Some good books can transport us to magical worlds, but others make our hair stand on end and give us a good scare. This time of year, there is nothing better than a chilling tale.

Books are very interesting things; they open the door to new universes, and teach us about history, culture, and much more. Through books we can travel, learn, and escape reality for a few minutes. A good book is one that captures your attention and forces you finish it because you need to know what’s going to happen.

There are books for the whole family, including incredible stories like the Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings sagas for young people. There are other books that invite us to reflect, like Becoming, or those that make us believe in fairy tales like Madly Millionaires. Then, there are the classics like Cinderella or Little Red Riding Hood. However, this time of year, when we’re all in the mood for something spooky with Halloween on the way, it’s time to pick up a scary book.

There are plenty of creepy and terrifying tales choose from. You can opt for classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds. Or, you can choose something more modern like The Between by Tananarive Due or The Unheard by Nicci French. All these books come at horror from a different angle and focus on human relationships. And, as with everything, taste in books is subjective, so most of us have a favorite. 

But, for those who are looking for something new and different, I’m sharing some of my favorite horror books below.  There is a bit of everything, from classic stories to newer novels, mysteries and even fairy tales.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Many of you may have already read this book, but it is my go-to when it comes to horror stories. Mary Shelley revolutionized the world by writing this story. She talks about deep issues like self-acceptance, the search for one’s identity, tolerance, and love, all while masking these themes under the veil of a scary story that has survived the test of time and is today the most iconic horror story of all.

  • Get your copy in English: here
  • Get your copy in Spanish: here

You by Caroline Kepnes

You’ve surely heard of this mystery novel, since it has been adapted into one of the most successful series of recent times. This thriller revolves around the lethal attraction between Guinevere Beck and Joe Goldberg. The romance between them has fatal consequences for those around them. This isn’t exactly a horror story, but this thriller is certainly scary because it teaches us that sometimes we don’t really know the people we live with.

  • Get your copy in English: here
  • Get your copy in Spanish: here

The Complete Poems by Edgar Allen Poe

This collection of poems by this celebrated author is simply chilling. He tells stories about love, madness, death, loneliness, and the darkness of human nature, poems that manage to instill fear in readers–“The Raven,” “The Enchanted Palace,” and “The Bells,” to name a few. Each of these poems will transport you to a fictional world full of fear. 

  • Get your copy in English: here
  • Get your copy in Spanish: here

The Shining by Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most recognized authors in the horror genre in the world, so I had to include him on this list. This novel is one of the writer’s most famous of all, so much so that you probably already know what it is about. It’s the story of how Jack Torrance loses his sanity and descends down a path of madness that threatens his loved ones. This is one of the scariest books out there.

  • Get your copy in English: here
  • Get your copy in Spanish: here

The Elementals by Michael McDowell

The story revolves around two wealthy families on a visit to their country houses in the town of Beldame. What was initially meant to be a trip to forget their problems turns into a terrifying adventure. This novel from the 80s continues to be one of the most celebrated horror stories (Stephen King said it himself) about a haunted house and the horrors that lurk within it. 

  • Get your copy in English: here
  • Get your copy in Spanish: here

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Fairy tales usually tell us about princesses and princes defeating evil witched to get a “happily ever after,” but the Brothers Grimm fairy tales are not the Disney versions of Cinderella or Rapunzel we know and love. These are darker tales, in which not everyone gets their happy ending and many are punished in terrifying ways.

  • Get your copy in English: here
  • Get your copy in Spanish: here

These books are not for the faint of heart. These stories will scare you and make your heart beat a little bit faster with each turn of the page. They are perfect for reading under the moonlight in these days leading up to Halloween. If you dare to read them, get ready because even though you might get scared, these books will suck you in and you won’t be able to put them down until you get to the last page. 

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