Fantastic list! I’d throw in Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always for the kids’ section. It’s a criminally overlooked book that always gave me the heebie jeebies as a kid. Also the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series should be in there somewhere, although where it would fit, I don’t know. It’s rare to find a book series with such creepy illustrations. And who doesn’t love a book which includes a song about worms crawling in and out of a corpse?

  • Glenn Buettner

    I’d highly recommend the Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle by Patrick Rothfuss as a childrens book that’s not for children as a good one.  And anything by Lovecraft.

  • Stephen Dudley McPherson

    What about HG Wells’ War of the Worlds and Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Perfect horror stories and you can get them for free.

  • Celyn Salow

    My personal favorites are Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and “Annabell Lee.” The second poem is often overlooked, but to me the thought of a wind deliberately coming out of a great, ominous cloud to chill a girl to death is more frightening than a man going insane in his purple-curtained chamber.

  • Sarah Cook

    Flannery O’Connors “An Occurrance at Owl Creek Bridge”
    Incredibly, incredibly creepy.

  • Anonymous

    No Carlos Ruiz Zafon? I was so scared when I finished The Angel’s Game at 3 in the morning I had to immediately start reading Harry Potter again just to calm down. He has many others and they are all the scariest things I’ve read. 

    Also, the Passage by Justin Cronin, just came out last year and was a truly scary vampire story. They are not sexy and they will hunt you and kill you. 

  • Jenny Usalis

    Wonderful suggestions! I’m reading book 3 of Abarat now. The paintings he did for these books are stunning!
    Joe Hill’s “Heart Shaped Box” caused me to cancel my nightly ritual of reading at bedtime for about a week. A twisted ghost story.
    Clive Barker’s short story “Dread”.I read it in his Books of Blood collection when it came out and I still haven’t mustered up the guts to read this one again.

  • Andrea Peterson

    Great list, some that I’ve loved and some that I will be checking out soon. One thing: the story you refer to as “The Black Cat” by Neil Gaiman is actually called “The Price”.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my gosh, you’re right. That’s what I get for relying on my own memory. 

  • Anonymous
  • Amanda Dotson

    Wait…no Ray Bradbury? October Country? I’m shocked and appalled.  Otherwise, fantastic list!

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic list. Now I have so many new books to read!

  • John P. Royal

    They have stories online and in the Dark Horse Book of Monsters (Pretty sure it was Monsters), too. And they did a story with Hellboy.

    I love those characters.

  • Jen Spence

    To this day, I cannot read The Thief of Always. I tried when my Dad and sister read it, ut I just couldn’t push through.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

  • Johnny Kaje

    Not to be anal but I believe that one was by Ambrose Bierce (sp?)

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    Another kids scary book done by Clive Barker was “The Thief of Always.” Fantastic, I’d put it right up there with Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book”.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

  • Gabi Gorgas

    May I suggest “The Woman in Black” by Susan Hill. Great use of atmosphere, wonderfully creepy, and overall very well-written.