October has come and just about gone. I’m a little late to the planning party, but knew I just had to share my Top 8 Creepy Books for fall. There’s nothing better than a chilling and spooky book to get you in the mood for Halloween. And this year, we’re all still stuck at home, so why not bring all those autumn vibes indoors.
The books on this list have varying levels of creepiness, so I’m sure to find the perfect book to round out your Fall TBR (“to be read”).
Here are my Top 8 books to read this fall if you want to get in the spooky spirit:
1. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
This was the first book that truly introduced me to the thriller genre. It was also my first Riley Sager book – he is now an auto-buy author for me!
House-sitting job from hell. Jules Larsen is having a stroke of bad luck. She finds herself jobless and homeless. Needless to say she’s thrilled when we lands a job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, a famously mysterious and fancy NYC apartment building. Shortly after her arrival, she hears strange noises and learns some upsetting stories about the building’s past. Just when Jules discovers that the woman staying in this apartment disappeared, another sitter in the building goes missing.
Riley Sager does an excellent job of creeping you out enough that you’ll go check your locks.
2. Verity by Colleen Hoover
Have you ever finished a book and thought, “What the crap did I just read?” Verity is one of those books!
A struggling author, Lowen Ashleigh, is offered a great book deal: ghost write the popular bestselling series by Verify Crawford. Lowen heads off to Vermont and begins her journey into the famous author’s mind. While digging through Verity’s notes, she comes across a manuscript which appears to be Verity’s autobiography. Lowen gets caught up in Verity’s story that weaves together a tale of obsession, lies, and death.
This book is intense, dark, and very twisted; all of the elements that make for a great thriller.
3. The Whisper Man by Alex North
After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a new beginning will help him and his son Jake move on so they move into a new home and new town. Tom soon discovers the town’s dark past featuring “The Whisper Man.” Frank Carter (nicknamed “The Whisper Man”) was a serial killer who abducted and murdered young children, luring the victims out by whispering in their windows at night. Carter is now in prison, but another boy in Tom’s neighborhood soon vanishes.
The reader follows the detectives as they try to solve the case, but then Tom’s son, Jake, begins hearing whispering at his window.
This book literally has everything: serial killers, family dynamics, romance, whodunit, murder, ghosts, and monsters.
4. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
“The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” is a bit like Desperate Housewives meets Twilight, set in the early 1990’s. In some ways, it’s a heartwarming and funny story about a Southern book club. There’s so much female friendship and a few good laughts, but despite how the title and cover look (stunning, though, am I right?), it isn’t your down-home, feel good tale.
This book does go into some really dark places like sexual assault, domestic abuse, gender roles, and some racism. Even though this was harsh, bumpy, and bloody reading, I would still highly recommend to get you in the spooky spirit.
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Set in 1950’s Mexico, Mexican Gothic follows young socialite, Noemi Taboada as she travels to High Place, an old mansion in the countryside, to visit her newly married cousin, Catalina. Concerned after receiving a disturbingly odd letter from Catalina, Noemi is uncertain as to what she will find at the house upon her arrival. Noemi quickly learns that not only is High Place dreary and decrepit, but it is inhabited by the highly peculiar and unusual Doyle Family. Before long, Noemi discovers that many dark and shocking secrets hide among the Doyle’s and the confines of High Place. She can only hope that it’s not too late to save her cousin from the clutches of the family and the house.
This novel is incredibly atmospheric and eerie. Moreno-Garcia’s writing is so vividly descriptive and she creates such vivid imagery. With so many details, a lot of readers take a bit to get invested (myself included) however, if you enjoy a slow burn, this book will give you all the spooky feels.
6. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
If you’re looking for a book to keep you awake at night because you need to finish it, then you found your book!
There is so much to unpack in terms of what this book is actually “about” – think murder-mystery where the main character gets to relive the same day 8 times to try and solve “the case” but every day he wakes up in a different body. No matter how carefully you read this book (and even re-read parts to be sure you understand what’s going on), this book is the ultimate literary puzzle.
7. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Told form the perspective of the husband, My Lovely Wife digs into the deepest and darkest places of a marriage. It begs the question: what happens when you and your spouse become bored in your marriage – do you seek council, take a trip, or get away with murder?
This book is dark, disturbing, and very clever; it’s not for the faint of heart. Our narrator is the husband, which is not typical. He was seemingly normal in the beginning of the book but then the reader quickly learns the dysfunctional nature of this man…and later his wife. Their relationship in this book dips deeply into obsession and other outrageously unhealthy mindsets and actions.
There are a few gray areas in the plot and a couple of unresolved character moments, however where it really excels is the twists and turns throughout.
8. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Think Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars meets Gossip Girl. Five students walk into detention and only four walk out alive. How far are these teens willing to go to protect their own secrets while trying to uncover this crazy mystery?
There are moments where this book will feel distinctly YA (young adult) but it also had moments that felt so well done – it was beyond the stereotype of what a teenage thriller tends to be. It may not be the most complex mystery, but it will be a fun read. Backstabbing rumors, questionable relationships, online gossip all combined to keep you engaged from beginning to end. There are no lulls or fillers here!