October Fright: Favorite Horror Recommendations


If you’re not sure where to get started this October, but you want to pick up some kind of horror, then this list is for you. Here’s some of my very favorite horror reads that are sure to put the tingling in spine-tingling. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Often thought of as the first science-fiction novel, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is also quite frightening. After all, it isn’t every day you piece together body parts from a bunch of dead people and bring a living, breathing, quite grotesque creature to life.

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel…”

2. Anything by Edgar Allen Poe

Master Poe is the king of horror. Whenever I’m looking for a quick scare on Halloween, I always reach for a short story by him. My personal favorite is the Tall-Tale Heart.

“You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded–with what caution–with what foresight–with what dissimulation I went to work!

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.”

3. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

It’s no secret that I love zombies. Can you have a favorite scenario for the end of the world? Wait, that’s really weird, forget I said that. I don’t know if it’s the thrills or the idea of having to fight for your life (with preferably a katana), but I just love zombies. The Benny Imura series is my favorite zombie series to date.

“You see the fence as something keeping the zoms out. I don’t. I see it as the thing that pens us in. We’re trapped here. Trapped isn’t ‘alive.’ Trapped isn’t ‘safe.’ And it isn’t ‘free.'”

4. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

For those who are more into slasher movies than zombies or monsters, I’d reach for this thriller about a teen convinced the only way he can outrun the fate his serial killer father set out from him is to help the police hunt down murderers like his father. You can read my review of this one here.

“Fear can keep you alive. The trick is not to let it overwhelm you. Not to let it rule you. If you’re afraid, that’s the universe trying to tell you something. Get away. Don’t run; don’t panic. Just pick up and walk out, calm as you please. Panic makes you stupid.”

5. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Ghosts and witches. This book is perfect for those looking for essential Halloween elements, but would rather not have too many nightmares afterwards. Bonus: it has a really fun, contentious romance which I absolutely loved.

“If I was lying to anyone, it was to myself. I wanted nothing to do with ghost hunting or rumors of haunting, but the apparition, its reaching hand and gasping mouth, was never far from my thoughts.”

6. Lockdown by Alexander Gordon-Smith

This book is crazy. When Alex is convicted of murder, he’s sent to Furnace Penitentiary, but he soon discovers this is no ordinary prison. There are so many twists and turns and most terrifying of all are the creatures who roam the prison in gas masks who are not quite human.

“I’d been so set on an escape that was now impossible, and the only form of freedom left to me was death.”

7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Another classic that’s perfect for Halloween. Oscar Wilde is one of the most brilliant writers to have ever lived. In this novel a man finds immortality and drowns himself in the pleasures of this world, but soon discovers he can’t outrun the corruption he’s reaped for himself.

“Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.”

8. Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

This was a surprise favorite from last year’s October. It is filled with plenty of heebeegeebee (is that the right spelling?) moments that had me putting it down several times muttering “No, no, no, uh uh, no way, no, no.” It’s never a good idea to let kids send out letters by balloon where anyone can write back to them.

“We were running fast, but not fast enough; the sound was getting closer. We leapt over decaying trees and tor through thorn and bushes. The sound was just behind of now.”

Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite horror books to recommend for Halloween?

21 thoughts on “October Fright: Favorite Horror Recommendations

  1. I love all the classics you included on this list! I had to read Frankenstein in 10th grade and have loved it ever since. I recently started watching Penny Dreadful on Showtime. It’s a Victorian age horror/paranormal/mystery show, and there is a Dr. Frankenstein like character in a few episodes.
    And every year I listen to some Poe on Spotify. The Tell Tale Heart freaks me out every time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoops! This is what happens when I respond to blogs on my phone. Things get wonky, lol!

      What I was saying was: “I’ve gone and requested Anna Dressed in Blood from my library for a bit of ghost reading. I am currently reading a zombie historical steampunk (yeah, that’s a mouthful XD), so I’m totally counting that as a “Halloween” book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, I know! The WordPress app isn’t always ideal when wanted to reply to comments. Anna Dressed in Blood was only okay for me, but I hope you enjoy it. What is this “zombie historical steampunk”? It sounds amazing! Zombies, in my book, should always be a part of Halloween.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh, yeah, I’ve seen mixed reviews about Anna Dressed in Blood, but it kept getting compared to The Girl from the Well, so I am curious.

          And the zombie historical steampunk is Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. I’m liking it so far, the main character is totally badass, even in her 30s!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to read more Stephen King, but I think the ones I want will take more time to read than usual, so I’ll probably pick something up sometime after October. I’ve seen Let the Right One In, but haven’t read it. I’m not sure if I should because vampires aren’t really my thing.


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