20 Creepy Books Perfect for Reading in Fall

Creepy Fall Reads

Introduction

Are you looking for some creepy or atmospheric books to read this fall?  Reading recommendations for the Halloween season? Check out our list of 20 Books Creepy for Reading in Fall, including middle grade, YA, and classic books to add to your reading list.

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Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez

Nightlights

Sandy creates living drawings with the lights that appear in her room each night.  No one notices, until a new girl arrives at school.  But Morphie may not be as friendly as she appears.

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The nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Affair

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart is a Nightmare, meaning that she has the unenviable need to break into people’s homes and feed on their dreams to survive. Then Dusty breaks into Eli Booker’s room and everything changes. Eli is dreaming of a murder at Dusty’s magical boarding school Arkwell Academy–a school he has never even heard of–and then the murder actually takes place. Only by stepping into Eli’s dreams can Dusty find the murderer and stop the next killing.

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The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Orphaned while attempting to escape the Great Famine, young Molly and Kip arrive at an old English estate to take up their new jobs as servants. Locals speak of the place as haunted, however, and none will dare to step foot on the property. Desperate to survive, the children take the position, anyway, and dismiss the rumors. But someone walks the house at night and the family all seem to be rapidly losing their health. Can Molly and Kip break an ancient curse or will they become the latest casualties of the night man?

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Seraphina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina lives hidden in the basement of the Biltmore Estate along with her pa. He says the rich folk who live above must never know she exists. But then one night Serafina witnesses the Man in the Black Cloak kidnap a child. And soon the children of Biltmore are disappearing one by one. Along with her new friend Braeden, Serafina must find a way to stop a deadly evil before it’s too late.

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Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

Every night at twelve minutes to midnight, the residents of the Bethlehem Royal Hospital rise from their beds to begin scribbling their mad dreams on paper, the walls, even their own skin.  In despair of finding a cure, the director turns to bestselling author of the macabre, Montgomery Flinch.  What he doesn’t know is that Flinch is actually thirteen-year-old Penelope Tredwell, heiress to the magazine The Penny Dreadful.  But Penelope isn’t about to let a case of anonymity stop her from investigating the story of her life.  Along with an actor hired to play Flinch, Penelope enters the halls of Bedlam intent on solving a mystery, but soon finds herself entangled in a web more intricate than she could have imagined.

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A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Hansel and Gretel were raised in a palace, but decide to run away the day they realize their parents do not really love them. Travelling through the wide world, they encounter danger and deception—and grow up a little in the process. Even as they begin to understand their parents, however, a new threat arises to their happiness. Only by defeating a dragon will they be able to return home and start their family anew.

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The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant

Anastasia McCrumpet is living an ordinary life until the day she receives the news that her parents have died in a freak vacuum cleaner accident. Spirited away by her newly-discovered great-aunts Prim and Prudence to their home, a Victorian insane asylum, and forced to eat Mystery Lumps and live in a dirty bedroom with a chamber pot, Anastasia believes things cannot get much worse. Then she discovers that her aunts collect the portraits of missing children. Can Anastasia escape the asylum or will she become another victim?

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The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Faith Sunderly and her family move to a small island in the wake of scandal; her father has been accused of forging fossils. When he dies, Faith believes it is murder and set out to find the killer by using the legendary Lie Tree–a tree that feeds on falsehoods and provides secrets in return A gripping story about a science-loving teenager trying to survive in a man’s world.

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A young governess accepts a new position on a grand but isolated estate that comes with but one condition: she is never to contact the guardian of her charges about any circumstances that may arise while they are under her care. All goes well until the governess believes she is seeing the ghosts of two former employees and that it is up to her to save the children from their malicious intents.

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The Demise of Selma the Spoiled by Evangeline Lilly

Selma is now a part of the Rin Run Royals and she gets everything she wants.  But when a peddler comes to town, Selma’s greed may be her undoing.  A disturbing cautionary tale in verse by Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, Ant-Man and the Wasp).  Illustrations by Rodrigo Bastos Didier.

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Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly and Molly Park

Twelve-year-old Suee transfers from Bustle Elementary to Outskirtsville presenting a tough exterior. She wears all black, she lies to he counselors, and she has no friends–and that’s how she likes it. However, on her first day she passes out in the exhibit room and awakens later to find her shadow can talk! Can she figure out the mystery hidden in her new school before it is too late?

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Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen

The abandoned house at the end of Hardscrabble Street has served as a childhood hangout for generations. So when Dr. Fell moves in, he immediately builds a magical playground as a gesture of goodwill for his neighbors. But soon children are getting hurt on the playground and no adults seem to care. “What a nice man is Dr. Fell” mutters everyone in the neighborhood–everyone except Gail, Nancy, and Jerry. For some reason the three remain immune to Dr. Fell’s spell–but can they expose his dastardly plot before it’s too late?

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The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag

In Aster’s family, girls grow up to be witches and boys grow up to be shapeshifters. But Aster wants to be a witch, too, even if he has to keep spying on the girls’ lessons. Then the boys starts disappearing. Can Aster help find them with his witch powers?

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Jacob grew up hearing his grandfather’s stories about being raised in an orphanage where the children possessed unusual abilities from super strength to levitation, an orphanage that was the only place they were safe from the monsters. For a time Jacob believed these stories, until his father explained them away. But then his grandfather dies from a mysterious attack and Jacob swears that, for a moment, he saw the monsters, too. To convince himself of his own sanity, Jacob travels to the island where Miss Peregrine’s orphanage once stood and explores the abandoned mansion in search of his grandfather’s past. His search reveals an incredible secret–the fact that the orphans might still be alive.

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The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni

It is 1867 and seventeen-year-old Verity Boone is heading home to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, to reunite with the father she barely remembers and to marry a man she knows only through letters. When she visits the local cemetery, however, two caged graves on unconsecrated ground catch her attention–and one of them is her mother’s. Determined to see her mother laid properly to rest, Verity inadvertently embroils herself in an old mystery full of hidden treasure, family feuds, and rumored witchcraft. Soon, not only her engagement but also her life is at risk.

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Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

When Clara Wintermute goes missing after her twelfth birthday party, the police suspect master puppeteer Grissini and his two orphaned assistants. Though the police find nothing, Grissini’s increasingly suspicious behavior draws the attention of the children, who determine to find Clara and return her to her family. Their journey will entangle them with Grissini’s ancient enemy, a witch who desires to save her own life at any cost—even if that means taking the life of a child.

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City of Ghosts by V. E. Schwab

Cassidy Blake’s parents hunt ghosts.  But Cassidy is actually able to see them, ever since the moment she drowned and a ghost named Jacob dragged her back.  Now her parents are off to Edinburgh, Scotland, to film a ghost show.  But an evil spirit haunts the city and she’s determined to steal Cassidy’s life.

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The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Fifty years ago, the dead stopped staying dead. An entire industry has sprung up with the purpose of eradicating the ghosts that can not only drive people mad but also kill them. Only children, however, have the ability to see and hear the specters and only one agency works without any adult supervision—Lockwood & Co. As a result, the company has a poor reputation, but when a rich patron offers Lockwood one of the biggest cases in the nation, their future seems assured. That is, if they can survive the ghosts of the infamous Screaming Staircase.

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The Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White

Kara Westfall’s mother died when she was a child, condemned for witchcraft. Now the villagers shun her and her younger brother and keep them in abject poverty through meanness and cheating. When Kara discovers a book of spells in the surrounding forest, however, she experiences for the first time a sense of power. But then the book falls into the wrong hands and Kara must decide if she will exact revenge on the people who have wronged her or risk everything to save them.

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The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

In 1943 the Carter family, including thirteen-year-old Max and his older sister Alicia, move to a small coastal town to start a new life away from the war. But the spirit of the previous homeowners’ son seems to haunt the premises and a mysterious, evil presence lurks just outside–the Prince of Mist back from the dead to collect on an old debt.

11 thoughts on “20 Creepy Books Perfect for Reading in Fall

  1. Sammie @ The Writerly Way says:

    I swear you gals can read my mind! I’ve just been complaining about already being in the mood for some creepy reads (even though I know it’s a while until October/Halloween), and this list is perfect! Adding pretty much all of these to my list.

    The Night Gardener especially sounds so good! I’m all about the creepy houses lately. Not sure why, but I’m just going with it. xD I’ve already pulled out my copy of City of Ghosts in preparation to read it soon, and I can’t wait to get the sequel, too. I’d completely forgotten about Lockwood & Co, but I need to start that series, too!

    Like

  2. MetalPhantasmReads says:

    I seriously need to try Frances Hardinge and Prince of Mist! I also agree with city of ghosts and turn of the screw. I do recommend the short story “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne as well

    Like

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