Here’s the Scary (or Spooky) Book You Should Read Next
Pick your vibe and we’ll match you to your next spooky (or scary) read.
Spooky Witchy Goodness
Hey, you! I heard you’ve already rewatched Practical Magic for the fifth time this year and keep Sabrina the Teenage Witch on in the background while brewing a simmer pot. If slice-of-life witchy stories are your vibe, read on.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna has it all: found family, a grumpy x sunshine romance, a quirky cast of characters and a charming setting. Oh, and there’s a lot of potion making! With an emphasis on sisterhood, this book gives major modern-day Practical Magic energy.
The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic by Breanne Randall also fits the bill. Set in a small town, the story follows Sadie, who runs a café where she imbues her pastries with magic. When her grandmother falls ill, Sadie returns to her hometown. There, she must face family secrets, estranged relatives and heartbreak.
Halloween is almost here. And to celebrate, you want to curl up under the covers and read something that will truly scare you. In other words, you’re all about the tricks. Here’s some hair-raising horror you can read in one (terrifying) sitting.
Stephen King may be nicknamed “The King of Horror,” but Junji Ito has been called the master of horror manga. Uzumaki is one of his most disturbing. Set in a cursed town on the coast of Japan, teenager Kirie Goshima is haunted not by a person but a pattern: a hypnotic spiral. If you like Uzumaki, check out his thrilling short story collection, Smashed.
At 176 pages, you can read What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher in a night. A retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House Usher, Kingfisher’s short gothic novel brims with creepy atmosphere.
Dark Comedy Meets Horror
Retail is a total drag, especially in Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. Hendrix’s books often blend horror and comedy, but it’s especially apparent in his debut about a knockoff IKEA where things go bump in the night. The premise already has you chuckling, right? Hendrix delivers supernatural laughs in spades.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Branithwaite is as thrilling as it is witty. Set in Nigeria, this slasher follows Korede, whose sister, Ayoola, has a penchant for killing. When Ayoola’s third boyfriend turns up dead, Korede, as always, is there to clean up the mess.
Bleh! Bleh! Brooding Characters & Towering Castles
Swap a castle for an apartment in Julia Armfield‘s gothic-inspired contemporary novel Our Wives Under the Sea. Her debut novel follows Miri, whose wife, Leah, a marine biologist, returns from a botched deep-sea research trip. Miri soon realizes that Leah is transforming into someone unrecognizable. Whatever Leah encountered in the ocean depths has been brought into their shared home. And things may never be the same.
Billed as Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca—a gothic BookTok favorite and a classic of the genre, respectively—The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas is set after the Mexican War of Independence. It hits all the gothic hallmarks: an isolated, terrifying house; a heroine in distress; forbidden romance; and even a priest.