Yes, it’s that time of the year that you either eat too much candy, wear outrageous costumes, and watch Charlie Brown get rocks from very mean neighbors – or, you know, you don’t do anything, in which case, this post might be slightly useless to you.
As I asked in the post title, are you reading the scariest book you can get your hands on today? Are you prepared to stay up into the wee hours of the night with nothing but the light from a flickering candle while a black cat sits comfortably in her lap? Or are you still looking for that perfect scary book to keep you terrified and awake long after you turn off the light? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I’m looking back at some of the scariest books I’ve read!
The Summoning – The Awakening – The Reckoning (Kelley Armstrong)
Why is it scary? The main character, Chloe, is a necromancer, which means that she can raise the dead – people and animals alike. Since she and the other main cast are the subject of an experiment that boosted their powers, her necromancer powers are scary powers – and very difficult to control. As a result, there are some scary scenes that involved decaying corpses being brought back to life.
Will it keep you up all night? I don’t think it’ll keep you up all night, but there are certainly some creepy scenes to make you happy if you’re reading it into the daytime where you can clearly see whether or not a dead squirrel is about to crawl all over you.
Anna Dressed in Blood – Girl of Nightmares (Kendare Blake)
Why is it scary? The titular Anna is a ghost who now haunts the house where she was murdered in – and that haunting can involve literally tearing apart trespassers that she doesn’t like. That particular scene isn’t the only creepy, gruesome thing in this book, and Kendare Blake isn’t afraid of describing things.
Will it keep you up all night? Quite possibly – the ending especially was particularly disturbing, if I remember correctly. Ghosts are scary, you know – and they’re especially scary when the author is afraid to describe things in the aforementioned gruesome detail.
Antigoddess (Kendare Blake)
Why is it scary? This is from the same author who wrote Anna – so, even though this one isn’t about murderous ghosts, there are some creepy destinies that have befallen various Greek gods and goddesses, like main character Athena who is slowly be suffocated by owl feathers inside her. There are disturbing descriptions yet again, so that’s plenty of scary stuff to go around.
Will it keep you up all night? It’s not quite as scary as Anna if I remember correctly, so maybe not all night, but it’ll certainly leave you unsettled.
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (Chris Wooding)
Why is it scary? To be honest – I don’t quite remember. I read this book a while ago, back before I had a blog and possibly when I was new to young adult and therefore probably shouldn’t have been reading such a dark and scary book. But, I do remember that it was dark and scary – at least for a young teenager. It had creepy monsters that came out at night and quite possibly a serial killer that wasn’t quite as evil as some of the “good people” – but I might just be mixing that up with another story. Obviously I should reread this book for Halloween!
Will it keep you up all night? Well, if I remember correctly, it was definitely one of the scariest books I had ever read, so I’d say yes! Of course, that might be a young me speaking again…
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan)
Why is it scary? This book is bleak, okay? I mean, yeah, it’s a zombie book, so I guess that’s to be expected, but I was still surprised with how bleak it was. Barely anyone made it to the end of the book, and just when you think things are going to be okay, something else awful happens and then the book just ends. I found out that the next book in the series wasn’t even a true continuation, it was just a companion book about someone else that happens at least fifty years after the first book! Now that’s scary – being left without the answers you want.
Will it keep you up all night? I don’t know if it’ll be the scariest book you read, or even the scariest zombie book you read, but it is bleak and dark and not a happy story whatsoever, so that counts for something.
A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray)
Why is it scary? This book isn’t that scary, but it has Gothic elements to it and there are some creepy magic happenings to keep you entertained on your Halloween night.
Will it keep you up all night? Probably not – like I said, there are just some creepy elements to this story, so it probably won’t terrify you. If you keep reading the series, though, there are plenty of other creepy stuff, including some pretty horrifying deaths – just warning you!
The Diviners (Libba Bray)
Why is it scary? This book from Libba Bray ups the scariness and gruesome deaths, that’s for sure. A serial killer can kind of do that for your book, of course.
Will it keep you up all night? I’m not sure. I read most (if not all) of it in the bright daylight, the sunshine streaming in the window and no scary shadows lurking around the corner to trick me into thinking that a coat rack is a man waiting to attack me or something. It’s definitely not the creepiest book on this list, but it might keep you up after you set it aside.
The Replacement (Brenna Yovanoff)
Why is it scary? Just look at that cover! The poor baby in that carriage had better keep an eye out for all of the sharp, scary things hanging above him or her. This book is already all about changelings and creepy fairies or something, so the story itself has its creepy moments as well.
Will it keep you up all night? Well, I don’t really remember this story too much, so that might be a sign that it didn’t give me any nightmares or anything.
Bliss (Lauren Myracle)
Why is it scary? Just look at that cover! It’s another creepy one, this time complete with blood over a picture. The title refers to the protagonist’s name, not a fluffy story. I haven’t read this book in a while, but I do remember being just shocked by the ending.
Will it keep you up all night? Maybe not all night, but it’ll probably creep you out – this book takes place around the time of the Charles Manson killings and there are quotes or something from him and similar creepy things. And there’s the deadly ending I already talked about – it definitely left me reeling.
Possessions (Nancy Holder)
Why is it scary? For one thing, look at that cover (again). It’s not the cover of the book I read, but it definitely fits. The cover I read had a girl staring off into the distance, looking mildly scared, with her hair blowing in the wind – so, not too different from your average YA cover, and not that scary. This cover, though, and the covers that show up on the other two books in the trilogy, are pretty chilling. And, while this is your average boarding-school-with-secrets-and-creepiness book, the creepiness and secrets are quite terrifying at times.
Will it keep you up all night? If you attend a boarding school – or a college, for that matter, anything with a dorm room and students running wild, I suppose – it’ll probably make you jump at slight noises more, but it’s not the most terrifying book on this list. That being said, I was definitely creeped out by reading these books, whether I was confused by all the creepy happenings or a bit shocked by some of the deaths – yes, deaths.
The Dead and Buried (Kim Harrington)
Why is it scary? This story has a ghost haunting the main character’s house, complete with a creepy Ouija board scene, so it might make you a little scared to ever play that game, if that’s something you normally do when you’re bored on a Friday night or something.
Will it keep you up all night? It has some scary scenes, as I’ve already mentioned, but it’s not terrifying – you’ll be much more interested in trying to figure out who murdered the ghost than being creeped out by said ghost – at least that was the case for me.
Skulduggery Pleasant (Derek Landy)
Why is it scary? I love these books for their dry humor and kickass characters, but they definitely have their share of creepy, terrifying moments. There are disturbing villains, freaky injuries and deaths, and darker storylines with each passing book. I haven’t even read the last three books in the series yet, so I don’t know just how dark the books get.
Will it keep you up all night? If you’re like me, it will – but only because you have to keep reading to see what happens next! Man, I really need to reread these books…
And that’s it for this holiday post! I hope you all have a great Halloween, whether it’s spent trick-or-treating, carting kids around so that they can trick-or-treat, dressing up for a party or to go to a bar, or simply sitting at home not celebrating (either by choice or because that’s just the way things are where you live)!