My top 5 horror books for Halloween.

Horror book

I love a good horror book. I’m currently spending time as a patient in hospital and my husband packed me a James Herbert book for some light reading. He thinks it is bizarre to want terrifying whilst in hospital, but I just cannot help loving them!

So with Halloween around the corner and with some extra time on my hands being stuck in bed I thought I would share with you my favourite scary stories just in time for Halloween. You can click the names for a link to purchase them if you wish or they are available as ebooks or you could even explore the library.

  1. The Fog – James Herbert. 

The Fog book cover copyright James Herbert

A mysterious fog is creeping over the English countryside and driving the residents insane. Who will remain sane long enough to survive?

The fog is my favourite of all James Herbert books but if you are looking for a great Halloween book just read everything James Herbert has ever written. He is the best author I have come across and he has that fantastic talent of making you truly care about the characters he is writing about. In the space of 3 pages you know everything there is to know about the characters soul; then just as you fall in love Herbert will rip them from this earth in such a horrendous way it will be like he has torn your own heart out. The amount of death in his books is collosal and I’ve personally not forgiven him for some deaths in those books, but that’s what makes him a great writer of a horror book.

The Fog itself though is a disgusting horror story with some parts making me wince and want to run and hide under the duvet – I highly recommend it.

2. The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris.

Silence of the lambs book cover Thomas Harris 1988

A serial killer is slaughtering and skinning women and it is down to a rookie FBI agent to try and stop him with the “help” from locked up serial killer Hannibal the cannibal Lecter, what could possibly go wrong?

My favourite fictional character is Hannibal Lecter – a truly wonderful character brought to life so well by Thomas Harris for a while I thought he was based on a real life serial killer. This fantastically intelligent book won’t terrify you outright but it sneaks its way into your brain and sets up camp; nothing quite like an intrusive thought or two during the day to cause a sickening lurch of your stomach. I love this psychological thriller and have read this book over and over again. If I could only read one book (or film) for the rest of my life, it would definitely be The Silence of the Lambs.

3. The Woman in Black – Susan Hill. 

Woman in black book cover

Your typical horrendous haunted house in the middle of nowhere, creepy ghost lady and even creepier ghost children makes this book the stuff of nightmares.

This book had my heart racing, screaming out loud for the characters to just stop and run. (They never do – do they?) I’ve read it a few times and each time the exhilarating ending leaves me shaken to the core. One piece of advice don’t read The Woman in Black at night, (especially not on your break while working a night shift – I know from experience) unless you want the stuffing scared out of you.

4. The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty. 

Exorcist horror book cover William Peter Blatty

No ultimate horror booklist would be complete without a story about a 12 year old demonic possessed girl. I bought this from a charity shop when I was 14 and after reading it I slept with my eyes open for a few nights. For me, reading this book was worse than watching the film in terms of how terrified it got me. Perhaps I was too young to read it but it still haunts me now as it sits at the top of my bookcase watching me. Fancy scaring yourself silly this Halloween? Buy a copy of this and get stuck in.

5. The Shining – Stephen King 

The shining Stephen King book cover

Most of us have seen the film The Shining and like most book to film adaptations the book is of a much better quality. It is brilliant.

A tale of a struggling family taking a job out of desperation is one we can all relate to in some way; the job leading to a hotel where dark, psychic forces want your family dead – not so much!

You won’t just read this book, you will scream “nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, make it stop! “ over and over as you turn the pages. This book is a true thriller and I had to stop at one point, put it down and come back to it a week later for fear of mental scarring.


There is something so much more terrifying about a horror book than a horror film, mainly due to the use of our imagination, which is why I highly recommend you to try one of these this Halloween.

Don’t be scared – sweet dreams!

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