Halloween is coming up, and along with black cats, pumpkins, candy, and scary movies, what about getting in the mood with some creepy classic books? Take a break from your research and writing, and escape into these time-tested stories for a few hours.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury is a master of writing, and this is one of his best-known works. Dive into the world of Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show and all the havoc it wreaks on a town, particularly two young boys. This book has established itself as a classic, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe

You can’t put together a Halloween reading list without including Poe. A Gothic tale that begs a reread, and each time you read it, you’ll find more to examine. When an unnamed narrator goes to the house of his boyhood friend because the friend is ill, the story unfolds.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

If you’re looking for a perfectly crafted horror story to examine and critique (while still loving the story itself), look no further. The story of a house and 4 individuals, this book will have you looking over your shoulder and pausing to listen for any noises the entire time.

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski

Not an easy book to read by any stretch, this one is great if you’re in the mood for a challenge. I don’t say that lightly – at more than 700 pages, with different colored words, footnotes, and varying written forms, this book will challenge your thinking and reading patterns while crafting a story within a story that will spook you silly.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E Butler

A dystopian apocalyptic novel about a young girl in the midst of chaos. A bit reminiscent of 1984, this first book in Butler’s Earthseed series are a must-read for today. There’s a reason Butler’s work feels so modern, even though this was written in the early 1990s.

What are your favorite books to read when you want something creepy or spooky?

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