For brave readers, October is the best month to enjoy the works of classic horror novelists like Stephen King. We think teens (and adults!) searching for a scare will love these lesser-known books too! But be warned: Some of these are more than a little frightening and may not be best for younger teens.
Get Ready For A Scare—YA Books That Will Make You Sleep With The Lights On
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
After being brutally raped and murdered, fourteen-year-old Susie watches from her afterlife as her family and friends attempt to move on—and catch her killer. This dark, lyrical novel, also made into a feature film, is as beautifully written as it is heart-stopping.
- The Dead Girls Of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
An abandoned insane asylum, heart-pounding suspense, a feminist bent, and a gaggle of creepy ghosts…we’re sold! Teenage Delia’s new house used to be an insane asylum for women—and the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. Delia is horrified to realize that she’s trapped—and she’s not alone.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Another book that’s also a film now, this delightfully creepy novel blends fiction, fantasy, and photography. On a remote island, sixteen-year-old Jacob finds the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. He soon realizes that the children who lived there during WWII may have had unusual talents…and may still be alive.
- The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco
Equal parts literary horror, Japanese folklore, and pure fear, this debut novel follows a girl who avenges murdered children. Her story is paralleled with that of a mysterious, tattooed young boy who befriends demons. This intricate horror tale has something to entice (and terrify) everyone.
- Through The Woods by Emily Carroll
The best creepy tales often take place in the woods—and this book doesn’t disappoint. Composed of four fairy tales gone dreadfully, dreadfully wrong, it also features illustrations so beautiful that you’ll want to print and frame them…but so creepy that you’ll think twice about hanging them in your home.
And If You’re Still Itching For Writerly Halloween Fun, Read These Articles (If You Dare!)
Our Favorite Frightening Literary Characters
Going Gothic—Just In Time For Halloween!
25 Literary Halloween Costumes For Writers
QUESTION: Have you read any great YA horror novels lately? Tell us the titles below!