Spooky, Scary, and Totally Thrilling — 17 #BookTok Reads For Halloween
Any true bookworm knows that the best place to go for a reading rec is #BookTok. The popular TikTok hashtag has racked up just about 22 billion views (who knew there were so many book-lovers out there?), and with suggestions that cover any genre, mood, and vibe, we see why! Since fall is the ideal time to curl up with a good book, finding the spookiest titles is essential for making this season the most chilling yet. Thanks to TikTok, fans of thrillers now have even more suggestions to add to their TBR list, and wow, are they good. Complete with iconic favorites like Stephen King's The Shining and new releases like Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, these books pair perfectly with any autumn day. Just sit back, relax, and prepare to be spooked. There's nothing quite like a book so good it gives you chills.
Halloween #BookTok Recommendations For People Who Love Thrillers
Looking for something scary, but not too scary? These nine recs will spook you just how you like it.
The Whisper Man by Alex North
The Whisper Man by Alex North ($14) will give you chills with every page you turn. A father and son's move to a small town for a fresh start coincides with the return of a serial killer. Soon the man's son is hearing whispering at his window, a sign that the Whisper Man has marked him as his next victim.
You by Caroline Kepnes
Caroline Kepnes's bestselling thriller You ($15) made its way to the small screen after the unsettling book shook up crime fans. The first book in the series follows Joe, a New York City bookstore manager who becomes more and more obsessed with a young woman, Beck, who comes into his store one day. Over the course of a few months, Joe's obsession with Beck reaches horrifying heights, resulting in things like breaking and entering, stealing underwear, and even murder.
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Lisa Jewell's Watching You ($13) takes the idea of obsession to chilling heights. A woman moves home after four years abroad and finds herself enthralled with an older man next door, but as her crush becomes all-consuming, she's eventually forced to confront a terrifying question: what if she's not the only one who's obsessed?
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Nothing quite says, "I love you," like inheriting the spooky old house your family swears is haunted. Maggie Holt has spent her entire life dealing with questions about her father's nonfiction bestseller House of Horrors. In his book, he recounts a ghostly and ghastly tale of living in the old Victorian mansion; the family lived there for three weeks before fleeing in the middle of the night.
Home Before Dark ($20) mainly takes place 25 years later, when Maggie is back at the old house following the death of her father. Her plan is to remodel it and hopefully sell it as soon as possible. During the remodel, she begins piecing together what happened in the short time her family lived there. As Maggie begins to experience some of the strange occurrences that seem straight out of her father's book, she starts to think maybe ghosts do exist . . .
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
If murderous mermaids are your thing, be sure to pick up Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant ($19). This science-fiction horror novel tells the story of Tori Stewart, a sonar specialist who becomes obsessed with mermaids after her sister's disappearance. When a crew are been assembled to see what they can find out about the lost ship and those on it, the tale takes a terrifying turn.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
If you like true crime, Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter ($13) will be right up your alley. Although it's fictional, this book still has the same thrills that come with true crime. It follows sisters Claire and Lydia, who are leading very different lives. The one thing they have in common is that their sister, Julia, disappeared more than 20 years ago, and nothing has been the same since. When Claire's husband is killed and a teenage girl disappears, the sisters decide to work together to find out what's really happening.
Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards
With the same vibe as Pretty Little Liars, Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards ($10) is chilling to its core. Exactly one year after Cleo's boyfriend, Cyrus, drowned on a group rafting, she is invited to a mysterious scavenger hunt. All the clues in the hunt tie back to her boyfriend, and before long, she realizes that someone knows what really happened to Cyrus, and she's in trouble.
The Shining by Stephen King
Nowadays, Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of The Shining by Stephen King ($5) has arguably eclipsed the legacy of the original novel — a statement that would likely annoy King, who infamously despises Kubrick's version of his book. But whatever your feelings are on the differences between novel and film, it's impossible to deny the fact that The Shining is King's most iconic work. The Overlook Hotel is perhaps the most frightening, atmospheric setting in any of his books, and King plots the slow deterioration of Jack Torrance's sanity so as to induce maximum dread.
No Exit by Taylor Adams
Taylor Adams's No Exit ($29) is a full-throttle thriller that is not for the faint of heart. Things get more and more tense with each page as college student Darby attempts to save a young girl she discovers locked in the back of a van at a rest stop in the middle of a fierce blizzard. Will both of them escape with their lives?
Halloween #BookTok Recommendations With Queer Characters
Want to read a spooky page-turner that features queer characters? Look no further!
Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
If you like Teen Witch, zombies, and eerie fantasy, Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve ($18) will be your new favorite read in no time. After Z Chilworth dies in a car crash, they must learn the ropes of being a zombie. Dealing with school, family drama, and everything in between, this coming-of-age queer novel has just enough spook, scare, and sometimes even sweet moments to make this book hard not to love.
The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig
The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig ($15) is a YA paranormal romance that centers around a teen boy who happens to crush hard on a hot vampire he can't seem to ignore. With mysteries, warning, and scares swirling about, follow August Pfeiffer's journey with every page you turn.
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
Hannah's a witch, but no one can know. From avoiding her ex-girlfriend to keeping her secret talents to herself, she has enough going on. That is, until dark magic starts appearing around her town of Salem. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling ($9) is quirky, cute, and full of twists you'll never see coming.
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee ($16) is the dark, queer academia novel fans of the genre have been waiting for. Set in Dalloway, a boarding school plagued by rumors of witchcraft, the story follows a student named Felicity, who returns to the school after the death of her girlfriend. Despite her grieving heart, she can't help but be attracted to a young novelist after they both decide to do a deep dive into the school's haunted past.
Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia
In Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia ($12), Zora is framed for a crime she didn't commit. After someone sets the school janitor's house on fire, people start pointing their fingers at Zora. To clear her name she must find out who did it, and why.
Halloween #BookTok Recommendations Based on Halloween Movies
What's better than a scary flick, you ask? A bone-chilling book! These reads have the same creepy vibes as some of the most famous Halloween movies, meaning they're just that good.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis
When Lola Nox, the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker, is shipped off to live with her grandma in the town where her dad filmed his most iconic movie, things start to get weird in Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis ($13). She can sense that someone, or something, is stalking her, and she realizes that this town might be more horrifying than she thought. Perfect for fans of Scream!
Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
With the same chilling vibe as The Blair Witch Project, Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall ($10) will spook you to your core. After the disappearance of her sister, Sara knows she must find her and get her back from the ghost of Lucy Gallows. No matter what the cost is, Sara is ready to take her chances.
The Companion by Katie Alender
Fans of The Sixth Sense will devour the terrifying novel The Companion by Katie Alender ($11). Margot survived a horrible accident that killed her family and was sent to an orphanage. When a prestigious family adopts her to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Margot thinks that things are getting better in her life. Oh, but the nightmare has actually just begun.