In honor of the upcoming holiday, here's a list of Halloween-appropriate reads. I don't read a lot of horror, paranormal, or ghostly books, so while I know Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Rot & Ruin, Coraline and other modern Halloween reads are out there, I haven't read them and can't vouch for them. So instead, you get a slightly classics-heavy Halloween Reading List.
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
This was one of my favorite books during 4th grade. It's more on the humor end than the horror end of Halloween reads, but who doesn't love a vampire bunny? Or trying to get rid of said vampire using raw steak? It's only about 130 pages, so you can easily finish it while passing out candy on Halloween night, and it's a great read-aloud for younger kids who can't handle the scarier stuff.
I, unlike everyone else including the Newbery Award committee, only moderately liked this book, but it's chock full of ghosts so I can't not include it. Maybe Gaiman just doesn't fit my reading style or maybe I read this with the wrong mindset. Anyways, fans of Coraline and Gaiman's other works will probably like this. Ghosts, murder, mystery, creepiness.
"The Tell-Tale Heart" or anything else written by Edgar Allan Poe
Crazy narrator, murder, chopped up bodies, tortured soul--Poe is the king of creepy and suspense. I love Poe's writing--I'm weird like that. I just get chills (or nightmares) at "the beating of his hideous heart!" If gore isn't your style, try "Cask of Amontillado" instead. Or "Pit and the Pendulum." Or "The Raven."
Harry Potter and the Anything by J.K. Rowling
Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Potter book, and it has a werewolf, but it is not the only Halloween-appropriate read of the series; any of the Potter books would work well. In addition to the regular cast of witches, wizards, and ghosts, something interesting always happens on Halloween: a troll is set loose in the dungeon, Harry attends a death-day party and someone is attacked, Sirius Black invades the castle. It's a day that's just safer if you stay in your dormitory or even take a short vacation from Hogwarts, but where's the fun in that?
Macbeth by Shakespeare
Grisly murder, ghosts, madness, what else do you need for a good Halloween read? You could also read Hamlet, but Macbeth is darker, more violent, and just plain creepier. Don't have time to read the whole play? Watch PBS's production starring Sir Patrick Stewart. So good! And it has the creepiest witches I have ever seen. Ever. Bloody witch-nun-nurse things. Blogger won't find the Youtube clip I want to include, so here's a link to it. Creepy nurse-nun things.
Something wicked this way comes.
What are your favorite Halloween reads?